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Gabrielle M. Etzel, Healthcare Reporter


NextImg:Michigan AG Dana Nessel drops 'fake elector' case against one of 16 defendants

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) dropped all charges against one of the state's so-called "fake electors" accused of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election in favor of reelecting former President Donald Trump.

Jim Renner, 76, faced eight felony charges, including forgery and conspiracy to publish a false statement, for meeting in secret on Dec. 14, 2020, and signing multiple Electoral College certificates saying he and his 15 colleagues were duly elected to represent Michigan in the official proceedings for the presidential election.

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Prosecutors agreed to drop the case against Renner for his "complete and truthful testimony whenever called upon." Officials said they hope this will require Renner to describe the events of Dec. 14 in greater detail, as the deal will be void if Renner does not cooperate.

Renner maintains that the group of 16 was "led to believe" they needed to sign the Electoral College documents because the Republican-dominated legislatures of Michigan could have had the opportunity to overturn the election results for Joe Biden. Renner also told prosecutors that he was under the impression that Trump may have had the ability to win the election when he signed the official documents.

In July, co-defendant Michele Lundgren, 73, said publicly that she was "duped" by a former lawyer for Trump. “I was an innocent little bystander in this whole thing, thinking I was doing my civic duty,” Lundgren said.

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Renner's attorney, Clint Westbrook, said he was pleased by the outcome of the deal, repeating that his client was "innocent."

Nessel was the first state attorney general in July to charge defendants for their involvement in the so-called "fake elector scheme. Trump lost Michigan by a margin of 154,000 votes.