Michigan Sheriff Sues Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Police Amid Election Investigation

Michigan Sheriff Sues Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Police Amid Election Investigation
An elections worker is seen in a November 2020 file photo. (Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

The sheriff of Barry County announced he is filing a lawsuit against Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan State Police, troopers, and others and accused them of obstructing his investigation into allegations of election fraud.

The lawsuit, filed by lawyer Stefanie Lambert on behalf of Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, alleged that the defendants interfered with his investigation into claims of election fraud during the 2020 general election.

In the filing, Leaf said he is conducting an investigation into the 2020 election and that his deputies are being allegedly intimidated by Michigan State Police officials. At least one Barry County Sheriff’s deputy was subpoenaed by Michigan officials in connection to the investigation, according to the suit.

“On information and belief, at approximately the same time, [’they'] presented an ultimatum to said Deputy and subpoenaed him to sit for an interview and/or give testimony related to his work on the investigation by and on behalf of the Plaintiff Sheriff, including requiring said Deputy to disclose details and information regarding the law enforcement investigation, all of which was and is protected by the law enforcement privileges, confidentiality, protections, and investigatory privileges,” he said.

The subpoena and attempts to contact other deputies are an attempt to “intimidate them, interview them, confiscate protected materials and information in their possession related to the ongoing election investigation being conducted by plaintiff sheriff,” Leaf’s lawsuit also said (pdf).

The lawsuit seeks a court order to prevent state authorities from “usurping and interfering” with his office’s investigation and alleges the Michigan State Police have been weaponized as an “unaccountable strong arm” of Michigan state officials.

Unnamed law enforcement officials told The Detroit News that Leaf and Lambert, a lawyer who was reportedly involved in Sidney Powell’s election-related lawsuits, are both subjects of an ongoing investigation.

State Police spokesperson Shannon Banner told The Epoch Times that the “Michigan State Police has an ongoing criminal investigation” regarding an incident that started in another Michigan county. “Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, we are not providing further comment,” Banner added.

Local officials in Barry County, including Hastings Supervisor Jim Brown, recently complained that Leaf is “wasting our taxpayers’ money” on the election investigation, according to Bridge Michigan. “We suggest you and your office concentrate on the law enforcement duties that our taxpayers elected you to do,” Brown, a Republican, told Leaf in a letter after the sheriff requested township records relating to the 2020 election.

Leaf had filed a lawsuit just weeks after the 2020 election, which was shot down by a federal judge in December of that year. The sheriff eventually withdrew the lawsuit entirely.

“Plaintiffs’ applications invite the court to make speculative leaps towards a hazy and nebulous inference that there has been numerous instances of election fraud and that defendants are destroying the evidence,” Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonke wrote in a three-page ruling on Dec. 7, 2020, dismissing Leaf’s challenge.

The Epoch Times has contacted Nessel’s office for comment. Neither Nessel’s office nor Benson’s offices have issued public comments on the recent lawsuit.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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