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Michigan Republican candidate for attorney general falls under special prosecutor probe for election machine meddling
Former President Donald Trump announced his endorsement for Matthew DePerno in the Michigan attorney general race, but now he's falling under a special prosecutor's investigation called by the attorney general Reuters reported on Sunday.
"The analysis shows that people working with Matthew DePerno ... examined a vote tabulator from Richfield Township, a conservative stronghold of 3,600 people in northern Michigan’s Roscommon County," said the report. "The Richfield security breach is one of four similar incidents being investigated by Michigan's current attorney general, Democrat Dana Nessel. Under state law, it is a felony to seek or provide unauthorized access to voting equipment."
DePerno also pocketed cash off of the promotion of election conspiracies from Republican Senators that questioned the 2020 results in the state.
As Axios reported, the request came from the Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council.
“He’s going to make sure that you are going to have law and order and fair elections,” Trump said about DePerno in a speech at CPAC. “That’s an important race,"
What they're saying: DePerno's campaign manager released a statement attacking Nessel, saying that she has a "history of targeting and persecuting her political enemies."
Axios has uploaded the documents here at DocumentCloud.
'This is going to hurt Republicans': Molly Jong-Fast nails GOP candidates for calling their elections 'rigged'
A slate of Republican candidates who lost their primaries is attacking members of their own party, claiming that the elections are "rigged" because they lost.
In all elections, there are losers, but that fact has caused consternation among GOP officials even in races against their own people. Ryan Kelley, Tina Petters, Kandiss Taylor, Jason Warner and Mark Finchem are among the Republicans complaining about their losses. Taylor, in particular, won just 3.4 percent of the vote, yet she thinks she is entitled to the win.
If these folks are handed the levers of power, there is a concern that they can usher in a Constitutional crisis, explained reporter Molly Jong-Fast.
"At best, we enter a guaranteed a Constitutional crisis," she explained. "At worst, we stop having free and fair elections. I mean, yeah, this is really scary. The one thing I would say that is totally fascinating to me is that almost all of the states where you have these people running are purple states, right? Like Arizona, these Trumpy candidates won, but they barely eeked it out, right? So, you are seeing — these guys are gonna come up — you know, this is not Mississippi. These are purple states."
She explained that the so-called "Trumpy candidates" can barely make it out of primary elections. So, if Trumpism can win a primary, in the general election, it could end up being similar to Trump.
"So, I do think this is a set that's particularly bad for Republicans. Of course, having one party turn against democracy is bad for all of us, ultimately. But I think in this short stop-gap, I think it will hurt Republicans. Eventually, who knows where this goes? Nowhere good.
'This is going to hurt Republicans': Molly Jong-Fast nails GOP candidates calling elections rigged www.youtube.com
Mitt Romney blasts 'reprehensible' Alex Jones — as Democrats say $49 million isn't enough punishment
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), no stranger to conservative politics, told Raw Story over the weekend that "there is a human cost to lying and spreading falsehoods." That's exactly what Jones was charged with doing, lying to such a degree that it resulted in the harm to the Newtown, Connecticut families.
On Friday, Jones was ordered to pay almost $50 million in damages to the family of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old child who was shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Jones perpetuated "questions" about whether Lewis was real, leading to his parents sobbing to the jury that their son was real and that they have been forced to fight for their safety while grieving his loss thanks to Jones.
Romney said that money can't ever fully compensate for what the families have dealt with over the past ten years.
"What he did was reprehensible and the jury saw it that way," he said. Romney went on to say that he wishes he had the answer to how to eliminate conspiracies like this.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) called Jones a "despicable human being" and said that he hopes that it will have a broader impact on the lies told by conspiracy theorists.
"The suffering these families have go through, it's not just perpetrators of lies, I think about reporter Alice Parker in Virginia, who got shot on air," Warner recalled. "The family is still trying to get YouTube to take the video down on a regular basis. So, I hope they, in terms of Jones, I believe every nickel he's worth, his family's worth — to spend. The thing has got to be consequences for malicious actions."
Home-state colleague, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) explained that relying on lawsuits for all of this isn't going to solve the problem.
"We still need to figure out a way to appropriately regulate speech that is designed to foment violence," Kaine said. "I was extremely happy to see that this was the court's ruling beause the guy is irresponsible. He's just about himself and getting attention. He doesn't care who he hurts. You gotta worry about the effects of your actions on people. People who see a ruling like that will start to guard their own actions. But, again, I don't think jury verdicts are enough. I think more needs to be done."
MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan also brought up Jones on Sunday.
While the case this week was about Sandy Hook, Hasan pointed to a slate of other issues in which Jones has attacked people by making up lies. Jones has questioned whether the Sept. 11 attacks ever happened and the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Jones has spread lies that former first lady Michelle Obama is actually a man and that she murdered comedian Joan Rivers. The main conspiracy that led to a hostage crisis in Washington, D.C. came from the so-called Pizzagate lie, in which Jones and other conspiracy theorists questioned whether a pizza parlor was holding children in a basement to sell them from a trafficking ring.
Media Matters President Angelo Carusone explained that Jones' conspiracies and his thoughts have spread beyond just the fringe and are now part of what many Republicans are embracing. He specifically cited the Fox network's Tucker Carlson, who called Jones a "far better guide for reality." When Trump was in the White House, Jones was given a press pass.
Nicole Hemmer, director of the Rogers Center for the Study of the Presidency, at Vanderbilt University, explained that Jones might not be cited, but a lot of his conspiracies go from Jones to the "mainstream" of Fox hosts. The "groomer" slur that alleges anyone who is gay is a pedophile, was something that comes from Jones' Pizzagate. Tucker Carlson's comments that Jan. 6 was a "false flag operation" and those who were arrested are "political prisoners."
How Alex Jones runs the GOP and Fox www.youtube.com
With additional reporting from Matt Laslo.