Woman charged in threats against Michigan election official
DETROIT (AP) - A woman angry at an election official from the Detroit area posted photos of a body and threatened her family the day after a noisy meeting at which Republican board members initially refused to share the local results in favor of authorities Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Katelyn Jones, 23, was accused of threatening violence. She sent a series of disturbing messages over the phone and on social media identifying Monica Palmer as a terrorist and a racist of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, the FBI said in a lawsuit.
Jones has links to Olivet, Michigan, according to his driver's license, but the FBI said she sent the threats from Epping, New Hampshire, where she was staying with her mother, and that she was arrested there.
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"The allegations in this case should make us all disgusted," said US attorney Matthew Schneider. “There is simply no place in Michigan or the United States where people who just do what they think are right can deter such threats. ... This is not the only election-related threat that we are investigating. "
Jones appeared in federal court in Concord, New Hampshire, and was asked to go to court in Detroit on January 13. She must be in a mental health program. Her lawyer declined to comment.
A message requesting a comment from Palmer was not immediately returned.
Palmer chaired a rough session of the Board of Canvassers on Nov. 17. She and another Republican on the four-member board initially declined to ratify Wayne County's election results, which is usually a routine step on the road to statewide certification. They cited problems with postal ballot papers in Detroit.
When the meeting turned to public comment, Palmer and William Hartmann were criticized for hours by video conference viewers. They then changed their votes and confirmed the election totals. The board's two Democrats assured them that a post-election review would be conducted. Biden won the county on November 3rd with 68% of the vote.
“You made a serious mistake. I hope you see that now, ”Jones told Palmer the day after the meeting, according to the FBI.
The threats included photos of a woman's naked, bloody body and references to Palmer's daughter, the FBI said.
"I would be a shame if something happened to your daughter at school," said Jones, according to investigators.
Jones admitted making the threats when she was interviewed by agents Tuesday for believing Palmer "interfered with the election," the FBI said in a court case.
Palmer and Hartmann said they voted to confirm the results after "hours of continued pressure" and after promising that their concerns about the election would be investigated. They said President Donald Trump reached out to them for support immediately after the November meeting.
According to experts, there was no evidence of widespread electoral fraud in Michigan or any other state.
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