A Northern Michigan judge has allowed Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to block the results of a forensic audit of Dominion machines in Antrim County, where thousands of votes for President Trump were flipped to Joe Biden.
Chief Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer last week issued an order granting a local man, William Baily, permission for a forensic examination of the county’s 22 Dominion tabulators.
Bailey filed a complaint on Nov. 23, arguing that there was election fraud in the Republican-leaning Antrim County, along with a violation of the “purity of election clause.”
A team of seven forensic investigators associated with Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG) examined the voting machines for about eight hours on Dec. 6.
According to podcaster Steve Gruber of Real America’s Voice, “Judge Elsenheimer allowed the ASOG team of seven to capture images of the hard drives, thumb drives, and master thumb drives from the 22 townships in Antrim County.”
Gruber claimed on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” broadcast on Monday that the forensics team reported that the master thumb drive was missing but was later found in an unattended, “unsecured drawer.”
He said it is the first time anyone has done a “deep dive” into the machines. Gruber also said that on the day after Thanksgiving, “three townships found open ports in the machines.”
They were supposed to be able to release their results within 48 hours.
Because Dominion systems were used in 47 out of 83 counties, hard evidence that Dominion Systems were used to flip votes from Trump to Biden would be grounds to decertify the State of Michigan election results.
In his Dec. 4 court order allowing the forensic examination, Elsenheimer included a restriction on the “use, distribution or manipulation of the forensic images and/or other information gleaned from the forensic investigation” without court permission.
Nessell’s office said Elsenheimer’s order did not go far enough.
“We’d like to know more about what was obtained, what the intent is for the use of the images obtained,” said Assistant Attorney General Heather Meingast, noting “the disclosure of some elements of the tabulators could compromise their security in future elections.”
Elsenheimer, a Republican former lawmaker and member of former Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration, granted Meingast’s request to intervene in the case, but warned he would proceed in haste.
“I intend to move this matter quickly, aggressively,” Elsenheimer said.
Matthew DePerno, a lawyer for Bailey, argued that Benson shouldn’t be allowed to intervene because she should not have direct involvement in local elections.
A state Court of Claims judge dismissed a case against Benson earlier this month on those very grounds, DePerno pointed out.
“The court concluded there was no relief to be granted because elections are local and run by local officials,” he said.
DePerno said the investigation is ongoing and data are being reviewed. But based on what had been reviewed so far, Bailey would move to decertify the Antrim County certification and push the issue to the GOP-led Legislature.
“We think there are serious issues, and we’re preparing right now a motion to seek relief from the court from the protective order,” DePerno said.
In his lawsuit, Bailey said he was one of the first people to notice a vote reporting error in Antrim County that put Biden thousands of votes ahead of Trump in the Republican-leaning county.
Bailey alerted a local election official and the votes were pulled down to fix the error. Trump later was shown to have a more than 5,000 vote lead in a county where about 16,000 votes were cast.
In his initial complaint, Bailey alleged that the Antrim County presidential election “lacked all accuracy and integrity.” But Elsenheimer in last week’s order focused on a proposed marijuana retailer ordinance in the Village of Central Lake, where a 262-262 tie was overturned by one vote after a Nov. 6 retabulation.
Three ballots were alleged to have been damaged, then reproduced to allow for retabulation. Bailey argued those ballots don’t show up in the final count.
According to multiple news reports, the snafu in Antrim County was the the result of human error.
“The issue with Antrim County’s presidential results occurred after county Clerk Sheryl Guy failed to update Election Source software on all tabulators after performing an update to two of them,” the Detroit News reported. “The failure caused the machines to transpose results as they were sent to the county’s main software.”
Guy, however, reportedly told DePerno in the days after the election that there was “no way for human error to occur with what she did with the voting machines, Dominion software or the results of the election.”
She allegedly changed her story due to “tremendous pressure from others in the county and at the state level as well.”
Patrick Colbeck, an election challenger from Wayne County who has testified before the state legislature, told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs that Judge Elsenheimer’s order allowing Nessel and Benson to prohibit the disclosure of the forensic results was like “the cardboard up on the window” at the TCF Center in Detroit.
“All of these people who are saying there was no election fraud are going deliberately out of their way to, filing court orders to prevent the dissemination of evidence of election fraud,” he said.