Michigan lawmaker wears badge with Q on it to pro-Trump election audit rally

A Republican Michigan state lawmaker wore a badge to a rally outside the state Capitol depicting an American flag with a gold letter Q on it — synonymous with the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon.

Representative Daire Rendon of Lake City, Michigan, who is also chair of the House Insurance Committee and sits on a number of other state committees, was asked if the pin was referencing the QAnon group and responded: “That is a flag with a Q on it.”

The Detroit News reports that when pressed as to what the Q meant, she replied: “The Q is the highest level of security in the federal government … That’s what it is.”

The Q in the QAnon conspiracy theory is a reference to “Q level clearance”, an apparent top-secret clearance level within the US Department of Energy, adopted as a pseudonym by the mysterious Q at the centre of the conspiracy.

A description of QAnon by the Southern Poverty Law Center calls it “a sprawling spiderweb of right-wing internet conspiracy theories” that “falsely claim the world is run by a secret cabal of paedophiles who worship Satan and are plotting against” Donald Trump.

QAnon imagery can be seen at many gatherings of supporters of the former president, including both his rallies and the violent attack on the US Capitol on 6 January.

The event Ms Rendon was attending on Tuesday in Lansing, Michigan, was for supporters of another audit of the state’s 2020 election. She addressed the crowd of several hundred people.

In her remarks, she questioned why others don’t want to see “evidence” of election fraud, which she believes stems from the voting machines being “accessible” and subject to possible hacking.

When questioned, she said she had not seen “logs” from the machines that might prove any hacking, nor would she be able to read them.

In December 2020, Ms Rendon was one of two GOP state representatives listed among plaintiffs on an unsuccessful federal lawsuit the intention of which was to require state legislatures to certify the results of presidential elections.

Lavora Barnes, chairwoman of the Michigan Democratic Party, told The Detroit News that Ms Rendon was spiralling “further into bogus, dangerous and violent conspiracy theories about the 2020 election”.

“If she is so convinced by her own bogus conspiracy theories about the 2020 election results, then she should just resign,” Ms Barnes said. “Michiganders and our democracy would certainly be better for it.”

President Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes or three percentage points.

The outcome of the election in the state has been upheld by dozens of past audits, court rulings, and an investigation by the state’s Senate Oversight Committee, which is led by Republicans.

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