According to the Michigan GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell, who said he spoke days ago with Norman Shinkle, one of the two GOP board members, told Shinkle last week that he would vote against certifying the election result until an investigation is completed to push a delay, even if there is no evidence of fraud or error that would require such a step.
“You can’t decide until you get all the facts,” he told the Times.
Shinkle has not returned CNN’s requests for comment.
Depending on how Aaron Van Langevelde, the other GOP member of the board, casts his vote, Mitchell told CNN that either members of the Trump team end up delaying the certification of election results, or that they have something they can point to as evidence of injustice. , although this is not the case. Van Langevelde̵
“It’s a win-win” for the Trump team, Mitchell said, as it will either be able to delay the inevitable presidential Joe Biden transition process or have more ammunition to erroneously claim that Trump won the election.
“State electoral law does not prescribe any process or ability to conduct such an ‘investigation,'” Mitchell told CNN.
Shinkle has previously said he is considering voting to delay the process; his wife Mary filed a statement about the since-falling Trump campaign search that tried to block the certification.
“President Donald Trump should accept these facts and let the rest of the county move on,” they wrote.
Michigan House spokesman Lee Chatfield, a Republican, said Sunday that if both board members control a 2-2 draw, it could lead to the process becoming chaotic with the issue possibly tied up in court. He added that there is a potential on the way for the state of Michigan to face a constitutional crisis.
“If there were to be a 2-2 split in the State Canvases Board, it would then go to the Michigan Supreme Court to decide what their response would be, what their order would be,” Chatfield told Fox News.
“If they did not have an order for it to be certified, we now have a constitutional crisis in the state of Michigan. It has never happened before,” Chatfield said.
If the board voted against certification of the results, the case would go to the state appellate court, and then the state supreme court, which is expected to require the board to certify the results – as written in state law. The governor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, could also replace any of the board members.
Although Chatfield reiterated that the role of the Board of State Canvases is to “certify the election of the one who won the popular vote,” he acknowledged in the interview what could happen if the process went wrong.
If the certification could not be handled by the courts, Chatfield said it would then go to the state legislature, where Republican members could try to nominate voters to vote for Trump instead of appointing those who honor the popular vote.
“It’s a place I really do not want to be,” he said.
Chatfield, who met with Trump in the White House on Friday, said he supported a revision of the election results in Wayne County – the state’s largest that includes Detroit – to investigate why there are some discrepancies in the vote count and that the state’s legislature authority is also investigating how the election was conducted.
Out of more than 878,000 votes cast in Wayne County, there was a discrepancy between approx. 450 votes, officials there have said.
The state Republican Party and the Republican National Committee sent a letter Saturday to board members asking them to postpone the certification for 14 days and wait for a review of Wayne County election results. An audit cannot take place in Michigan until votes are certified.
Nor have there been any allegations of widespread fraud in the state that have so far held up in court.
“We have made our own reviews of these reports of fraud, and the reports of irregularities, and I think these need to be investigated,” Chatfield told Fox News.
“I think it’s very clear that the people of Michigan have spoken. There has been no legal or factual basis for any way of questioning the choice they have made.”
She added, “Just as we expected any county certification, we expect the state board of directors to do the same, and everyone in a position of authority to follow the law as to the will of the electorate.”
In response to whether Trump put pressure on him and his colleagues at their meeting, Chatfield told Fox: “There was this scandal that the president would ask us to break the law, he would ask us to interfere, and that just simply did not happen. “
Following the White House meeting, Chatfield and State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said in a joint statement: “We have not yet been made aware of any information that could change the outcome of the election, and as legislators we will follow the law and follow the normal process with regard to Michigan voters, just as we have said during this election. “
Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton broke up with the majority of congressional Republicans to say “it’s over” during a Sunday interview with CNN’s Dana Bash.
On “Inside Politics,” he said there was no evidence of fraud, the margin was “not razor thin,” and the state certification process should go on to “let voters, not politicians, speak.”
He also called Biden “the president-elect” and warned that the longer this is delayed, the more it prevents “seeing a peaceful transition.”
CNN’s Daniel Shepherd contributed to this report.