Amid Capitol riot fallout, Michigan lawmaker says legislature's election inquiry will continue

Legislature had earlier announced inquiries into reported 2020 election irregularities.

Updated: January 10, 2021 - 7:00am

Members of the Michigan legislature will continue their inquiry into reported irregularities in the 2020 election, a state lawmaker revealed this week, despite growing pressure to abandon further scrutiny of the 2020 presidential election results amid fallout from the recent Capitol riot. 

The riot at the U.S. Capitol came amid a pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" rally to protest the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election. Trump himself spoke at the rally, urging participants to "show strength" and "be strong" in their protests of the certification. 

Though the president stressed that the protests should be done "peacefully and patriotically," the mayhem that numerous rally attendees soon generated at the Capitol has been laid mostly at his feet by many, with Democrats and pundits claiming the riot was largely spurred by his months-long insistence that the election was stolen from him. 

In recent weeks, meanwhile — and particularly since the chaos at the Capitol — pressure has been growing for Americans to cease questioning the results of 2020. In mid-December, New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said politicians who were questioning the 2020 results were "bordering on sedition and treason." Earlier in the month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro claimed a Texas lawsuit challenging the election results was itself "seditious."

YouTube shortly after the Capitol chaos, meanwhile, announced enhanced penalties for anyone who posts what the company deems "false claims" about the U.S. election results. And in Wisconsin, one teacher was recently suspended reportedly for directing his students to watch a video questioning the 2020 results. 

And on Jan. 3, "all 10 living former defense secretaries" claimed that "the time for questioning the results has passed," citing the "unbroken record of such transitions since 1789."

In Michigan, inquest will continue

Yet though that pressure will likely intensify up to and beyond Joe Biden's inauguration later this month, lawmakers in Michigan will continue inquiries into that state's handling of this year's presidential race. 

Daire Rendon, who represents Michigan's District 103 in the state House, confirmed to Just the News that the investigations teed up by the Michigan legislature last month will continue after state lawmakers convene on Wednesday. 

"I have spoken with [House Oversight Committee] Chair Matt Hall," Rendon, a Republican, told Just the News. "It is his goal to continue the oversight hearing on the election."

Rendon noted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has placed "a lot of restrictions" on how lawmakers can meet in the state capitol. 

"We do not have a lot of committee rooms that are large enough to handle the committee work while allowing the public to attend," she said. "I think the hearings better serve the public when we can have people come into the hearings. It has a lot more impact than just doing it by Zoom."

Still, she said, House members are working to arrange the hearings ahead of the legislature's convening. 

"There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes," she said, "to line up the kind of evidence and witnesses they want to have going forward."

Republicans have been strongly criticized for their efforts to stall and delay the certification of the 2020 election, though Democrats attempted similar maneuvers following Republican presidential victories in 2000, 2004 and 2016. 

While critics have accused President Trump of dangerous and divisive rhetoric in his insistence that the election was stolen from him, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has insisted for years that the 2016 election — which she lost — was illegitimate.

As late as October of last year, just weeks before the 2020 election, Clinton was still claiming as much. 

"There was a widespread understanding that [the 2016 election] was not on the level,” she said then, during an interview with the Atlantic.

In September of 2019, meanwhile, she claimed that Trump was an "illegitimate president," without citing any supporting evidence.