Two individuals with connections to former President Donald Trump have been charged with attempting to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in Michigan following the 2020 election, according to a statement released by prosecutors on Tuesday.
The charges include undue possession of a voting machine, conspiracy, conspiracy to commit undue possession of a voting machine, and false pretenses. Attorney Matthew DePerno, who was endorsed by Trump in his failed bid for Michigan attorney general, and former Republican state representative Daire Rendon were arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.
Michigan is among several states where individuals have been accused of breaching election systems while promoting Trump's baseless claims of a stolen election.
DePerno released a statement acknowledging his arraignment but firmly denying any wrongdoing. His attorney expressed confidence that his client's innocence would be proved in a court of law.
Rendon's legal representation could not be reached for comment at the time of reporting.
The charges against DePerno and Rendon are part of a broader investigation led by special prosecutor D.J. Hilson. Nine individuals in Michigan have been implicated thus far, and Hilson has suggested that there may be more indictments unrelated to the current charges.
The investigation into the alleged access and tampering continues, and further developments are expected in the coming months.
Charges Filed Against Trump and Michigan Republicans
Recent developments have brought forth charges against former President Donald Trump and several Michigan Republicans in relation to their alleged interference with the 2020 presidential election results.
Illegal Actions in Michigan
Conflict of Interest and Request for Special Prosecutor
Since Nessel ran against DePerno in 2022, her office recognized the presence of a conflict of interest. Consequently, they made a request for a special prosecutor in order to ensure an impartial investigation. As a result, the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council appointed Hill Hilson to handle the case.
Delays and Legal Clarification
Separate Investigation into 16 Republicans
In a separate investigation led by Nessel, criminal charges were filed last month against 16 Republicans accused of submitting false certificates as electors for then-President Trump in Michigan. These charges include forgery and conspiracy to commit election forgery. Notable individuals among the charged include Kathy Berden, the head of the Republican National Committee's chapter in Michigan, and Meshawn Maddock, the former co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party.
Meshawn Maddock pleaded not guilty during his arraignment last Thursday. Kathy Berden is scheduled to be arraigned on August 10th.
These recent developments underscore the ongoing efforts to uphold the integrity of elections and address any potential misconduct that may have influenced the 2020 presidential election.