ByDec. 14, 2020
A judge in Michigan on Monday permitted parties in a court case to release the results of a forensic imaging examination of Dominion Voting Systems machines.
13th Circuit Judge Kevin Elsenheimer agreed to remove a protective order on the request of attorney Matthew DePerno, after attorneys with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office said they didn’t oppose doing so.
DePerno pushed for the removal in a court hearing, saying the order was meant to be temporary and it had achieved its purpose of preventing him from releasing information on the imaging before Benson’s office had an opportunity to review it.
“We believe that public interest in seeing what we discovered and what we say in the report would outweigh any potential harm to Dominion software,” DePerno told the court.
He argued that confirming the accuracy of the electoral process is a greater public interest in this case than any potential issues related to Dominion software and that the company had an opportunity to intervene in the case but did not do so.
Erik Grill, an assistant attorney general, criticized the lawyer for giving an interview late last week in which he asserted Benson lied, saying doing so essentially violated the protective order.
“The secretary of state has been prejudiced by the premature disclosure of [the] preliminary report. We just wanted to review [the] preliminary report and present a counterargument at [the] same time that the preliminary report was issued,” Grill said. “That is no longer possible as a result of Mr. DePerno’s interview.”
He also asserted that DePerno distributed the report to outside parties, pointing to lawyers in a separate case alerting the U.S. Supreme Court of new evidence filed in DePerno’s case.
DePerno said he did not share the report with any other parties.
Benson doesn’t oppose the distribution of the report, provided the secretary of state can release its counterargument, Grill added.
An Antrim County attorney said it didn’t oppose the release, as long as the county is similarly allowed “to explain the several errors that we believe are contained in the preliminary report,” which he said was based on “faulty assumptions and incorrect assumptions.”
The order came in Bailey v. Antrim County. Plaintiff William Bailey asked to be allowed to examine Dominion machines because of the skewed results that the county reported in the presidential election. County officials initially said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received more than 2,000 votes over President Donald Trump, but later changed the results to show Trump received nearly 4,000 more votes than Biden.
Many questions remain unanswered, including whether Dominion tabulators in the county were tampered with, whether they have the capacity to connect to the Internet, and whether they had any open VPN ports during the election, the suit stated.
The judge earlier this month allowed Bailey’s attorney and experts he brought in to examine the machines. They conducted a forensic examination.
The judge had at the same time issued a protective order, blocking the release of the results of the examination.