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Michigan AG seeks special prosecutor to investigate GOP challenger for election 'conspiracy'

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office has filed a petition requesting a special prosecutor to investigate nine people, including her presumptive GOP challenger this November, for election "conspiracy" for accessing voting machines from the 2020 general election. Photo courtesy of Michigan.gov.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office has filed a petition requesting a special prosecutor to investigate nine people, including her presumptive GOP challenger this November, for election "conspiracy" for accessing voting machines from the 2020 general election. Photo courtesy of Michigan.gov.

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office has requested a special prosecutor to pursue possible criminal charges against nine people, including her presumptive Trump-backed challenger this November, for allegedly accessing voting machines used in the 2020 general election.

Nessel petitioned Michigan's Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council Friday to investigate the alleged "conspiracy" and to avoid a conflict of interest since Matthew DePerno, one of the nine people named, is "now the presumptive Republican nominee for Attorney General." The petition alleges DePerno "was one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy."

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DePerno's campaign manager Tyson Shepard blasted the petition Sunday saying "Dana Nessel has a history of targeting and persecuting her political enemies."

"Dana Nessel knows she is losing this race," Shepard said in a tweet. "She is desperate to win this election at all costs and is now targeting DePerno, her political opponent. Her actions are unethical and will further demonstrate to the voters that she is unfit for office."

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The petition alleges DePerno and eight others, including state Rep. Daire Rendon and Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, took five voting machines to hotels or Airbnbs where they "performed 'tests' on the equipment." The petition also alleges the group printed "fake ballots to run through the tabulators."

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Nessel's office also sent a letter Friday to Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson detailing the accusations that tabulators were taken from local clerks for weeks at a time with evidence of "extensive physical tampering" on one machine.

"Election clerks should be notified that they should always request to see identification from any individual purporting to be a law enforcement officer and seeking to inspect or seize election equipment," the letter said.

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Nessel's allegations could prompt criminal charges and alter the race for Michigan's attorney general. Nessel's office has also filed requests for an investigation with the Attorney Grievance Commission which investigates claims of misconduct against lawyers.

DePerno denied Nessel's claims Monday in a radio interview on Michigan's Big Show. "We did nothing illegal," DePerno told host Michael Patrick Shiels saying Nessel is trying to attack him by "weaponizing her office."

"She's trying to damage me," said DePerno who claimed he had "nothing to do with any hotel rooms or any Airbnbs."

RELATED Michigan Senate rejects Donald Trump's claim that election was stolen

"It's all nonsense. It'll all be proven false," he said.

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