After former President Donald Trump lost the presidential election in November of 2020, he and his allies scrambled for any way to validate his fantasies that the election was "stolen" from him.
This included a pressure campaign on state officials, such as Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, as well as a barrage of disinformation smearing the election's validity.
When that didn't work, Trump's allies leapt to meddle with the certification of electoral votes in swing states Trump lost.
When a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in a state, that candidate's party appoints electors to cast the state's electoral votes, which are then typed up in a certificate of ascertainment, signed by the state's governor, and sent to the National Archives.
In states like Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, and others, Republican would-be electors falsely declared themselves legitimate. This—Trump's team hoped—would give then-Vice President Mike Pence the cover to unilaterally toss out electoral votes in swing states Trump lost, citing dueling slates of electors. This would've lowered the number of electoral votes needed for a majority while also taking electoral votes from Biden, essentially allowing Pence to hand Trump the presidency and himself the vice presidency.
Thankfully, Pence didn't succumb to Trump's pressure campaign to overthrow the election, but documents obtained by American Oversight uncovered new details about just how far this electoral effort went—and it suggests a level of coordination.
Republican parties in seven different states sent forged pro-Trump electoral certificates to the National Archives, presenting the completely illegitimate documents as the true reflection of their state's electoral votes.
The Attorney General for one of those states—Dana Nessel of Michigan—has already referred the scheme to federal authorities for investigation and said in a recent press conference that she believes there's enough evidence for charges to drop.
Nessel told the press:
"I will say that, again, I feel confident that we have enough evidence to charge should we decide to pursue that."
The state AG's comments come as the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party revealed in leaked audio that the Trump campaign itself asked them to seat fake Republican electors.
Social media users hope Nessel brings charges.
Some called on Attorneys General in their own states where fraudulent certificates were sent to press charges as well.
Nessel seems determined to get to the bottom of the scheme, and potentially to charge those who orchestrated it.