Mayra Rodriguez — a Michigan lawyer whose name appears on a fake certificate that tried to award the state’s Electoral College votes to Donald Trump — could face professional repercussions stemming from her actions in 2020 that prompted the Michigan commission responsible for probing attorneys’ misconduct to recommend disciplinary action against her.
The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission filed a complaint against Rodriguez with the Attorney Discipline Board last month. A hearing panel for the board could decide whether Rodriguez should be disbarred, suspended, reprimanded or placed on probation.
She declined to comment on the matter in a brief phone call with the Free Press on Wednesday.
Rodriguez is the only licensed Michigan lawyer in the group of Trump electors, according to a search of attorneys on the State Bar of Michigan’s website.
The National Archives rejected the fake certificate of electors in the wake of the 2020 election and notified Attorney General Dana Nessel, who referred the matter to federal prosecutors. Nessel said at the time that those involved in the effort committed crimes but the effort was appropriate for a federal probe because it appeared to be part of a multistate conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.
But Nessel’s office reopened a criminal probe into Michigan’s fake electors earlier this year, seeming to grow frustrated with the pace at which federal authorities have moved to investigate interference in the 2020 election.
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Michigan was one of several battleground states where Trump campaign officials attempted to have state GOP activists sign fake documents certifying that Trump — not Biden — would receive the state’s electoral votes, according to the investigation by the U.S. House committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Rodriguez was subpoenaed by the committee and asked about efforts to appoint a slate of fake Electoral College electors.
During her deposition, she refused to say whether it was her signature on the document to award Michigan’s Electoral College votes to Trump sent to Congress and the National Archives. She also declined to acknowledge that state election law says that Michigan’s electors of president and vice president are those from the political party that received the most votes in the presidential election.
Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Michigan by more than 154,000 votes in 2020. Hundreds of election audits, court rulings and post-election investigations have upheld the election results.
The Attorney Grievance Commission’s complaint filed April 17 recommends disciplining Rodriguez, stating that she knew when she signed the fake certificate of electors that she was not a qualified presidential elector and that she did not convene in the Michigan Capitol to certify the election as required by Michigan law.
Among the alleged misconduct, the complaint states that Rodriguez “engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, where such conduct reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.”
Anyone can file a request for an investigation with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, which carries out inquiries into lawyers’ alleged misconduct secretly. The commission only makes public formal complaints referred to the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.
The complaint against Rodriguez preceded a separate one the commission filed against a group of nine lawyers involved in a lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election that leveled false claims about voting machines, turnout rates in Michigan and election procedures in Detroit.
Clara Hendrickson fact-checks Michigan issues and politics as a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. Make a tax-deductible contribution to support her work at bit.ly/freepRFA. Contact her at email@example.com or 313-296-5743. Follow her on Twitter @clarajanehen.