When two election officials in Wayne County, Michigan briefly refused to certify the election results last night, it was never going anywhere one way or the other. The state had already confirmed that it would step in and certify the results if necessary. The question was why these two officials were willing to carry out this stunt, considering 1) it had no chance of working, and 2) it was going to turn them into pariahs.
Now we may be getting some of that answer. It turns out one of the rogue officials in question, Monica Palmer, just happened to have an ethics hearing scheduled for this morning. The ethics board ended up announcing that there is a “formal complaint against her for violating campaign finance laws with her 501c4” and that it “could result in jail time.”
To be clear, a 501c4 is a nonprofit organization; today’s hearing was not about the actions that Monica Palmer took last night. But it turns out she just happens to be an alleged financial criminal who’s facing prison.
We can think of a number of reasons why this might have prompted her to pull the stunt that she pulled last night, even though she knew it wouldn’t overturn the election. Perhaps she’s about to claim that she was framed for the 501c4 violation for partisan reasons. In any case, it’s more clear than ever that this wasn’t a serious effort to hand the election to Trump; it was simply about getting attention.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report