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Michigan's top GOP lawmakers: No evidence of fraud received that would change state's election outcome

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Posted at 12:44 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 13:12:38-05

(WXYZ) — Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield issued statements ahead of the state's Electoral College vote.

"While there are some who still argue this should not take place, we must recognize that our feelings, our desires, and our disappointments are subordinate to the health of our democracy and the will of the majority," Shirkey said.

Both Shirkey and Chatfield said they were "disappointed" with the outcome of the election, with Chatfield adding that he did "everything he could" to get President Donald Trump re-elected.

Shirkey said the election has brought to light opportunities for improvement in law and policy. He also said numerous claims of fraud have been independently investigated, and in each instance, the claim was found to be incorrect or incapable of being proven.

"We have not received evidence of fraud on a scale that would change the outcome in Michigan," Shirkey said.

In Chatfield's statement, he said the Legislature could pass a resolution changing the manner in which electors are appointed, but currently, the Legislature awards electors to the winner of the popular vote, citing a Supreme Court ruling in 2000.

Chatfield said he "can't fathom risking our norms, traditions and institutions to pass a resolution retroactively changing the electors for Trump."

"That's unprecedented for good reason," he said. "And that’s why there is not enough support in the House to cast a new slate of electors. I fear we'd lose our country forever. This truly would bring mutually assured destruction for every future election in regards to the Electoral College. And I can't stand for that. I won’t."

“I know this isn’t the outcome some want. It isn’t what I want, either. But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I intend to.”

View the full statement from Shirkey below:

“Today Michigan’s electors convene, according to state law, to cast their votes for the next president and vice president of the United States. While there are some who still argue this should not take place, we must recognize that our feelings, our desires, and our disappointments are subordinate to the health of our democracy and the will of the majority.”

“Our country is bigger than one election. Like many people, I am personally very disappointed in the outcome of the presidential election, but we cannot let that disappointment overshadow the wins of conservative candidates across our state and nation, nor can we allow that disappointment to erode the very foundation of our country. There is more resolve in my fellow citizens and more to the enduring spirit of America than the partisan rhetoric that has dominated the last few weeks.”

“The Senate Oversight Committee met and continues to meet to hear concerns and review information related to Michigan’s election. Thus far, the committee has heard testimony that brought to light opportunities for improvement in law and policy. The body has subpoenaed the secretary of state and received thousands of documents to review. And, numerous claims of fraud have been independently investigated, and in each instance, the claim is either found to be incorrect or incapable of being proven. While the volume of information demonstrates a need to address certain vulnerabilities, we have not received evidence of fraud on a scale that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

“Ultimately, this election will help spur change in Michigan. One of the most significant parts of President Trump’s legacy may very well be his role in helping spotlight the areas of election law in need of improvement. The Senate is steadfast in our commitment to pursue those improvements and will remain vigilant in our review of information and data.”

“Michigan’s Democratic slate of electors should be able to proceed with their duty, free from threats of violence and intimidation. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris won Michigan’s presidential election. It our responsibility as leaders to follow the law and move forward in pursuit of policies that contribute to the betterment of Michigan,” said Shirkey.

View the full statement from Chatfield below:

“I was raised to respect our system of government and appreciate God for the blessings He’s given us in this country. Our republic has lasted because of a deeply held belief in our norms and institutions and adherence to our Constitution. Because I love my country, I now teach those same values and lessons to my children.

“I worked hard to get President Trump reelected this year. I did everything I could. He has done an incredible job for our nation. He put our country first and accomplished more than many other presidents have before him. I was all in, and I will be forever thankful for all he has done to make America great again.

“President Trump also had every right to pursue his options and try every legal step available to contest this election. The race for the presidency is not something you take lightly. In Michigan, after reports of fraud, we as the Legislature began our investigations. We wasted no time. We issued subpoenas. We sent record retention letters to clerks. We had hearings. We brought in President Trump’s legal team. Even Dominion is coming in this week. We’ve diligently examined these reports of fraud to the best of our ability.

“There were irregularities with this recent election that need more attention. That is why the Legislature, which is the voice of the people, is still looking into those allegations and giving the people their right to speak and be heard at the state Capitol. Our investigation and hearings will continue. Every single instance of fraud should be uncovered and corrected. Some of the things that occurred in places like Wayne and Antrim County cannot be allowed to happen again if we are to uphold the confidence and integrity of our election system. Election reform will be needed next year.

“If there’s fraud, it needs to be found. Anyone who broke our laws need to be prosecuted. Election integrity makes our country unique. The people of America, whether they win or lose, have peace of mind knowing that the people spoke, the law was followed and that our institutions carry on in accordance with our Constitution. If there’s fraud, we punish it. If there’s not, we move on.

“This has also led to a national conversation over the Legislature’s role in choosing the electors. I’m a states’ rights guy, so I’m happy to have this conversation. But the Legislature in Michigan chose decades ago to award our electors to the winner of the popular vote. Although many reasonably believe otherwise, I personally believe that the Legislature could pass a resolution changing the manner in which electors are appointed, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that once created, the right to a popular vote for President becomes fundamental, and the exercise of a fundamental right can’t be infringed retroactively for due process reasons. Maybe they were right. Maybe they were wrong. But that was the Court’s decision. And it still stands today.

“Again - I fought hard for President Trump. Nobody wanted him to win more than me. I think he's done an incredible job. But I love our republic, too. I can't fathom risking our norms, traditions and institutions to pass a resolution retroactively changing the electors for Trump, simply because some think there may have been enough widespread fraud to give him the win. That's unprecedented for good reason. And that’s why there is not enough support in the House to cast a new slate of electors. I fear we'd lose our country forever. This truly would bring mutually assured destruction for every future election in regards to the Electoral College. And I can't stand for that. I won’t.

“I know this isn’t the outcome some want. It isn’t what I want, either. But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I intend to.”