Michigan Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking for a special prosecutor to review a charging request and handle any subsequent prosecutions in an election-related case because of a potential conflict of interest. One of the nine people facing possible charges is Nessel’s November opponent Mathew DePerno, the presumptive Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general.
Nessel and Michigan State Police are jointly investigating a conspiracy to unlawfully obtain access to voting machines used in the 2020 general election. It is now time for a prosecutorial review of potential charges which include: willfully damaging a voting machine, malicious destruction of property, fraudulent access to a computer or computer system, false pretenses, and using a computer system to commit a crime. The results of that investigation have been handed over to the Criminal Trials and Appeals Division, and they are seeking approval for criminal charges.
The petition sent to the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council states, “When this investigation began there was not a conflict of interest. However, during the course of the investigation, facts were developed that DePerno was one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy.”
The petition alleges that DePerno and his co-conspirators obtained voting machines under false pretenses from three different counties and took them to hotels or AirBnb properties for “testing.” One of the tactics used, according to the petition, was falsely telling election workers the conspirators needed to see the machines for an investigation into election fraud by the Michigan House of Representatives.
DePerno tweeted in response to the petition, “My opponent has tried to weaponize her office! She is running scared & is calling for legal action against me. THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED! Never in American History has a sitting AG try to lock up their political opponent.”
Nessel would not comment on the matter. Her office stated that it has filed a request for investigation with the Attorney Grievance Commission. The Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct state, “A lawyer having knowledge that another lawyer has committed a significant violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer shall inform the Attorney Grievance Commission.”