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Whitmer Calls for Answers on Attorney’s Role in Bolger’s Fraud

courtesy Sen. Gretchen Whitmer

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer has called on Speaker of the House Jase Bolger to explain what role his taxpayer-funded attorney played in his recently reported scheme to defraud the voters of Representative Roy Schmidt’s district. According to text messages uncovered as part of the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office report, Bolger sent numerous text messages to Schmidt while finalizing their plan to pay off a friend of Schmidt’s son to have him file an affidavit and run a fake campaign as a Democratic candidate to facilitate Schmidt’s own 11th hour switch to become a Republican without having to face any real opposition in the upcoming election. One of those text messages read as followed, “From our atty: there is no requirement for a phone # or email on an affidavit of identity. So, leave those two blank on Matthew’s form.”

Whitmer said Michigan’s public deserves to know who that attorney was and what role they played in his entire fraudulent plan:

“I’m stunned that an attorney would risk being disbarred by engaging in this unethical and fraudulent scheme created by Speaker Bolger. While it’s bad enough that any attorney would advise their client on how to better file a false affidavit, it would be even more offensive if this was Mr. Bolger’s legal counsel paid for by the people of Michigan. Mr. Bolger needs to explain who the attorney referenced in his text messages was, what their role in this entire scam was, and whether anyone else on his payroll was involved in this ridiculous scheme designed solely to defraud the people of Michigan.”

Whitmer added that if Speaker Bolger was an attorney, he would almost certainly be faced with being disbarred himself as a result of his actions:

“I am disgusted that Michigan does not already hold my legislative colleagues to the same ethical standards lawyers are held to. As a member of the bar who takes those standards very seriously, I believe we must demand accountability from whomever the lawyer was that appears to have conspired with the speaker in this corrupt scheme.”

Whitmer called on Bolger to release the time-cards of his Deputy Chief of Staff Phil Browne, who the prosecutor said also played a role in the scheme, as well as Republican Legal Counsel Joe Baumann. She previously called on Bolger to step down as Speaker of the House yesterday after the prosecutor’s report concluded that he had “tried to undermine the very fabric of our country, which is a free election.”



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