Republican Michigan State Senator Jim Runestad from the Detroit area believes Governor Gretchen Whitmer may have committed a crime.  A handful of other state senators including mid-Michigan Republican Jim Barrett joined Runestad on correspondence delivered to Michigan State Attorney General Dana Nessel.  They raised issues of criminality connected to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her ordering nursing and long-term care facilities to accept COVID-19 patients. The senators point to abnormally high virus death rates at those facilities as that was happening.  They wanted justice.

AG Nessel is deciding she will not initiate an investigation. Nessel says there is no basis for one. Nessel’s letter in response to the investigation request does not deny or try to downplay the accusations.  What she does say is that any investigation must be free of political motivations or influence. Nessel says there is no question in her mind that both political motivations and attempted influence are involved with the Republican state Senators' request. The Senators raised four primary areas of concern. The Attorney General is addressing all four in her response. Essentially, the state’s top law enforcement officer is saying there’s nothing here.

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Senator Jim Runestad however says there certainly is something there. Runestad says, “Gov. Whitmer’s regional hub policy placed patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities and may have exacerbated the death toll in those facilities.Questions remain regarding the accuracy of data, compliance with CDC guidelines and compliance with our state’s Freedom of Information Act. There is a critical need for a full investigation into these matters.”

The Senator says the tragedy of deaths in nursing homes in Michigan is not unlike what happened in New York. Runestad points to FBI and federal prosecutors opening probes into related actions by embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Runestad says it may now be left to federal investigators to look closely at Michigan’s mess.

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