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Top legislator opposed to ‘mutually assured destruction’ by overturning election for Trump

Michigan House speaker lacks support for changing the state’s slate of electors
Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield
Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 12:36 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield said he’s disappointed that President Donald Trump didn’t win a second term, but he won’t allow the Legislature to overturn the state’s results.

Democrat Joe Biden beat Trump by about 154,000 votes in Michigan, but the Trump campaign has launched a legal battle with several lawsuits seeking to change the results.

Chatfield, a Republican from Levering, said he supports the Trump campaign’s rights to challenge the results by any means legally available. The Legislature also continues investigating concerns about irregularities with the Nov. 3 election and he believes reform measures will be necessary next year.

“We’ve diligently examined these reports of fraud to the best of our ability,” Chatfield wrote in a statement released around noon Monday, hours before the Electoral College will meet at the Michigan Capitol to award the state’s 16 electoral votes to Biden.

“If there’s fraud, it needs to be found. Anyone who broke our laws need to be prosecuted,” he wrote. “Election integrity makes our country unique. The people of America, whether they win or lose, have peace of mind knowing that the people spoke, the law was followed and that our institutions carry on in accordance with our Constitution.”

But Chatfield pointed out that the Michigan Legislature long ago decided that the winner of the state’s popular vote gets the state’s electoral votes and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a fundamental right, which can’t be changed later.

He said the Republican-led Legislature lacks support for casting a new slate of electors and giving Michigan’s electoral voters to Trump.

“I can’t fathom risking our norms, traditions and institutions to pass a resolution retroactively changing the electors for Trump, simply because some think there may have been enough widespread fraud to give him the win. That’s unprecedented for good reason,” Chatfield said.

He said changing the election results now would result in “mutually assured destruction for every future election,” which he will not support.

“I know this isn’t the outcome some want. It isn’t what I want, either,” Chatfield said. “But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I intend to.”

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