Politics

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other aides asked GOP prosecutor to give them Michigan county voting machines after 2020 election, report says

Key Points
  • Rudy Giuliani and other legal advisors to then-President Donald Trump had asked a Michigan prosecutor to give voting machines to Trump's team in the wake of his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported.
  • Antrim County prosecutor James Rossiter told the Post that the request from Giuliani and his colleagues came after the county had misreported its initial election results.
  • The Post's report came after Giuliani was scheduled to sit for a deposition as part of the House select committee's investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks to media about the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan outside his apartment building in New York, August 20, 2021.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Rudy Giuliani and other legal advisors to then-President Donald Trump asked a Republican prosecutor in Michigan to give his county's voting machines to Trump's team in the wake of his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

James Rossiter, the prosecuting attorney for Antrim County in northern Michigan, told the Post that the request from Giuliani and his colleagues came during a phone call after the county had misreported its initial election results in favor of Joe Biden.

"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," Rossiter said he told Trump's legal aides, the Post reported.

Rossiter said he could not have handed the machines over to Trump's team even if he had grounds to seize them as evidence, due to Trump's clear interest in the matter.

CNBC's request for comment from Rossiter's office was not immediately returned. A lawyer for Giuliani did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

The call came around Nov. 20, 2020, nearly two weeks after news outlets projected Biden had defeated Trump in the presidential election, Rossiter said.

Trump had falsely claimed that the election was stolen from him through widespread fraud. Trump's legal team and other allies had filed dozens of lawsuits in key states Biden won, attempting to overturn their Electoral College results. None of those lawsuits succeeded in reversing votes for Biden.

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Rossiter told the Post that Giuliani and other members of Trump's team sought the machines after Antrim County at first incorrectly reported election results. The incorrect tallies showed Biden beating Trump by 3,000 votes in the county, which is heavily Republican.

Officials later said that Trump had actually beaten Biden by more than 3,000 votes in Antrim.

The Post's report came one day after Giuliani was scheduled to sit for a deposition as part of the House select committee investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, when a violent mob of Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding.

Giuliani did not show up to that deposition on Tuesday. Select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters that evening that his panel will discuss the matter at a meeting Friday, adding that subpoenas will be "on the table for discussion" but "not for any particular person."

Read the full report from The Washington Post.