Republican attorney Matt DePerno, the failed 2022 candidate for attorney general, was charged Tuesday with former GOP state Rep. Daire Rendon for allegedly gaining improper access and tampering with voting machines after the 2020 election.
Both are election deniers who subscribe to Donald Trump's theory that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Clara Hendrickson of the Detroit Free Press reports:
The rare moves made by the special prosecutor — Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson — in the case include asking a judge to preemptively interpret the law the pair are now accused of violating and convening a grand jury which ultimately brought the charges. Legal experts said the process reflects a cautious, deliberate approach. DePerno and Rendon both face multiple felony charges from a citizen's grand jury impaneled in the matter. They are both charged with violating a Michigan election law prohibiting who can access tabulators.
DePerno is charged with undue possession of a voting machine and conspiracy. Rendon is charged with conspiracy to commit undue possession of a voting machine and false pretenses.
The charges came on the same day that ex-President Donald Trump was charged in Washington by special counsel Jack Smith with illegally trying to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump backed DePerno and other Republican candidates in the state who were soundly defeated in what turned out to be a Blue wave in Michigan. Both Republicans and Democrats blamed Trump for the poor showing in the state because of the low quality of candidates he backed.
DePerno lost last year to incumbent Democrat Dana Nessel 53.2 to 44.6 percent.
Nessel declared a conflict interest in the voting machine investigation while running against DePerno and moved for the appointment of a special prosecutor in August 2022. In a statement Tuesday, she noted that her office has not been involved in the probe since.
“These allegations are incredibly serious and unprecedented. The 2024 presidential election will soon be upon us," Nessel said in the statement. "The lies espoused by attorneys involved in this matter, and those who worked in concert with them across the nation, wreaked havoc and sowed distrust within our democratic institutions and processes."