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Michigan Republicans vow to follow 'normal process' after Trump meeting

Mike Shirkey, right, the leader of the Michigan State Senate, arrives at the White House to meet with President Donald Trump on Friday. (By Reuters)

Donald Trump’s ongoing effort to overturn the election results has received another blow after two senior Michigan Republican lawmakers said -- following a meeting with the president-- that they would “follow the normal process” in certifying the vote in the battleground state.

Trump has made charges of voter fraud in Michigan, where Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner. Top Republican lawmakers – the state’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirley and House Speaker Lee Chatfield—were summoned to the White House by the president on Friday.

In a statement after the meeting, the senior lawmakers vowed not to interfere with the certification process in Michigan.

“Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation,” they said.

“Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan's electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections,” they added.

Shirkey and Chatfield insisted that they had “not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election” in the state.

Biden leads Trump by more than 140,000 votes in Michigan, which the latter carried by about 11,000 votes in 2016.

In their statement, the legislative leaders stopped short of affirming Biden’s victory in Michigan. A state board is scheduled to consider certifying the vote on Monday.

At least two other Republican state lawmakers were also present at the meeting, including  Senator Tom Barrett, a vocal supporter of President Trump, who has called for an investigation into claims of irregularities before the results are certified.

Trump reached out on Tuesday to Republican officials in Wayne County, Michigan, who had sought to block the certification of votes there.

The invitation of state lawmakers to the White House prompted backlash among watchdogs and legislators who viewed it as an attempt by the president to influence elected officials and push for pro-Trump electors to be appointed in Michigan.

On Friday evening, images of Shirkey and Chatfield were projected onto the Trump International Hotel near the White House, with phrases “The world is watching” and “Voters decided.” It was not clear who was behind the move.


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