Rudy Giuliani Very Kindly Asked Michigan Lawmakers To Hand Their Voting Machines Over To Team Trump

Just because you’re attempting to dismantle democracy as we know it doesn’t mean you have to be rude about it. It’s a very basic tenet that, based on a new report from The Washington Post, Rudy Giuliani seems to understand. Or at least he did.

In the weeks following the 2020 presidential election (you remember, the one that Donald Trump lost?), Giuliani—the then-president’s then-pal and personal lawyer—seems to have played the role of good cop when he attempted to seize the voting machines from states and counties that didn’t vote for his guy. As WaPo reported:

Antrim County prosecutor James Rossiter said in an interview that Giuliani and several colleagues made the request during a telephone call after the county initially misreported its election results. The inaccurate tallies meant that Joe Biden appeared to have beaten Trump by 3,000 votes in a Republican stronghold, an error that soon placed Antrim at the center of false claims by Trump that the election had been stolen.

Rossiter said he declined. “I said, ‘I can’t just say: give them here.’ We don’t have that magical power to just demand things as prosecutors. You need probable cause.’ Even if he had had sufficient grounds to take the machines as evidence, Rossiter said, he could not have released them to outsiders or a party with an interest in the matter.

It was those originally misreported numbers that some people believe made Antrim County a prime target of Team Trump’s “Aww, shucks—would you mind handing over your voting machines?” appeal. According to The Post’s examination of the incident, “the call to Rossiter was also part of a behind-the-scenes intervention by Trump’s legal team in Antrim that seized on the county’s election night blunder and helped twist the mistake into supposed proof of a vast conspiracy to rig the election.” (While playing nice seemed to be the first route to seizing these machines, Politico recently reported that Trump was also cooking up an executive order that would have allowed National Guard troops to go in and take the machines on Trump’s behalf.)

While Giuliani, via his attorney, declined to answer questions about the incident, other legal scholars described the direct appeal to a local prosecutor as both “unusual” and “inappropriate.” For his part, Rossiter was just plain surprised: “I never expected in my life I’d get a call like this,” he said.

(Via The Washington Post)