Judge Approves Discovery Motion in High-Profile Michigan Election Case

Judge Approves Discovery Motion in High-Profile Michigan Election Case
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks in Detroit on Aug. 18, 2020. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
Zachary Stieber

A judge in Michigan on Monday approved a motion for discovery, ordering Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office to give information to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit.

Judge Kevin Elsenheimer with the 13th Circuit Court in addition to ruling that the state can release the names of forensic investigators, granted a motion from the plaintiff that seeks information from the office of Benson, a Democrat.

Matthew DePerno, who is representing plaintiff William Bailey in Bailey v. Antrim County, asked Elsenheimer to order Benson to produce correspondence between her and county election officials, the state Legislature, and Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.

Elsenheimer approved the motion, with a deadline of Feb. 1, the Traverse City Record Eagle reported.

“They fought us on every one of these requests they didn’t want to turn over any documents or information to us. And they now have to turn over a substantial amount of documentation regarding the election,” DePerno told The Epoch Times on Tuesday. “They essentially have to disclose to us how they ran the elections in 2020.”

The only limitation is that Bailey agreed to remove the phrase “state of Michigan” from each request because Benson argued they don’t control all aspects of the “state of Michigan.”

Benson’s press secretary declined to comment, citing the pending litigation. A spokesperson for Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office told The Epoch Times via email, “We were satisfied with the Court’s resolution of the disputed issues, as he narrowed the plaintiff’s overbroad requests.”

According to court filings obtained by The Epoch Times, Benson’s office will have to produce communications, correspondences, and documents regarding training conducted in Antrim County for the 2020 election, and the same regarding Michigan’s voting system contract terms. The office must also produce documents from exchanges between it and state lawmakers, county officials, and Dominion Voting Systems, among others.

The case was brought after the November 2020 election. Bailey, an Antrim County voter, noted that the county initially said Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won the most votes, but later reported that President Donald Trump actually did. Officials claimed what happened was due to a human error, but a forensic audit of voting machines and software concluded the system was designed to lead to election fraud and argued the results in the county shouldn’t have been certified.
The Jan. 11 ruling against Benson was only possible because her office intervened in the case last month. It has since taken the lead in the defense.

“Remember Secretary of State Benson got into this case. She brought herself in, we didn’t ask her to come in. She intervened in this case and she intervened because she wanted to stop the release of a [forensic] report. That failed. Now she’s in the case. She’s a party defendant. And she didn’t want to produce documents,” DePerno told The Epoch Times. “The judge rightly saw through those objections and granted our motion to require that she produces the documentation to us. That was the real important part of the hearing.”