In what legislative insiders indicate is a longshot, eight Michigan House Republicans announced they’re seeking the impeachment of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Rep. James DeSana, R-Carlton, announced Thursday he and his colleagues had filed three articles of impeachment against Nessel.
“The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching civil officers for corrupt conduct in office,” DeSana said. “Attorney General Nessel has clearly breached the ethical standards of conduct of the office of attorney general.”
Among the representatives joining DeSana in his articles of impeachment is Rep. Angela Rigas, R-Caledonia.
Rigas two weeks ago stated Nessel should be investigated for allegedly intervening in a probe of personal injury attorney and current Democrat Party Treasurer Traci Kornack, which is the basis for the third article of impeachment filed against Nessel.
As reported previously by The Midwesterner, the AG’s office was investigating Kornak after she was charged with defrauding an insurance company. The charges stem from accusations by a nursing home director in Western Michigan, who said Kornak used the account of an elderly brain-damaged client to bilk the client’s insurance company for $50,000.
A Detroit News article stated Nessel “subtly pressured her staff to close the investigation and to provide Kornak with documents that would financially benefit her.”
Kornak worked on Nessel’s transition team when she took office for her first term in 2018.
Nessel’s personal relationship with Kornak prompted the establishment of a “firewall” to prevent the AG from all information, documents, and communications associated with Kornak’s case. The firewall resulted from a memo from Scott Teter, the director of AG’s Financial Crimes Division. According to the Detroit News, that firewall was often breached by the AG.
“The attorney general has operated with disregard to the parameters of her office and in several cases has used her office to attack political enemies and to benefit friends and associates who have been accused of fraud with much supporting evidence and public accusations to support these accusations,” DeSana said in a videotaped address to members of the press on Thursday. “What we have witnessed has led us to believe that our attorney general has behaved in a corrupt manner, has used her office to maliciously and unjustifiably attack individuals in a political manner, and in one case has directly helped a friend or associate to get free of a fraud investigation that was under her control and authority,” he said.
“The AG intentionally intervened in an active investigation on behalf of an individual despite an internal firewall that had been set up by members of the AG’s office to prevent an obvious conflict of interest,” DeSana said.
DeSana and Rigas filed the articles of impeachment with Republican Reps. Neil Friske, Joseph Fox, Rachelle Smit, Matt Maddock, Steve Carra, and Josh Schriver.
In his Thursday remarks, DeSana stated Nessel “has violated her oath of office and has acted in a corrupt manner.”
He continued: “We believe that 56 members voting to impeach attorney general Nessel is a very realistic possibility.”
He called upon Speaker of the House Rep. Joseph Tate, D-Detroit, to bring the articles of impeachment to the House floor or “choose to be complicit with the attorney general in her corruption and thus indict himself in the same corruption.”
The first articles states Nessel failed the responsibilities of her office when she opted not to charge anyone for forging and filing fraudulent voter registrations in Muskegon. The second accuses Nessel of malicious prosecution of 16 Michigan Republican Electors.