LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A special prosecutor investigating whether the Republican candidate for Michigan attorney general and others should be charged for attempting to gain access to voting machines said Friday that no decision will be made before Tuesday’s election.
Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson said in a statement that his office has been meeting with state police to review the investigation and facts of the case.
“Obtaining a complete picture of the facts and circumstances of the investigation is essential prior to determining the next step in this process,” Hilson said. “Given the complexities of this investigation, the time it takes to obtain and evaluate certain pieces of evidence is beyond our control.”
In August, the office of Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel asked the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council, a state agency, to consider charges against nine people, including Matthew DePerno, her opponent in the Nov. 8 election.
Nessel’s office cited a potential conflict of interest because of the upcoming election. Hilson, a Democrat, was assigned to handle the case in early September.
Allegations made public in August named DePerno as one of the “prime instigators” of a plan to get improper access to voting machines and use them to dispute the 2020 presidential outcome.
According to documents released by Nessel’s office, five vote tabulators were taken from Roscommon and Missaukee counties in northern Michigan, and Barry County in western Michigan. Investigators found others in the group broke into the tabulators and performed “tests” on the equipment.
“It was determined during the investigation that DePerno was present at a hotel room during such ‘testing,’” a petition to the prosecutors’ council said.
Obtaining undue possession of a voting machine used in an election is a felony punishable by five years in prison.
DePerno, a Kalamazoo attorney, has accused Nessel of “weaponizing her office using your tax dollars to harass and persecute her political opponents.”