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AP breaks news on Trump involvement in Michigan certification

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As President Donald Trump deployed a scattershot legal strategy in an effort to upend the results of the 2020 presidential election, White House reporter Zeke Miller worked with Colleen Long and others on the law enforcement team to figure out where the legal maneuvers were headed next and what they meant for the overall plan.

Then, after the two Republicans on the Wayne County, Michigan, canvass board tried to rescind their vote to certify local results, Miller wondered if Trump was behind their move and started connecting the dots. He called around to sources he had developed around the country and uncovered major news: The president had made personal calls to the two canvass board members before they tried to rescind their votes. It showed that Trump’s game had shifted from the courtrooms, where his team was constantly losing, to personally trying to intervene.

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Wayne County Board of Canvassers, from left, Republican member William Hartmann, Republican chair Monica Palmer, Democrat vice chair Jonathan Kinloch and Democratic member Allen Wilson discuss a motion to certify election results during a board meeting in Detroit, Nov. 17, 2020. AP broke the news that President Donald Trump phoned the Republican canvassers before they tried unsuccessfully to reverse their certification of Joe Biden’s win. State officials said the certification of the Detroit-area vote will stand. – Robin Buckson / Detroit News via AP

Miller’s scoop went viral — used by hundreds of websites and tweeted by every major election watcher in the country as a shocking example of the lengths Trump would go to in order to subvert the election. Lansing correspondent David Eggert,working with Miller and Long,followed up with a scoop of his own, reporting that state lawmakers had been summoned to Washington to meet with Trump.

The trio’s stories on the drama in Michigan were stocked with news but also wove in critical context on the baseless and extraordinary claims that Trump was making and the damage he was doing to confidence in democratic traditions. Their stories were clear,authoritative,and comprehensive,including important fact check material. One retired journalism professor emailed the reporters: “This is one of the best reports I’ve seen on Trump’s attempt to subvert the election. Excellent perspective,deftly written, unflinching reference to attempted election subversion. I wish I could say you were in one of my journalism classes.”

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