Stefanie Lambert’s Arrest Brings Renewed Attention to Her Election Denial Activities in Michigan

This week, an attorney appearing in court for a defamation case brought by a voting machine company was arrested in a separate case related to her involvement in efforts to discredit the results of the 2020 election. 

Monday, attorney Stefanie Lambert was in federal court representing Patrick Byrne, a prominent election denier and former CEO of Overstock who was active in former President Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Dominion Voting Systems is suing Byrne for falsely claiming its machines altered votes in 2020. 

Lambert was a key player in post-election hunts for non-existent widespread fraud, and last August was indicted in Michigan in connection with a plan to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in 2021. 

At the conclusion of a hearing in Byrne’s case in Washington, D.C., Lambert was arrested on a bench warrant. Lambert had reportedly just been questioned about having shared Dominion documents — case evidence she had signed a protective order agreeing not to share unless the judge allowed — with Sheriff Dar Leaf of Barry County, Mich. 

Leaf is another familiar name in the election denial movement, having advanced baseless claims about fraud through his own long-running investigation. In 2022, American Oversight sued Barry County and Leaf’s office, leading to the release of records of communications with prominent election deniers. The lawsuit also forced the office to abandon its claims that the records were exempt from release because they would interfere with law enforcement proceedings, with American Oversight arguing that Leaf’s investigation did not constitute legitimate law enforcement work given the lack of credible evidence of widespread fraud.

Leaf is now fighting a subpoena related to his investigation, claiming that turning over the subpoenaed documents would “usurp” the investigation. Sunday, an X account using Leaf’s image and name posted more than 2,000 pages of Dominion company emails that the company says were improperly obtained. 

When questioned in court on Monday about sharing these documents, Lambert said she used these Dominion documents to argue against the Michigan charges. Lambert also told the court that Leaf had shared the documents with other sheriffs, legislators, and an unspecified U.S. attorney. 

American Oversight previously obtained records that shed light on Lambert’s and Leaf’s activities in Michigan and demonstrate how several of the same activists worked closely together to undermine trust in the election’s results.  

We obtained text messages from Lambert and others about accessing and running tests on voting equipment in March and April 2021. 

  • On March 18, 2021, Doug Logan, the CEO of lead Arizona election “audit” contractor Cyber Ninjas, texted Lambert, “I created a new group with Ben [Cotton], Matt [DePerno], you and I.” The next day, Lambert wrote, “I hope the hotel is ok with Ben. I’ll have to explain why my office wasn’t possible.” Logan replied, “We’re in enemy territory, I’m sure he’ll get it :-).” Cotton, the CEO of a digital security firm, was also involved in the Arizona ballot review.
  • Lambert asked Logan on April 12 when he would “be able to test it” himself. Two days later, apparently referring to tests run by the group, she texted Logan that they had “no fresh ballots” for “the township we have been running” and asked whether it mattered “which ballots” they used.

In August, we reached a settlement agreement with Sheriff Leaf in a lawsuit that forced the sheriff’s office to release numerous records of its communications with prominent election deniers.

  • American Oversight settled after successfully obtaining records related to Leaf’s investigation, with his office abandoning its earlier claims that communications with well-known voter-fraud alarmists were related to law enforcement proceedings.
  • The records included copies of communications between Leaf and Catherine Engelbrecht, a voter fraud alarmist who founded True the Vote. We also obtained an August 2022 email in which Leaf shared information with four other county sheriffs about a joint meeting with Engelbrecht and “Greg” from True the Vote, likely referring to director Gregg Phillips.