After the Republican opponent of Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel criticized the Democrat for refusing to enforce the state's abortion ban, Nessel threatened to jail the candidate.
Jeff Timmer, a senior adviser for the Nessel campaign, tweeted on Wednesday that his boss's Republican challenger Matt DePerno has to "remain unindicted" to qualify for a debate. Timmer tweeted the threat just after DePerno criticized Nessel's refusal to enforce the state's 1931 abortion ban following the Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade.
"Consider this an official campaign response," Timmer tweeted. "I can commit that Dana will debate you. All you have to do is (1) become the official GOP nominee (2) remain unindicted and (3) allow Dana to Mirandize you at the beginning of the debate. Easy-peasy, right? Lemme know."
Consider this an official campaign response. I can commit that Dana will debate you. All you have to do is (1) become the official GOP nominee (2) remain unindicted and (3) allow Dana to Mirandize you at the beginning of the debate. Easy-peasy, right?
— Jeff Timmer (@jefftimmer) June 29, 2022
Nessel, who is best known for her drunken exit on a wheelchair at a college football game, as well as her call for "drag queens for every school," has a history of threatening political opponents with jail time. As attorney general, she brought charges against former Republican Michigan governor Rick Snyder in relation to the Flint water crisis, but the state's Supreme Court dropped the charges. Emails obtained in a public information request also show Nessel attempted to have restaurant owner Marlena Hackney arrested before she appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss why she defied the state's pandemic lockdown order.
"Do we know her whereabouts?" Nessel wrote in an email. "We should just have her picked up before she goes on. This is outrageous."
Hackney was arrested seven days later.
DePerno rose to national fame after he challenged the 2020 election results in Michigan’s Antrim County. He is not under investigation but has faced criticism for withholding information about how he spends funds raised in support of an election audit.
DePerno said Nessel uses her power in office as a political weapon.
"It just shows she is getting more and more drunk on power and reckless with each passing day," DePerno told the Washington Free Beacon. "She has no shame in her actions and that is now very clear to the public."
Timmer reportedly joined Nessel’s campaign in October after years of experience working for the Michigan Republican Party. He is also a senior adviser to the Lincoln Project, whose cofounder John Weaver left the organization in disgrace amid accusations of sexual misconduct toward young men. The group reached a $375,000 legal settlement in February with an official who accused the super PAC of ignoring the misconduct allegations.
Gustavo Portela, the deputy chief of staff of the Michigan GOP, said Nessel should focus on actual crime, which has spiked under her rule.
"Dana Nessel is more consumed with jailing Michiganders who oppose her ideology than going after actual criminals making our streets and neighborhoods less safe," Portela told the Free Beacon. "It's no wonder crime has gone up under her watch. We're going to end her drunk-on-power tirades this fall when we defeat her in November."
Neither Nessel's campaign nor her office responded to requests for comment.