"Disgrace": Protesters urge Michigan lawmakers to substantiate voting for Biden as he meets Trump within the White Home
This Monday, May 18, 2020, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, holds a copy of the Constitution in hand as he speaks in pink during the American Patriot Rally Sheriffs Speak Out event Parks Circle in downtown Grand Talks Rapids to Me.
Cory Morse | The Grand Rapids Press | AP
The Michigan Senate Republican Majority Leader and other state lawmakers were greeted by protest signs reading "SHAME" and chants "Certify the Vote" as he met with President Donald Trump on Friday.
According to a report by NBC News, Trump is likely to rely on them to undo President-elect Joe Biden's victory in that state.
Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and the others faced about 20 protesters ahead of their meeting at the White House after arriving at Reagan International Airport just outside Washington.
Trump's invitation to Michigan's lawmakers to invalidate the president's referendum is believed to be unprecedented.
"It's hard to imagine that a sitting American president would act worse and more undemocratic," said US Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah. Romney was the 2012 GOP nominee for President; his late father, George Romney, had been the governor of Michigan.
A Republican leader from Michigan who was close to both Shirkey and State House Speaker Lee Chatfield, who was also invited by Trump to the meeting, told NBC News that both men expect the president to pressurize them to try to undo Biden's victory in their state.
But the leader also said that while the men want to tell Trump that they will pursue his expected allegations of irregularities and fraud in the Detroit polls, the men are complying with Michigan law and the state’s awaited confirmation of the results that a victory for biden show will not be undone.
"I'm sure the president will try to convince them," the chairman told NBC News. He was referring to both the electoral revocation and the fact that the legislature, unlike Biden, appoints its own voters to the electoral college voters.
But "I find it hard to believe" that they will comply with this request, said the guide.
Michigan law prohibits lawmakers from appointing their own voters who differ from the list of voters of the presidential candidate who won the state's referendum.
"Legally, they do not believe that they actually have legal options. In Michigan, this cannot legally be done. They will tell the president that," said the chairman.
Michigan has 16 votes in Electoral College and is one of several states that Trump narrowly won during his 2016 race against Hillary Clinton. But the incumbent Republican lost the state to Biden that year. Nationally, Biden is expected to win 306 votes, 36 more than he needs to secure the presidency.
Trump refused to allow the post-Biden election and allow federal officials to initiate a process that would allow the Democrat to begin a transition to the next administration.
Trump and his campaign legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have repeatedly claimed without evidence that the president was betrayed by a victory in the national elections, and in Michigan in particular, by widespread fraud. They have also falsely claimed that Trump actually won the election.
But the campaign and its allies have lost or withdrawn most of their lawsuits in which such claims were made, or otherwise attempted to contest ballots in multiple states.
On Thursday, the Trump campaign abruptly dropped a federal lawsuit that sought to block certification of votes in Wayne County, Michigan, including Detroit.
Giuliani and other campaign lawyers falsely claimed the lawsuit was dropped because the campaign got what it wanted: a refusal by Wayne County election officials to certify votes there.
In fact, the County Elections Board voted to confirm the results. But two GOP board members who originally spoke out against certification to vote to confirm the results after an outcry that their objections were unfounded, now say they want to withdraw their confirmatory votes.
Media reported that the advertisers were contacted directly by Trump on Tuesday evening.
One of them, Monica Palmer, told NBC News that she and Trump had not discussed their decision to have their vote "or something similar" suspended.
"My conversation with the president was about threats from the public and my safety – not about having my vote lifted," Palmer told NBC.
Michigan's Foreign Minister has stated that there is no legal way for GOP members to withdraw the votes they have cast.
In any case, state officials and lawyers say that even if the Wayne County Board had not certified votes there, the ballots would have been certified by a state board.
The Michigan lawsuit by the campaign was dropped a day after two women in Michigan who had a similar federal lawsuit related to the Detroit ballots withdrew their own cases. Her attorneys told CNBC that the women dropped their case because it covered many of the same subjects as the Trump campaign suit, which they had incorrectly expected to continue in court.
Within hours of the Michigan case being dropped in the campaign, the campaign lost a Pennsylvania court case related to the counting of ballots in a county, saw the Arizona Republican Party lost a vote challenge in Maricopa County, and saw an attorney in Georgia dismissed by a federal judge on motion to prevent the state from confirming his vote.
All four states were won by Biden according to current forecasts.
A recount of Georgia's results confirmed Biden's victory. The Trump campaign has requested a recount of the results in two Wisconsin counties that had given Biden far more than his profit margin in that state.