Michigan AG Dismisses Case Against Trump 2020 Republican Elector in Cooperation Deal

Michigan AG Dismisses Case Against Trump 2020 Republican Elector in Cooperation Deal
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at a campaign rally held by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) designed to get Michigan State University students, faculty and staff out to the polls, in East Lansing, Michigan, on Oct. 16, 2022. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office on Oct. 19 dismissed the case against one of the 16 Republican presidential electors charged in connection with the 2020 election.

The dismissal of the case against James Renner, 76, came after he agreed to “cooperate fully” with the attorney general’s investigation, his lawyer Clint Westbrook said in a statement to multiple publications.

“After conversations with the Attorney General’s office, all charges against our innocent client, Jim Renner, were dismissed,” Mr. Westbrook said.

Mr. Renner was one of 16 Republican presidential electors charged with eight felony counts of fraud and election forgery in connection with the 2020 election after they signed certificates claiming that former President Donald Trump won Michigan.

Months prior to the election, the individuals were lawfully chosen to be electors at a party convention of the Michigan GOP where they vowed to cast their Electoral College votes for President Trump if he won the state in the November elections.

All 16 of the defendants initially pleaded not guilty.

‘False Electors Scheme’

However, prosecutors claimed the 16 individuals had taken part in a “false electors scheme” in which they “covertly” met in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on Dec. 14, 2020, following the outcome of the 2020 elections and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the “duly elected and qualified electors.”

“These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan,” Ms. Nessel, a Democrat, said when announcing the charges against the group of 16 in July.

The group did not have the legal authority to act as “duly elected presidential electors,” and their actions “undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections,” according to prosecutors.

As part of his deal to cooperate with prosecutors, Mr. Renner has agreed to provide “truthful testimony” at any hearings or trials related to the case and produce “any and all relevant documents” to the attorney general’s office.

Plea Deal Terms

This includes information regarding the Dec. 14, 2020 meeting.

If Mr. Renner at any point provides “misleading testimony or information, recants his testimony at a later date, or fails to testify when called upon to do so,” he will be subject to full prosecution, including perjury and obstruction of justice, the plea deal notes.

“Should James Robbins Renner fail to cooperate, i.e., if he should knowingly lie about or omit telling about his participation or that of persons known to him to be present before, during, or after the December 14, 2020 meeting of the Michigan False Slate of Electors, or if he should lie about his participation or extent, the Michigan Department of Attorney General can unilaterally cancel this agreement,” the plea deal states.

The deal was signed and dated Oct. 10.

The remaining 15 defendants in the case include a Republican National Committee member, a mayor, the wife of a GOP member of the Michigan House of Representatives, and current and former state Republican officials. All have pleaded not guilty.

Prior to dropping the charges against Mr. Renner, Ms. Nessel told a liberal group during a virtual event in September that the Republican electors had been “brainwashed” and “genuinely” believed President Trump won in Michigan.

The Epoch Times has contacted Ms. Nessel’s office for further comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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