Michigan County Sheriff coordinated with Trump advisers to try to seize voting machines

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A Michigan County sheriff with ties to far-right militias has sought to seize Dominion voting machines in cooperation with Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

In e-mail messages obtained by Michigan Bridge Through the Freedom of Information Act, Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf attempted late last year to enlist other county sheriffs in an illegal and unsuccessful attempt to “investigate all acts of electoral fraud ”by seizing and inspecting voting machines manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems of Denver, Colorado.

Sheriff Dar Leaf [Source: Michigan’s Sherrif Association]

Michigan Bridge said the “email finds” indicates that “Trump had at least some support from law enforcement in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election won by Democratic President Joe Biden.” Among Trump’s high-level contacts involved in Leaf’s communications were a liaison for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and White House attorney Sidney Powell, who was leading bogus legal files alleging a electoral fraud by Democrats across the country.

The messages show that Dar Leaf has retained the services of Ann Arbor’s attorney, Carson Tucker, who in turn sent requests to Trump’s advisers asking for information that would justify the seizure of the voting machines. In a December 15 email to Carissa Keshel of the Fight Back Foundation, a nonprofit organization chaired by fascist lawyer L. Lin Wood, Tucker requested information on “potentially compromised counties” in the election. November 3.

In his request, Tucker claimed that the sheriffs of St. Joseph, Shiawassee, Lake and Jackson counties were “expressing interest” in the effort with Leaf. Tucker wrote: “My client Barry County Sheriff and several other Michigan County Sheriffs would like to consider issuing probable cause warrants to sequester Dominion voting machines if there is evidence of tampering.

In her response to Tucker on December 15, Keshel provided a document that she said came from Michael Flynn. Flynn, who has twice pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators during the FBI investigation into Russia, was pardoned by Trump after the 2020 election.

Keshel was referring to a report of electoral fraud in County Antrim, Michigan, writing: “Hello Carson and Dar, General Flynn wanted you to see the analysis of Antrim Forensics, and we believe all 48 counties are affected in the same way. I am in contact with the team so that we can coordinate our next steps with these Dominion machines.

Michigan Bridge also reported: “In an earlier November 20 email to Powell – who then filed unsuccessful lawsuits to overturn Trump’s losses in Michigan and other swing states – Carson Tucker claimed Leaf had already seized machinery to vote and ballots in Barry County. But that did not happen, according to local election officials and Leaf, who said Bridge he couldn’t remember why his lawyer had told Powell that was the case.

When Michigan Bridge contacted Leaf about the emails, he claimed he was working with other Michigan sheriffs on an “ongoing” case but would not discuss any details other than saying, “It’s our job to do. investigate all acts of electoral fraud. ” However, of the four sheriffs mentioned in Tucker’s letter, only Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin confirmed that Leaf spoke to him and told him Bridge that he never accepted the effort, saying he “didn’t want to be part of it.”

Martin also said Bridge that Leaf “does his thing a bit” and “I’m friends with him , so he usually calls me first for some of these things, but i have nothing to do with it.

Leaf belongs to a group of self-proclaimed “constitutional sheriffs” linked to far-right and fascist politics, including racist and xenophobic sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., Who was convicted of criminal contempt and then pardoned by Donald Trump. in August 2017. Members of the group argue that they are the highest level of government authority and have the power to disregard laws they deem unconstitutional.

In his comments to Bridge, Leaf said it was important that elected county law enforcement officials “exercise their authority” so that it is not “watered down.” He added: “It’s just about exploiting it and getting the sheriff’s office back on track and where it’s supposed to be.”

As Tucker’s letter to Keshel explained: “Constitutional sheriffs have a legal duty and duty to flush out criminal activity in the county on behalf of the citizens. And these are the main law enforcement officials.

The County Antrim “forensic audit report” that Keshel provided to Tucker and claimed to be from Flynn was prepared by a pro-Trump group called Allied Security Operations. The report claimed that the Dominion’s voting machines had a 68% error rate and were “intentionally and deliberately designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.”

The findings were widely denounced by various independent sources, including former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber ​​and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs, who said at a Senate hearing in December that the report was “factually inaccurate”.

David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, described Leaf’s attempt to seize the voting machines with the support of Tucker and other members of the Trump camp as worthy of a “banana republic” and of a “phony dictator thing”. Becker also said: “Every person knew the rules of the election before the election, and trying to seize the voting machines in violation of federal law shows a fundamental disrespect for the rule of law.”

A profile of Dar Leaf has been posted here on the World Socialist Website last October, which reviews its close ties to right-wing and fascist organizations, including members of militias that plotted to kidnap and assassinate Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last fall. In an interview with Fox17 in Grand Rapids, when Leaf was asked about the kidnapping plot, he said: “A lot of people are mad at the governor and they want her arrested.”

These new documents detail the coordination between Trump’s White House officials, Republican Party leaders and fascist Michigan individuals to overthrow the 2020 presidential election and show a widespread and continuing conspiracy against the U.S. Constitution. Culminating in the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6, claims of a stolen election continue, as Democrats do nothing to hold the Trump conspirator to account.


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