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Mich. state secretary gives Jan. 6 panel info on plot to overturn election

Pro-democracy activists gather for a rally on the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 6. On Thursday, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson gave the House committee investigating the seize information concerning cooperation between the Trump campaign and state Democrats to overturn the election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/022dea8f3547347b12181f1886d69584/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Pro-democracy activists gather for a rally on the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 6. On Thursday, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson gave the House committee investigating the seize information concerning cooperation between the Trump campaign and state Democrats to overturn the election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Michigan's secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, on Wednesday informed the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol building of additional information concerning allegations former President Donald Trump coordinated with state Republicans to overturn the 2020 general election.

"As more information has surfaced about the attempts to thwart the will of Michigan's 5.5 million voters, we have been able to connect the dots between activities that occurred here in Michigan and at the national level to overturn what was the most secure election in our state's history," she said in a statement.

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"As the efforts to overturn the election ultimately led to the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol, it is my firm belief that all Americans have a patriotic duty to nation and our democracy to support the committee in their work," she continued.

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Benson's communication with the Jan. 6 House select committee follows Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel earlier this month giving federal prosecutors the results of a year-long probe that accuses 16 Republicans of having signed and submitted false certificates claiming Trump had won a second term in office.

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On Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told CNN that federal prosecutors were reviewing the fake Electoral College certifications. Faked certificates donning signatures of Trump supporters stating they are the rightful electors for the states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico were submitted, CNN reported. All the states in question went for Biden during the election.

On Wednesday, Benson sent a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat charing the Jan. 6 House select committee, to inform him that Meshawn Maddock -- the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party and among the signatories of the fake electoral certificates -- was heard in an audio recording released last week stating the Trump campaign had asked hers and others to forward the scheme.

"The Trump campaign asked us to do it," she said at an event organized by the Stand Up Michigan conservative group. The audio of the event was obtained by CNN.

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Benson also informed the committee of further connections between the Trump Campaign and efforts to subvert the electoral vote.

On Dec. 14, the Amistad Project attempted to get illegitimate electors into the state Capitol, and Benson said Jenna Ellis served as special counsel to its parent organization, the Thomas More Society, as well as a Trump Campaign attorney.

She also informed the committee of a draft presidential executive order from Dec. 16, 2020, to seize vote tabulation machines in Antrim County.

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The order obtained by Politico cites debunked conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting machines being designed to influence election results.

The discredited report cited in the executive order was created by a team that had flown to Antrim County and whom Ellis told reporters were members of her team, Benson said.

Benson continues that the discredited report was also given to Sidney Powell, the then-attorney for Trump, a day before it was meant to be unsealed.

"What remains unclear is the extent to which the authors of the false report drafted it to lay the groundwork for the former president's executive order, and if they did so at his direction or the direction of his campaign," Benson wrote.

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The secretary of state was previously interviewed by investigators of the Jan. 6 committee in November.

Fueled by the disinformation that the election was stolen, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2020, resulting in five deaths, some 140 law enforcement injured and $1.5 million worth of damages to the facility.

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