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Michigan connections highlighted in Trump, Giuliani indictments

Thousands of former President Donald Trump's supporters attend a rally in Washington Township, Michigan
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Thousands of former President Donald Trump's supporters attend a rally in Washington Township, Michigan

Former President Donald Trump’s Georgia indictment for racketeering charges is highlighting Michigan’s role in the alleged plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

That includes former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis’ appearance before the Michigan House Oversight Committee in December 2020.

In the indictment, Georgia prosecutors accuse Giuliani of lying about fraud and asking lawmakers to illegally appoint presidential electors.

Giuliani’s comments seemed to support the often criticized independent legislature theory, a form of which was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.

“You are the final arbiter of how honest or not your election is in your state. And it's your responsibility to stand up to that,” Giuliani told the committee in 2020.

President Joe Biden won Michigan by over 150,000 votes. Republican-led investigations and several dozen audits have confirmed that result.

The Georgia indictment claims Giuliani and Ellis’ testimony advanced the alleged conspiracy to overturn the election results by making "false statements" to the committee and encouraging Michigan lawmakers to illegally refuse to certify Joe Biden's victory.

But, as Giuliani pointed out during that 2020 meeting, neither he nor Ellis were under oath. That means he's unlikely to face legal trouble here in Michigan over his statements.

“It’s my understanding that I’m here on my capacity as an attorney, not as a witness. Unless you want to question me as a witness, that’s a different matter. But also, I’m an attorney for the president. Ethically, I don’t know what that would mean if you turn me into a witness,” Giuliani said at the beginning of his testimony after a Democratic-led attempt to put him under oath failed.

Outside of the December appearance, the indictment papers name a lawsuit, phone calls, and meetings between Trump and then-Michigan legislative leadership as other acts furthering the alleged conspiracy.