Rudy Giuliani asked the prosecutor in Antrim County, Michigan to hand over his county’s voting machines to Donald Trump’s team in the aftermath of the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The prosecutor, James Rossiter, refused.
“I said, ‘I can’t just say: give them here,’” Rossiter told the Post. “We don’t have that magical power to just demand things as prosecutors. You need probable cause.”
And even if there were grounds to seize the machines, he couldn’t hand them over to interested parties, Rossiter said.
“It’s no secret I run on the Republican ticket. But I told them, ‘It’s not about who wins or loses. It needs to be fair,’” he added
The phone call in which Giuliani made the request of Rossiter was initiated by Katherine Friess, a member of Trump’s legal team, the Post reported. Alongside Giuliani on speakerphone were ex-Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne and Trump pardon recipient and former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Ultimately, Giulani’s team did get access to the machines in Antrim County, where human error briefly skewed thousands of votes toward Biden that really belonged to Trump — creating one of the primary points of evidence that Big Liars have exploited for months afterward.
Working with William Bailey, a local plaintiff who sued the county, Giuliani’s team was able to take digital images of the Antrim County machines. (The team arrived via private plane, courtesy of Byrne, the Post noted.)
A widely-panned report based on those digital copies, released in December 2020 as part of the lawsuit, falsely claimed that Dominion voting machines were “purposefully designed” to create fraudulent results.
Though riddled with errors, the report would go far. Giuliani called it “nothing short of mind-blowing,” and it was cited in a draft executive order, never signed by Trump, directing the Defense secretary to seize voting machines nationwide. Trump also brought up the report in a conversation with top DOJ officials, and Homeland Security officials analyzed the report at then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s request, the Post reported.
Ultimately, Trump cited Antrim County in his speech to supporters before the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
The Antrim County report continued to loom large in the minds of election truthers throughout 2021 and into 2022.
The digital images from Antrim County were subsequently shared, contrary to a Michigan judge’s order, at Mike Lindell’s August 2021 “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, setting off alarm bells for election security experts, as TPM reported in September.
Bailey’s attorney, Matthew DePerno, announced his candidacy to become Michigan’s attorney general in July last year. Donald Trump endorsed him in September. Last week, DePerno’s campaign said Trump was hosting a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser for the candidate next month.