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Michigan AG accuses rival of voting machine 'conspiracy', seeks outside prosecutor

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel considers indictment against a group of high-profile individuals allegedly involved in a "conspiracy" to illegally gain access to voting machines We are seeking an external prosecutorto It will be used in the 2020 presidential election.

Among the defendants is Matt DePerno, Nessel's presumptive Republican candidate. Nessel claims he is "one of his major agitators," but he steadfastly denies any wrongdoing.

In February, her Secretary of State of Michigan, Jocelyn Benson,made a request to the Attorney General's Office, stating that state police said that an "unnamed third party" had access to a tallying machine and data from her. We've investigated reports of accessing the drive.

Her nine currently under scrutiny include her DePerno, a likely Republican Attorney General candidate. Republican Congressman Daire Rendon of Lake City. In a matter unrelated to the Attorney General's current request, Barry County Sheriff Darleaf has filed multiple lawsuits against state agencies he claims are investigating allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election. I was.

Nessel's petition to the special counsel, filed Friday, said nine of his individuals, including DePerno, had persuaded the local clerk in the state to replace his five counts. alleged to have attempted to extradite It was then penetrated and a "test" was performed "on the equipment".

The petition further alleges that DePerno "was in a hotel room during such a 'test.'"

In a statement Sunday night, DePerno's campaign "strongly denies the allegations made. The petition itself is a utterly incoherent and false dream of liberal zealots."

DePerno's campaign stated, "If Dana Nessel decides to pursue these allegations, she will have a final say." Typically, you will find yourself on the defense side of a malicious prosecution case," he added. In this March 5, 2020 file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at a press conference in Lansing, Michigan. In this April 2, 2022 file photo of her, Republican candidate for Michigan Attorney General Matt DePerno speaks in her Washington, Michigan township.

David Eggert/AP, FILE | Junfu Han/USA Today Network, FILE

According to Nessel's petition, Rep. Rendon also told Roscommon County Clerk Michelle Stevenson, "The representative was conducting an election fraud investigation and needed her voting machine.

Stevenson eventually surrendered the tabulator and several USB drives, the petition states. When asked by another person allegedly associated with Rendon to surrender a computer containing the county's election reporting software, the clerk at first refused the request, but later claimed that the individual "

As the weeks went on and Stevenson became "more anxious" about where his equipment was, Rendon told her, "She was doing the right thing and they had her back, so don't worry about the tallyers," the petition alleges. Stevenson's name is said to have "never come out."

According to the petition, Irving's township clerk, Sharon Olson, also said she had been asked by Sheriff's Leaf Sheriff to "cooperate with investigators regarding an election fraud investigation." . After that conversation, Olson handed over the tallying machine to a third party.

In a tweet on Sunday, Secretary of State Benson wrote.

Benson continued, "This state's election workers have worked with professionalism and integrity to deter bad actors from applying pressure to their advantage. We continue to ensure that we fully understand the legal protections put in place to access our secure electoral system.”

Endorsed by former President Donald Trump Deperno, who is currently in office, is likely to run against Democrat Nessel in November's election.

Barr and Leaf did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.