GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The preliminary hearing for the Wyoming mayor, who faces several charges for allegedly trying to redirect Michigan’s 2020 electoral votes, has been pushed back.
Kent Vanderwood appeared in a Lansing courtroom via Zoom for a probable cause hearing on Friday. His preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Aug. 24, but was moved to Nov. 2.
Vanderwood agreed to waive his right to have the preliminary hearing within 21 days of his arraignment “due to the complexity of the issues at stake here, as well as the amount of discovery that’s pending,’’ Ingham County Judge Kristen Simmons said.
The mayor is among 16 people who charged with several felonies each in connection to the alleged conspiracy. They are accused of meeting in December 2020 to sign a document saying they were Michigan’s electors and directing the state’s votes to former President Donald Trump. That document was sent to the U.S. Senate and the National Archives. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office says it was an attempt to unlawfully send Michigan’s electoral votes to Trump when they actually went to President Joe Biden.
Vanderwood’s attorney said a previous statement that the allegations were “completely off base” and that the evidence would not bear them out. He said his client had “no intent to defraud anyone or any organization.” He added Vanderwood would not step down from office. The mayor himself has not commented publicly.
The judge on Friday granted Vanderwood permission to travel out of state without having to get prior approval from the court, with his attorney saying he needs to travel both for his private job and for his role as mayor. He will have to attend his preliminary hearing in person.