Republican officials in Michigan and members of an “alternate slate” of electors intending to casts votes for President Donald Trump were barred entry to the state’s Capitol building by Michigan State Police troopers Monday evening.
Video shows about a dozen Republican officials alongside the “alternate” electors attempting to gain access to the building to reportedly vote for President Donald Trump in the Electoral College vote. Trump’s legal team has leveled several legal challenges questioning Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Monday morning, Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller said the campaign would attempt to seat “alternate” slates of electors in key states in order to preserve the president’s objections to the official vote tally.
As seen in footage from the encounter, a trooper tells the electors — later identified by The Detroit News to indeed be Republican electors — that per Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office, the electors are not permitted into the building.
When the Republicans tell the trooper they’re electors, he still bars their entry. “The electors are already here, they’ve been checked in,” he said.
“Not all the electors are inside,” the Republicans insisted.
“The Capitol is closed,” the trooper responds, noting that he was “advised” by the governor’s staff that the 16 official electors are already “here” and “sworn in.”
“The Electors are already here, they’ve been checked in.” Michigan State Police are blocking access to the Capitol, preventing the GOP Electors from getting inside #Michigan #ElectoralCollege #ElectoralCollegeVote pic.twitter.com/GzTK5gGCJ1
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) December 14, 2020
According to The Detroit News, the group of Republicans included “a handful of Trump electors” and Rep. Matt Maddock of Milford, Rep. Daire Rendon of Lake City, Rep. John Reilly of Oakland Township, Rep. Beth Griffin of Mattawan and Rep. Julie Alexander of Hanover.
President Donald Trump was aiming to contest the election results with alternate slates of Republican electors in five battleground states, including Georgia and Michigan, where, as noted by The Daily Wire, the Trump campaign has made allegations of widespread voter irregularities, but where the legal challenges thus far to official vote tallies have failed.
“As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,” White House senior aide Stephen Miller told Fox News Monday morning. “This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open.”
According to The Detroit News, Rep. Rendon said Republican electors in the state “felt that they needed to be seated today, too, due to all the irregularities in the past election.”
“There are a lot of questions that haven’t been answered, a lot of procedures that were not followed. And there was a lot of activity that appeared to be illegal,” he argued. “And as it stands, a lot of people felt we needed to send a second slate of electors until this election is actually decided.”
State Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Township, earlier Monday told a local radio host that he expected “violence” and “protests” outside the Capitol over the Electoral College vote.
“We were warned there could be violence,” he said, and “advised to stay home … but that’s not how it works in America.”
Eisen then caught heat for responding “no,” when asked by the host if he could assure no violence would break out.
The Republican was stripped of his committee assignments and did not show up at the Capitol building ahead of the Monday vote.
Eisen told reporters he regrets the “confusion” over his comments, M-Live reported.
“I want to assure everyone that those of us who are supporting an alternative slate of electors intend to do so peacefully and legally,” he clarified in a statement. “I wanted to attend today’s event to help prevent violence, not promote it.”
While the Republicans were being denied entry, Democratic electors cast 16 votes for Democrat Joe Biden, who won the state’s popular vote — still being challenged by the Trump campaign.
Following the Electoral College vote, which formalized the results of the November election and gave Biden enough votes to secure the presidency, the contest goes to Congress, where both houses will vote to certify the winner of the presidential election on January 6th.