James Rossiter, the Republican prosecutor of Antrim County, Michigan, told the Post that Giuliani and other members of Trump’s team called him in the weeks after the 2020 election after the county misreported its results. They wanted the county’s voting machines. “I said, ‘I can’t just say: give them here.’ We don’t have that magical power to just demand things as prosecutors,” Rossiter explained to the Post. “You need probable cause.”
“I never expected in my life I’d get a call like this,” Rossiter added.
Giuilani did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.
The unofficial vote tally released on the night of the election showed President Biden winning heavily Republican Antrim County by around 3,000 votes. The county clerk was alerted to the error the following morning, and a manual review began. This didn’t stop Trumpworld from using the error to claim the entire election was rigged. Giuliani and others requested voting machines from Rossiter around Nov. 20, according to the Post. Trump wound up winning the county by around 4,000 votes.
This isn’t the first indication that Trump and his allies keyed in on voting machines as a way to overturn President Biden’s win. The Jan. 6 committee has reportedly obtained a draft executive order calling for the government to seize voting machines from swing states. It was later reported that Trump on multiple occasions pushed to see if various arms of the government could seize the machines. These efforts were supported by a circle of conspiracy theorists including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, then-Trump election attorney Sidney Powell, and Phil Waldron, who was responsible for a presentation calling for Trump to declare a national emergency in order to delay the certification of the election results.
Flynn and Powell reportedly met with Trump in the Oval Office in December 2020 to discuss the possibility of the military seizing the machines. Trump decided against pursuing the idea after seeking counsel from one of his advisers whom The New York Times reported was “vehemently” opposed to the idea: Rudy Giuliani.