After five years spent bullying the Republican Party into submission, President Donald Trump finally met his match in Aaron Van Langevelde. Who? That’s right. In the end, it wasn’t a senator or a judge or a general who stood up to the leader of the free world. There was no dramatic, made-for-Hollywood collision of cosmic egos. Rather, the death knell of Trump’s presidency was sounded by a baby-faced lawyer, looking over his glasses on a grainy Zoom feed on a gloomy Monday afternoon, reading from a statement that reflected a courage and moral clarity that has gone AWOL from his party, pleading with the tens of thousands of people watching online to understand that some lines can never be uncrossed. “We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers, the ministerial body with sole authority to make official Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. “As John Adams once said, ‘We are a government of laws, not men.’ This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.” Van Langevelde is a Republican. He works for Republicans in the Statehouse. He gives legal guidance to advance Republican causes and win Republican campaigns. As a Republican, his mandate for Monday’s hearing—handed down from the state party chair, the national party chair and the president himself—was straightforward. They wanted Michigan’s board of canvassers to delay certification of Biden’s victory. Never mind that Trump lost by more than 154,000 votes, or that results were already certified in all 83 counties.
Michigan: Suit asks Supreme Court to take custody of all election materials for investigation | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News
A conservative legal group has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to take custody of all Nov. 3 election materials to give the Michigan Legislature time to audit the results, investigate all claims of ballot irregularities and fraud, and “finish its constitutionally-mandated work to pick Michigan’s electors.” The lawsuit filed Thursday seeking the collection of ballots, pollbooks and ballot boxes also asks the court to stop the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Board of State Canvassers from giving final certification to the state’s election results until a special master can be appointed to review alleged ballot irregularities and the legality of absentee ballots in Wayne County. It’s not likely the relief sought is possible given that state canvassers gave final certification Monday, though a lawyer for the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project says he sent a letter to the canvassing board warning it not to certify. The list of electors aligning with President-elect Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote win in Michigan was sent by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the U.S. Secretary of State that same day. Likewise, the Michigan Legislature already is holding hearings to review complaints related to the Nov. 3 election and Benson has said she will audit results statewide and in Wayne County specifically.