(Source: MIRS.news, Published 06/21/2022) Former Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox told the Jan. 6 Select Committee that Michigan's Republican electors planned to "hide overnight" in the state Capitol so they could cast their vote in the Senate chamber as required by law.
That snippet of Cox's video testimony to the Select Committee was shown during Tuesday's hearing and was in response to a question about what an attorney told her, which included that he was "working with the president's campaign."
“He told me that the Michigan Republican electors were planning to meet in the Capitol and hide overnight so that they could fulfill the role of casting their vote per law in the Michigan chambers, and I told him in no uncertain terms that was insane and inappropriate,” Cox said.
However, the attorney, Bob Norton of Hillsdale, told MIRS that he did not advise anyone that others were going to break the law and he recalls no such conversation with Cox, but he acknowledges that he was aware that "people were going to try to get into the right place in the Capitol at the right time, but not by hiding out or doing anything nefarious."
Norton said that the right time and place would occur by "invitation" from someone, such as a sitting lawmaker, to enter the Capitol.
Norton also denies that he told anyone he was part of the Trump campaign, saying he has "never held a clipboard for them. Never been officially considered part of the Trump campaign."
Instead, Norton said, "probably Laura remembers" him saying there are other legal challenges being pursued by other attorneys and that for such a legal challenge to succeed people would need to be "in the right place at the right time."
In February, Cox criticized the Committee's subpoena for her testimony related to sending false "alternate electors" to Congress in an effort to certify Michigan's election results for former President Donald TRUMP rather than the true winner, President Joe BIDEN, the latter of whom won Michigan by 154,000 votes.
Michigan law required presidential electors to meet in the Senate chamber at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2020, and the Democratic electors did so. The building was closed to the public due to safety concerns.
The GOP electors did not spend the night in the Capitol, however. Instead, they met inside the state GOP headquarters where they signed certificates before walking to the Capitol, where they were denied entry.
Attorney General Dana Nessel's office referred an investigation into those false certificates to federal prosecutors.
Today's hearing focused on Trump supporters' efforts to get Republican state lawmakers across the country to intervene in the 2020 election results.
In his opening statement, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) said Trump "amped up the pressure" against officials from multiple states, which lead to protests and death threats. He said Trump's supporters heard Trump's statements as a "call to action" and Schiff illustrated his statement with video snippets of Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), who described receiving "just shy of 4,000 text messages over a short period of time" as well as a video of protesters outside Secretary of State Jocelyn BENSON's home in December 2020.
"The uncertainty of that was what was the fear. Like, are they coming with guns? Are they going to attack my house? I'm in here with my kid. I'm trying to put him to bed, and so it was, that was the scariest moment – just not knowing what was going to happen," Benson said in testimony played by the committee.
The call for Shirkey to "take action" followed a high-profile November 2020 meeting that he and then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield had at the White House over Michigan's election results.
Shirkey said there was a "loud, consistent cadence" from Trump supporters calling for lawmakers to change the Democratic electors to the Republicans. He said the supporters "were believing things that were untrue."
Shirkey said he and Chatfield told Trump they would not break Michigan's law.
"I think the words that I would have more likely used were, 'We were going to follow the law,'" Shirkey said.