Trump, Giuliani and Meadows revealed as unindicted co-conspirators in Michigan fake electors case

The former president and former New York City mayor have been charged over a separate fake electors plot in Georgia

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 24 April 2024 21:30 BST
Related video: 16 charged in Michigan fake electors scheme

Former president Donald Trump, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and his once personal attorney Rudy Giuliani have been described as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the so-called “fake electors” scheme in Michigan in the 2020 presidential election, according to courtroom testimony.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced criminal charges last July against 16 individuals accused of signing certificates falsely declaring that Mr Trump won the 2020 presidential election, despite President Joe Biden’s victory.

On Wednesday, at a preliminary hearing, defence attorney Duane Silverthorn listed names and asked Howard Shock, a special agent for the AG’s office, if they were “unindicted co-conspirators” in the scheme.

When Mr Silverthorn named Mr Trump, Mr Meadows, and former New York City mayor Mr Giuliani, the state investigator testified: “Yes.”

Special Agent Shock also indicated that he believed Jenna Ellis, a Mr Trump attorney who has pleaded guilty in the Georgia election interference case, was also an uncharged co-conspirator.

In a statement to The Independent, Trump campaign communications director Steven Cheung claimed that the former president is the target of “witch hunts” by Mr Biden and his allies.

“President Trump has established a commanding polling lead and failed president Crooked Joe Biden is on the ropes. His Democrat party allies know it, so they press their ongoing Witch-Hunts, further abusing and misusing the power of their offices in a no-holds barred effort to interfere in the presidential election,” he said.

“The American People will not fall for the Biden-directed Witch-Hunts and will hold Crooked Joe and his comrades to account in November.”

A spokesperson for Mr Giuliani also dismissed the allegations: “The continued weaponization of our justice system should concern all Michiganders and Americans. It’s an affront to American Democracy and does permanent, irrevocable harm to the country.” The Independent has also contacted representatives for Mr Meadows and Ms Ellis for comment.

Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani together at a campaign rally ahead of the 2016 election
Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani together at a campaign rally ahead of the 2016 election (AP)

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charged Mr Trump and Mr Giuliani, along with others, related to a fake electors scheme as part of a sprawling RICO case in the state. Mr Meadows also faces charges, separate from the alternate slate of electors, in the Georgia election interference case.

Although 16 people were originally charged in Michigan, that number has since decreased to 15, after Ms Nessel dismissed the charges against Jim Renner in October after he cooperated with prosecutors.

The remaining 15 face eight felony counts, including election law forgery and conspiracy.

Ms Nessel alleges that the group “covertly” met in the basement of the state’s Republican Party headquarters and signed certificates falsely claiming that they were “the duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president of the United States of America for the state of Michigan”.

Those false documents were then “transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan,” she said.

The hearing in the Michigan case comes as the former president is currently on criminal trial in New York in a different type of election interference case.

Mr Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records stemming from so-called hush money payments given to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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