Michigan GOP documents conflict with 'phony electors' certificate submitted to National Archives
Candidate for Michigan Attorney General, Matt DePerno addresses the crowd during the Michigan Election Integrity Rally on Oct. 12, 2021, in Lansing, Michigan. - Scott Hasse/Zuma Press/TNS

A newly revealed document created by the Michigan Republican Party conflicts with a certificate signed and submitted by Donald Trump supporters claiming that he won the state's 2020 election.

The certificate, which has come under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, asserts that Michigan's 16 GOP electors "proceeded to vote by ballot" on Dec. 14, 2020, and cast all of their electoral votes for the former president, but a separate document prepared by state GOP officials said the electors had only participated in a ceremony pledging to cast their votes for the Republican president if given the chance, reported the Detroit News.

"It was just a ceremony, and I didn't want it to be misconstrued as something as other than a ceremony," Laura Cox, who was Michigan GOP chair at the time, told the House select committee in a May 3 interview.

Cox told the select committee the intent behind the document was to attest that GOP electors were willing to stand and serve for Trump if "something were to happen in the courts" that would overturn Joe Biden's win by 154,000 votes, and there was only space for one person to sign -- and Cox believes Kathy Berden, the state's Republican national committeewoman, did so.

Berden did sign another certificate during the so-called electors meeting that was then submitted to the National Archives stating that Trump had won the Michigan election, although she cited the Fifth Amendment during her own March 11 interview and refused to tell House investigators whether she signed that document.

The gathering took place in the basement of state GOP headquarters, with few other people inside the building, so it's unclear how Trump campaign lawyers or supporters persuaded the Michigan electors to sign the false certificate.

"They said, 'Sign this paper,'" said elector Michele Lundgren, of Detroit, who said she thought she was putting her name on a sign-in sheet.

Two other electors also told the newspaper they weren't sure what they were signing during the Dec. 14, 2020, meeting.

“I didn’t think it was going anywhere," said Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot, one of the electors. "I thought it was a ceremonial thing.”

Lungren said the page where the electors signed doesn't specify what the certificate is about, but instead offers vague and somewhat obtuse language.

"In witness whereof, we, the undersigned, have hereunto, in the city of Lansing, in the state of Michigan, on this 14th day of December, 2020, subscribed our respective names," the certificate states, while another page claims the document is a "certificate of the votes of the 2020 electors from Michigan."