After Election, Giuliani Asked County to Hand Over Machines

Republican prosecutor in Michigan county says he rejected request from Trump lawyer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2022 6:15 PM CST
Prosecutor Says Giuliani Demanded Voting Machines
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani istens to Sidney Powell during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Newser) – Rudy Giuliani reportedly pushed back against a plan to have the military seize voting machines as Donald Trump tried to reverse his 2020 election loss—but a prosecutor in Michigan says the Trump lawyer made his own attempt to obtain one county's machines. Antrim County prosecutor James Rossiter tells the Washington Post that Giuliani and several associates asked him to turn the machines over to Trump's team because the heavily Republican county had initially—and unofficially—reported that Joe Biden beat Trump by around 3,000 votes. The county later blamed human error, saying machines hadn't been updated after a last-minute change, and confirmed that Trump had won the county by 3,000 votes. Sheryl Guy, the Republican county clerk, said she "owned" and "accepted" the error.

Rossiter, a Republican, says he "never expected in my life" that he'd get a call like the one he received from Giuliani around two weeks after the election. "I said, 'I can’t just say: give them here,'" he tells the Post. "We don't have that magical power to just demand things as prosecutors. You need probable cause." Analysts say the request to seize the machines was highly inappropriate—and as a former US attorney, Giuliani should have known better. After Rossiter didn't grant them access to the machines, the Trump team supported a lawsuit from a voter who had been given access after alleging that three votes against a marijuana retailer ordinance had been uncounted. A report produced for the lawsuit but rejected by experts claimed the Dominion machines had been "designed" to manipulate votes.

The Antrim results were repeatedly referred to by Trump and his legal team, who claimed the error was evidence of a massive conspiracy that had stolen the election for Biden, the Post reports. "In one Michigan county alone, 6,000 votes were switched from Trump to Biden and the same systems are used in the majority of states in our country," Trump said in his speech before the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Giuliani failed to show up for a scheduled deposition Tuesday for the House panel investigating the attack, CNBC reports. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel's chairman, says subpoenas will be "on the table" when the no-show is discussed at a meeting Friday. (Weeks after the riot, Dominion sued Giuliani for $1.3 billion.)

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