How Michigan & Detroit played a role in indictment against Trump over 2020 election

Posted at 11:05 AM, Aug 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-02 11:05:33-04

(WXYZ) — Former President Donald Trump was indicted on four charges Tuesday connected to attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and events that happened in Michigan played a part in the charges.

Trump is facing four charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

Michigan is mentioned across nearly three pages in the 45-page indictment, specifically related to the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

President Joe Biden flipped Michigan in the 2020 election, winning by more than 150,000 votes over Trump.

The indictment reads that the purpose of the conspiracy from Trump "was to overturn the legitimate results of the presidential election using knowingly false claims of election fraud to obstruct the federal government function by which those results are collected, counted, and certified."

The Oakland County Republican Party released a statement on Tuesday night, with Chairman Vance Patrick saying the party "condemns all politically motivated witch hunts. These witch hunts have become far too prevalent in our political environment here in Michigan and nationwide."

The Michigan Republican Party has not released a statement as of 8:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Trump also released a statement saying in part that the charges are part of a corrupt chapter by the Biden administration and the Justice Department.

Below are details regarding Michigan mentioned in the indictment.
Michigan Portion of Trump Indictment over election fraud by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd


The first mention of Michigan in the indictment comes with Trump claiming there was a suspicious dump of votes in Detroit.

The indictment alleges Trump said, "In Detroit, there were hours of unexplained delay in delivering many votes for counting. The final batch did not arrive until four in the morning and–even though polls closed at eight o'clock. So they brought it in, and the batches came in, and nobody knew where they came from."

Those allegations were false and there was no evidence of voter fraud in Detroit, with courts also finding there was no fraud.


The indictment also mentions how Trump met with then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield and then-Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey at the White House on Nov. 20.

"In the meeting, the Defendant raised his false claim, among others, of an illegitimate vote dump in Detroit. In response, the Michigan Senate Majority Lead told the Defendant that he had lost Michigan not because of fraud, but because the Defendant had underperformed with certain voter populations in the state," the indictment reads.

After the meeting, Shirkey and Chatfield released a statement that reads in part, "We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election."


The indictment also mentions texts from "Co-Conspirator 1," who is an attorney that reports say is attorney Rudy Giuliani.

In the indictment, the feds allege that the co-conspirator sent a test message on Dec. 4 to Chatfield in an attempt to get him to reverse the "ascertainment of the legitimate Biden electors."

It also alleges on Dec. 7, co-conspirator 1 sent a text intended for Shirkey saying, "I need you to pass a joint resolution from the Michigan legislature that states that, * the election is in dispute, * there's an ongoing investigation by the Legislature, and the Electors sent by Governor Whitmer are not the official Electors of the State of Michigan and do not fall within the Safe Harbor deadline of Dec 8 under Michigan law."


In paragraph 36 of the indictment, the feds say that Trump raised his false Michigan vote dump claim with Barr on Dec. 1.

Related: AG Barr said he told Trump, 'there is no evidence of voter fraud in Detroit'

Barr then said he mentioned how Trump actually got more votes in Detroit in 2020 than in 2016, according to the testimony, and that once again there was no evidence of fraud. In 2020, Trump got about 5,000 more votes in the city than in 2016, with Joe Biden getting fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.

"I told him the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public were bull****, that the claims of fraud were bull****," he said in the recording.

It also alleges the next day, on Dec. 2, Trump made a false statement that there was a dump of 149,772 votes in Detroit."


A Michigan Senate Oversight Committee report on the November 2020 election "found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election." The report was released in 2021.

The committee, chaired by Republican Sen. Ed McBroom, released the report after conducting nearly 30 hours of public hearings, hearing testimony from 87 witnesses, reviewing over 400 pages of testimony and more.

In the report, the committee looked at several allegations of voter fraud including unfounded allegations of deceased and non-resident voting, ballots dumped at the then-TCF Center and more.

The committee also touched on the unfounded allegation that thousands of ballots were dumped at TCF Center, which included a viral video showing a man wheeling a wagon into TCF Center that was actually a WXYZ videographer wheeling equipment inside.

They found that about 16,000 ballots were delivered to the TCF Center, which were submitted throughout election day at different locations and then brought to the center and then counted.

"These ballots were not brought in a wagon as alleged, but via delivery truck and then placed on carts. A widely circulated picture in media and online reports allegedly showed ballots secretly being delivered late at night but, in reality, it was a photo of a WXYZ-TV photographer hauling his equipment," the report reads.


Benson released a statement on Tuesday evening, reiterating that the 2020 election was "secure, transparent, and the results were an accurate reflection of the will of the people."

Her entire statement below.

“The 2020 election was secure, transparent and the results were an accurate reflection of the will of the people. Following the election, an unprecedented, nationally coordinated attempt to overturn those results and spread false conspiracies - through meritless lawsuits, sham legislative hearings, illegal access to voting machines, and attempts to intervene with the counting and certification of legal votes - directly led to violent attacks aimed at election officials, members of law enforcement, Congress, and many others.

"Today’s charges against several individuals involved in these schemes are an important step towards legal accountability and consequences for those involved in this effort. As an attorney and as Michigan’s Chief Election Officer, I’m grateful for the work of those whose meticulous, professional, fact-based investigations led to these indictments.

"I look forward to seeing the judicial process and other investigations proceed while all of us here in Michigan and nationwide, embrace our collective responsibility to speak the truth, ensure voter confidence in our elections, and work to protect and defend every voice and every vote."