Tempers rise, facts fade as Rudy Giuliani claims Michigan vote a ‘con job’

Mellissa Carone, an IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, and Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, speak Wednesday before a Michigan House committee. (Screenshot)

LANSING — President Donald Trump’s personal attorney on Wednesday alleged a global conspiracy to swing the election for Democrat Joe Biden and urged Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature to try to overturn statewide results.

In a 4 1/2-hour hearing that concluded about 10:30 p.m. and was often tense and theatrical, Rudy Giuliani implored Michigan House members to “have the courage to say that certification that was done by your state is a complete phony.”

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Giuliani at times commandeered the meeting, presenting his own witnesses and then questioning them about what he claimed with little evidence was “massive cheating” and a “con job” at the absentee ballot counting board in Detroit. 

Committee Chair Matt Hall, R-Marshall, allowed lawmakers to ask each witness a single question, with no follow-ups. He gavelled down and shut off microphones for Democratic legislators who challenged that rule, and repeatedly urged the pro-Trump crowd not to shout or cheer during the testimony. 

Here are some highlights: 

Electoral coup

State law specifies that Michigan’s 16 presidential electors go to the winner of the popular vote, and both House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Mike Shirkey have made clear that will not change this year. 

But Giuliani and Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis urged GOP lawmakers to reconsider, arguing they have a constitutional “obligation” to pick electors themselves if they do not trust the results of the election that the president and his allies have sought to undermine. 

“That this is your plenary, meaning absolute, power,” Ellis said. 

Giuliani bashed the State Board of Canvassers for certifying statewide election results last week, apparently unaware that Aaron Van Langevelde, who cast the deciding vote, is a well-respected staffer for House Republicans. 

“The people who certified your election, what are they worth? The piece of paper is a lie,” Giuliani said. 

No oaths

 Hall, the committee chair, refused Democratic requests to have the witnesses – and Giuliani – sworn in to testify under oath, drawing protests from lawmakers. 

“You’re allowing people to come in here and lie, and I know they’re lying,” said Rep.  Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit. 

But many of Giuliani’s witnesses noted they have already filed affidavits, under the penalty of perjury, in various Michigan election lawsuits. 

None of those suits have been successful. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kennedy, a Republican appointee, last month dismissed claims from several of Giuliani’s witnesses as “incorrect and not credible.”

Among them was Mellissa Carone, who worked at the TCF Center in Detroit as a temporary contractor for Dominion Voting Systems. She claimed Wednesday that she saw as many as 30,000 ballots fed through voting machines and counted multiple times.


Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, noted that counting that many ballots multiple times would have led to huge deviations from poll books that tally the number of voters, which election experts say would have surely been noticed and remedied.

Carone attacked the GOP legislator in response: “I know what I saw. And I signed something saying that if I’m wrong, I can go to prison. Did you?”

Carone claimed that Democrats have ruined her life because she’s spoken out about election fraud and she’s had to delete her social media accounts. An hour later, she changed her Facebook profile photo to a portrait of her and Giuliani.

No recount

Several lawmakers asked Giuliani why the Trump campaign did not request a hand recount of paper ballots in Michigan, given the president’s unsubstantiated allegations that voting machines changed tallies for Biden. 

“You have 48 hours after the vote certification to request the recount,” said Johnson, the Republican legislator. “We never got that. So instead what we hear is a lot of talk, a lot of thoughts, a lot of allegations.”

Giuliani offered conflicting explanations. 

“There would be no reason to ask for a recount because you just recount the same fraudulent ballots,” he said, suggesting without evidence a Democratic plot to “steal” the election through mail-in ballots. 

Later, Giuliani appeared confused about what a Michigan recount would actually entail — an examination of paper ballots — suggesting that “doing a recount of the machines is not going to give us anything but the same false results.”

A Dominion conspiracy

Phil Waldron, who did not list any professional credentials beyond military experience but was presented by Giuliani as an expert data analyst, alleged a global anti-Trump conspiracy involving Dominion Voting Systems machines used in parts of Michigan and dozens of other states. 

He and Giuliani both repeated debunked claims about Antrim County, where the GOP clerk has admitted human error — not voting equipment — was responsible for an initial reporting error that attributed Trump votes to Biden.

Waldron raised red flags about what he called vote “spikes” in  Kent, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties the morning after the election, which is not unusual or evidence of wrongdoing because local communities report results in full or in batches, not immediately when each ballot is counted. 

He told lawmakers his analysis was based on Dominion data from those four counties, but neither Oakland nor Macomb counties use Dominion equipment.

Absentee irregularities

Detroit election worker Jessy Jacobs testified for more than an hour, running through a litany of complaints she had over the city’s election administration while suggesting she was treated “like a criminal” when she voiced concerns.

Jacobs claimed supervisors told her to “back date” ballots at the TCF Center, a directive city officials have said was a routine step to correct clerical errors made at satellite clerks offices. 

She also appeared confused on some issues, saying she was alarmed that voters were not required to fill out affidavits to spoil previously issued absentee ballots and get new ones in the run-up to the election, which is not actually required. 

Giuliani asked whether that led to “totally illegal ballots,” but Jacobs said she had marked those initial ballots as spoiled in the state’s qualified voter file, which means those voters could not have voted twice. 

“I really don’t know what happened, whether they shredded those ballots or they trashed it,” Jacobs told Giuliani. “I don’t know, but it was not returned to the satellite sites.”

Detroit bashing

Several speakers said they noticed irregularities at the TCF Center, and lawmakers said they were concerned by some accusations, including disputed claims that GOP challengers were denied meaningful access and forced to abide by a six-foot distancing rule that courts had rejected.

But Giuliani claimed there should be no mistake.

“Don’t scratch your head about what happens in Detroit. They steal elections in Detroit,” he said, adding it is one of the “most corrupt” cities in the nation.

“Democrats were smart enough to pick 10 cities they could get away with [fraud] and find a hack judge who will let them get away with anything they want,” he added, referencing Democratic-run cities in other states Trump lost like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin.

That was too much for Johnson, the Detroit Democrat, who noted “there is no one in this room to represent Detroiters.” 

She was gavelled out of order repeatedly by Hall, including once for asking Guiliani if he and Trump are honest, even though other lawmakers were allowed to make short statements.

Guiliani also sparred with Rep. Darrin Camilleri, D-Brownstown Township, who asked the attorney about reports that he is seeking a preemptive pardon from Trump before he leaves office.

“I will ask that he be disciplined for that,” Guiliani told Hall, the committee chair. “ First of all, what he said is untrue. Second of all, that is a defamation of my professional character. Do you allow that to happen in your legislature?”

Camilleri wasn’t disciplined.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Thu, 12/03/2020 - 5:23am

What was THAT? Definitely great material for SNL.

Hall banging away scolding Democrats, but letting the mob continually shout and interrupt the proceedings. The vigilantes even tried to school Ghouliani who rebuked them more than Hall did.

Close your eyes and the crazy blond woman testifying sounded like "Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party" (Cecily Strong):

In the end, Ghouliani sums it up with "do your own research, look at what happened in other states", use "Ghoulgle". There's a lot of proof, if you look for it.

Half hour was spent telling all the liars how brave they were for testifying.

Only two legit legislators, Miller, R, and Camillieri, D. The rest including the CLOWNS testifying along with Ghouliani, all an embarrassment to our country. Q-Anon would be proud.

Can't wait until the Democrats call Bill Barr to testify.

Got a Job?
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 5:40am

Someone applying for the Apprentice, Politics Edition?

"Carone claimed that Democrats have ruined her life because she’s spoken out about election fraud and she’s had to delete her social media accounts. An hour later, she changed her Facebook profile photo to a portrait of her and Guiliani."


Thu, 12/03/2020 - 5:52am

Did Giuliani pass a bar exam somewhere? A "question" cannot be "defamatory". By definition, the defamation has to be a "statement". Besides Giuliani seems to fancy himself a celebrity. Isn't he a public figure? What are his damages? He keeps getting MORE jobs from Trump. You suckers have sent Trump over $170 million to live large. Rudy will do fine for a while.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 6:02am

I noticed about a dozen Trump supporters gathering close together to pose in front of the streaming camera flaunting their lack of masks. One proudly came back with a sign that read "MEGA" (sic). Others milled about without masks. Some looked like technicians. At one point Giuliani told his witness to take off her mask. Giuliani and his sidekick didn't wear masks, even when they weren't speaking.

When did the People's House become the Mob's House that encourages superspreader events? Why didn't we get to see the audience? Did anyone bring guns? Were guns allowed at the hearing?

Kevin Grand
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 6:56am

My favorite parts from the hearing:

Rep. Johnson confused about the "TFC Center" where the irregularities occurred. And she REPRESENTS Detroit!!!

The same Rep. Johnson working on doxxing witness by having them give out their full name (AND maiden name) while simultaneously glancing at aide.

Testimony about what happened after truckload of ballots delivered late at night. Tables eventually filled with containers containing said "legal ballots".

Someone shouts, "This is what democracy looks like," and the room explodes with cheers.

Camilleri misstates the status of the multiple cases currently pending nationwide in order to sound knowledgeable on the subject and score brownie points.

Short list, BTW.

Nope, nothing irregular going on here

G Scott
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 7:31am

Giuliani must be using a more stable hair product now. This guy sure shovels a lot of smoke. Remember when he was a credible leader? What happened? Oh yea, right, he changed employers.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 7:59am

For the "witnesses" that invoke their church membership and Jesus, you should have sworn your testimony under oath, not just "offer" it, but actually "do" it!

Play Nicely
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:02am

The time has come to stop coddling the losers. Okay, okay, you can take your marbles and go home. You don't have to play nicely, just go away already. What fun would be a football game without rules? GOP, can you answer that? The same goes for elections and hearings. What are the rules? Are they applied equally? What are your biases?

ron rusk
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:30am

It is a sad commentary on the republican legislature that this man was allowed to waste the taxpayers time and money by spewing untruths and wild theories in defense of a man who is obviously the loser of a demonstrably accurate tallying of votes.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:39am

Why didn't any of the representatives ask about the affidavits for Edison County or Edison Township?

John Chastain
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:41am

So the Trump dog and pony show comes to Michigan. With the willing participation of House republicans Trumps fraudulent attempt to overturn the legitimacy of the Michigan vote for president is given time and cover so his “base” can see that they remain “loyal” to the great leader. How pathetic is that. And as is typical for this type of carnival no one is under oath. In every case that Giuliani has been in a position of accountability for his words he has retracted or admitted there was no fraud. The carnival barkers assistant lies and lies and the show goes on and on. Sad

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:42am

If we keep fighting, we can help Ronna McDaniel keep her job!

Elections Matter
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:53am

Can you imagine if Snyder were governor? He would have cowered to the MI GOP House, Senate, and Trump and give Michigan's electoral votes to Trump, against the will of the voters!

Cindy L
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 8:57am

Loud voices, lots of drama. But very few facts. The public face of this President's administration and party is to attack, as they become confused in their own baseless arguments. Get over it. Yes, there were, and continue to be, more people who do not want to see 4 more years of this circus of disavowing the US Constitution. Shouting about fraud does not make it true.

Hilarious assertions
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 9:00am

So who was driving the mysterious trucks that allegedly brought fraudulent ballots to all the key states? Did anyone think to jot down their license plate numbers? Why hasn't anyone subpoenaed the drivers or companies owning the trucks to testify anywhere? I know debunked already, but funny how the lies persist WITHOUT EVIDENCE. Giuliani said to just Google to find the evidence.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 9:32am

I watched the entire hearing on OANN. Johnson was out of order accusing these people of telling lies. Was Johnson in Cobo? No. All witnesses signed affidavits to their testimony. When Reps wanted to grandstand or make personal attacks towards the witnesses their mikes were shut off. We all know corruption occurred and laws broken. 1. Hold people accountable and if necessary send them to jail., 2. All voting machines need to replaced by a USA company who only report to America citizens and cannot be corrupted by foreign agents as has been done. This has to be fixed. Above all this must be fixed or we no longer have a country.

A Yooper
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 9:35am

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
~ H.L. Mencken

American Idols
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 9:38am

It would be really funny if Trump were to use some of the $180+ million, his throngs of foolish followers donate to him, to carve his graven image on the side of Mt Rushmore, only to have God smite it with one powerful blast of lightening, like Moses did when the pagans worshiped the other cow.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 9:47am

Grifters allowed to promote sedition for nearly 5 hours while not under oath is business as usual in our gerrymandered, thus unrepresentative and illegitimate, state legislature.

January 2023 will be the first time in two decades that we'll have legitimate legislators in Michigan. The census happens in 2020, redistricting by our new Citizens Redistricting Committee in 2021, elections in 2022 and legitimate legislators sworn in in 2023. Let's hope our democracy survives that long.

George Hagenauer
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 10:07am

What bother me most about this is that other media outlets especially Television are just running Giuliani's comments without the type of fact checks I see here continuing the false narrative that many believe. This also suggests that there is too much partisanship in the elections process and the canvas boards and other bodies need to be open to people not affiliated with either party.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 10:09am

Why are they even entertaining listening to these imbeciles? It's embarrassing. There should be penalties for guiliani and co wasting everyone's time and making a mockery of our democracy.

Detroit corrupt
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 10:12am

It is no secret to those of us who live in Michigan that the Detroit Democrat machine is corrupt. The bottoms line is that mail in voting is not secure voting because we cannot verify who filled out that ballot. The only truly secure election is one that requires in person voting with government issued photo identification, anything less is asking for corruption.

Janet Wagner
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 10:25am

During this 4 1/2 marathon, Giuliani and friends have delivered a stunning and highly insulting blow to all voters and election workers, both Democrat and Republican. His boss must be smiling into his golf clubs and rubbing his hands together at all the money he'll continue to collect from his devoted minions who will back this fraud campaign.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 10:48am

“Ms. Carone’s description of the events at the TCF Center does not square with any of the other affidavits,” Judge Kenny found. “There are no other reports of lost data, or tabulating machines that jammed repeatedly every hour during the count. Neither Republican nor Democratic challengers nor city officials substantiate her version of events. The allegations simply are not credible.”

Michigan Republican state legislator Steve Johnson questioned Carone at the Wednesday hearing on her claim that the poll book “is completely off.”

In a very bizarre back-and-forth, she actually claimed it’s off “by over 100,000” and Johnson tried to ask a question as she continued barreling through with her fraud claim.

“We’re not seeing the poll book off by 30,000 votes,” Johnson said.

“What’d you guys do, take it and do something crazy to it?” Carone actually responded.

“I’m just saying the numbers are not off by 30,000 votes,” Johnson said.

“I know what I saw, and I signed something saying that if I’m wrong, I can go to prison. Did you?” Carone retorted, and casually claimed that “dead people” and “illegals” voted.


SNL-- The skits are writing themselves! LMAO

NotGoing Socialist
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:03am

Mail in voting is a breeding ground for fraud. Love Trump or hate him, this Democratic Party is distorting facts and destroying America as we know it

It’s funny how the same people who claimed voter fraud and interference for the past four years at an expense of millions of dollars now claim it can’t happen

Plain and simple- this election was a fraud from day one of #notmypresident, vagina hats and impeachment hearings

Geez Louise!
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:19am

On Wednesday, Giuliani claimed that state legislatures are primarily responsible for selecting the U.S. president because they are the government "closest to the people."

Who needs the actual people, if the people you already elected two years earlier are there now to decide the next election for you?

All agree
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:50am

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued blistering tweets Thursday, demanding that state Republicans "put up or shut up" when it comes to unproven claims of widespread election fraud.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 12:05pm

The Guiliani horse and Pony show in Lansing was an embarrassment to democracy. No opportunity for people to speak that he defamed. Shame on the GOP.

Lawn order
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 12:49pm


A few video excerpts from last nights .............hearing?

If the State Republicans don't knock these people off their high horses....after being treated this way? They are COMPLICIT in all this.

Also. They are SHAMING you and our country!

Put an end to it.

Let's have some Law and Order. Bring up perjury charges! You are beating these claims down with common sense questions........that I didn't think you were capable of asking.....yet........what are your actions?

Speaking after her, Hima Kolanagireddy wondered why Michigan state law doesn’t require voters to show identification in order to cast a ballot.

“A lot of people think all Indians look alike. I think all Chinese look alike,” she said. “So how would you tell?”
If you can't tell people apart by looking at them, what good is an ID going to do?

These are arguments from your side.


D Titch
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 1:08pm

We live in a parody of reality at this point. Nothing makes sense and tribalism is more important than facts and reality.

Herd mentality
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 1:30pm

I thought both sides were supposed to have a say in hearings. That is not what I am hearing listening to these hearings. It seems ONE side has made this Kabuki theater. A banana republican hearing where NO evidence from the other side is heard? Both sides do it!!

Let's have discovery! Let's put these affidavits to a test of Veritas.........shall we?

Man up! Go in front of judge and claim fraud!

Just DO It! Hope I don't have a lawsuit filed against me for using a trademarked phrase, common in American lexicon long before it was trademarked. But I bet that happens before these people are held to account.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 1:31pm

Good heavens, what a mess! Accept the results and let's move on.

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 2:15pm

Rudy, you defame your professional character all by yourself, my man...

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 4:18pm

Sadly, not even Cecily Strong was convincing and she was the best they had.

Fri, 12/04/2020 - 12:10am

Lock Giuliani and the Republican Committee Chair Matt Hall, R-Marshall, up, they allowed lawmakers to ask each witness a single question, with no follow-ups. He gavelled down and shut off microphones for Democratic legislators who challenged that rule, and repeatedly urged the pro-Trump crowd not to shout or cheer during the testimony. All the states Trump supposedly won need to be recounted, too

Sat, 12/05/2020 - 9:02am

I’m surprise the bridge allow you to post that comment. I posted Center and my boss he does not show. I fully agree a full audit not just count the ballots should be completed with all the fraud and allegations. The bridge fails to acknowledge that.

Fri, 12/04/2020 - 9:23am

Camilleri’s accusation about a pardon was sleazy at best and you also did not report there only 3 cases in Giuliani’s response, not the plethora of cases Camilleri insinuated. The behavior of Democrats was typical grandstanding and offensive.

tst tst
Fri, 12/04/2020 - 3:25pm

The Trump campaign and his surrogates are behind all the cases, 39ish, losing cases.

Fri, 12/04/2020 - 3:27pm

What is sleazy about asking Giuliani if he wants or thinks he needs a pardon from Trump?

William C. Plumpe
Fri, 12/04/2020 - 1:25pm

All Republican claims of voter fraud are last ditch, wild eyed and unsubstantiated accusations made by observers who don't understand the process and have an ax to grind. They want to find fraud so it is certain it will be found no matter the extreme lack of credible and compelling evidence. Mere accusation no matter how ardently believed proves nothing but the ignorance and vindictiveness of the accusers.
Republican claims of voter fraud are baseless and without merit a total waste of time and money. I say charge the Republicans for their blatant waste of taxpayer money chasing after non existent voter fraud.

William C. Plumpe
Fri, 12/04/2020 - 1:40pm

The Republican voter fraud circus is a crude attempt to foist a lie on the voters of Michigan.
The voter fraud fiasco is a desperate last ditch effort to steal the Presidency from President Elect Biden.
The claims of voter fraud are baseless and without merit lacking any scintilla of credible and compelling evidence. The claims of voter fraud are a waste of time and taxpayer money, sound and fury signifying nothing. Ignore them and move on to more important work.

Fri, 12/04/2020 - 4:09pm

Never saw a Michigan legislative hearing before. Are they usually this funny? I bet more kids would be interested in civics class, if they saw how funny our government could be.

Sat, 12/05/2020 - 12:55pm

Sit back and watch the party now that a judge has given Trump ability to do forensic analysis on Dominion machines in Mi. Then we will see all your heads explode!!

Mon, 12/07/2020 - 4:09pm

By heads exploding, are you referring to the fact that Trump won 63 out of 69 counties in Michigan that use Dominion machines?

David Barnosky
Sun, 12/06/2020 - 8:32am

How is this not sedition?