LANSING, Mich., Aug. 8, 2022 — Attorney General Dana Nessel has called for a special prosecutor to oversee the next stage of her investigation into election equipment tampering in Michigan following the 2020 election. The investigation involves Republican leaders throughout Michigan, including state Representative Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, and presumptive Republican nominee for Attorney General Matt DePerno, attempting and succeeding to illegally obtain election equipment for illegitimate investigative purposes.

“I fully support the attorney general’s investigation into these alleged crimes,” said state Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit). “It is crucial to maintain trust in our elections and institutions that we understand the lengths public officials pursued to undermine them. What is alleged is a gross abuse of influence and positions of power to illegally access critical election infrastructure in these attempts to undermine our presidential election and subvert the will of the voters.”

The investigation has uncovered that the politicians convinced local clerks to hand over tabulators, broke into machines, printed fake ballots and performed “tests” on the equipment. The charges these individuals could potentially face include conspiracy, willfully damaging voting machines, destruction of property, using a computer system to commit a crime, fraudulent access to a computer or computer system and false pretenses.

“It’s tremendously disappointing that elected officials participated in this statewide, criminal scheme,” Tate said. “Our elected representatives should be held to a higher standard. Misusing your elected position, deceiving local officials about the legitimacy of your ‘investigation,’ illegally gaining access to something you know you’re not supposed to tamper with — it’s all beneath the standard of public service the people of Michigan should expect from their elected officials. The accountability our attorney general is pursuing is vital to both understanding the threats these people posed to our election security in the past and securing our elections from similar attempts in the future.”