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Michigan GOP co-chair said Trump campaign encouraged efforts to give him state's electoral votes

Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock said at a recent event that former President Donald Trump's campaign encouraged the effort by Republicans in Michigan to submit a document saying Michigan's 16 Electoral College votes should go to Trump, according to audio obtained by CBS News.

Maddock was one of 16 Republicans who signed the document in December 2020. Her comments, made at a conservative gathering last week, were first reported by CNN.

"We fought to seat the electors," Maddock said, referring to efforts after the 2020 election by her and her husband, state Representative Matt Maddock. "The Trump campaign asked us to do that. I'm under a lot of scrutiny for that today." 

Michigan was one of several battleground states to send slates of electors falsely claiming that Trump won those states. The liberal advocacy group American Oversight posted copies of those documents last year. 

Capitol Breach Statehouses
Michigan State Police officers patrol outside the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Carlos Osorio / AP

President Biden won Michigan by about 150,000 votes. Republicans filed multiple unsuccessful lawsuits after the election attempting to overturn the results.

The Republicans tried to get into the state Capitol in Lansing as Michigan's 16 Democratic electors were meeting to sign the state's Electoral College certificate. The GOP's document baselessly claimed that the state's Electoral College votes should go to Trump and asserted that the signers were the "duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President" from Michigan. 

Last week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, told MSNBC that her office had been looking into whether the 16 Republicans in Michigan who signed the document committed crimes. She said that her office believed that the matter would be "best investigated and potentially prosecuted by the feds." 

On Tuesday, she told reporters that she believes there's "absolutely" enough evidence to bring criminal charges under state law against the 16 Republicans. Nessel wouldn't say whether any of them were cooperating with her investigation, but didn't rule out state charges.

"I feel confident that we have enough evidence to charge should we decide to pursue that," Nessel said. 

Meshawn Maddock did not respond to a phone call from CBS News seeking comment. The Michigan Republican Party did not comment on the audio. A Trump spokesperson has not responded to a request for comment.

"This is nothing more than political prosecution of convenience led by Dana Nessel," Gustavo Portela, the Michigan GOP communications director, said in a statement after Nessel's comments on MSNBC. "Dana Nessel is playing political games with people's lives and livelihoods for the sake of scoring political points ahead of an election."

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