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Barry County, Michigan Sheriff Dar Leaf Says Militia May Be Necessary if “Redress of Grievance” Not Achieved


A Michigan Sheriff under investigation for his efforts to investigate “election fraud” has called for creating a sheriff’s task force to investigate such allegations in the state. Explaining that he would like the far-right Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) to handle money for the project, Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf also indicated that the militia may be necessary if his project does not achieve a “redress of grievance.”

Sheriff Leaf’s call to action came in a June 14 interview on The Richard Mack Show, named for the CSPOA leader and co-hosted with CSPOA National Operations Director Sam Bushman.

Sheriff Dar Leaf on far right

Leaf confirmed that he was under investigation by state authorities and that his own “investigation” is ongoing, describing that “I’ve got one detective assigned to it, and I can’t afford to assign anybody else with the caseload that we’ve got going on right now. And I’m, hopefully, we’ve got enough sheriffs to start…even do a task force here in Michigan.”

Richard Mack responded, “Are you saying that the sheriffs…in Michigan, they’re some are trying to form a task force, or are you… asking for that task force?”

The following exchange ensued:

Leaf: “I’m asking for it, and there are some that I think are willing. And again… you talk about funding and manpower, that is our biggest issue when we come to getting one of those going…Nobody’s close, we’re talking 4 or 5-hour drive…up to their county. I’ve got one county, I think, they’re going to assign somebody to it, and that’s a neighboring county, which is awesome for us…Just keep your fingers crossed that we get this domino effect going.”

Mack: “Well, let’s talk about funding right there.”

Sam Bushman: “In my mind, this is where the sheriff’s posse comes in, Sheriff Mack.”

Mack: “It could…you know, Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio, obviously, had some very good investigators, and Sheriff Leaf knows he can create a posse, hopefully, to help with this investigation. But sometimes, the top-notch investigators are not available for a posse…On the funding end of it, Sheriff Leaf, you agree that you don’t want people sending you money, and you want that to go through CSPOA, correct?”

Leaf: “Yeah, I think it’s that. Because otherwise, it’ll be, I’ll have to ask somebody else being able to manage all that money coming in. So yes, that’d be great if you guys could help us out with that.”

The conversation soon turned to paramilitarism, at least on Sheriff Dar Leaf’s part.

Sam Bushman kicked it off with a question posed to Dar Leaf,

Bushman: “We want to restore faith to the American people, and one of the most fundamental keys to freedom and to a republic, it’s a sacred responsibly to vote, and if that is destroyed, and there’s no trust, and there’s no redress of grievance to resolve it, what do we have left Sheriff Leaf?”

Leaf: “Well, what do you have left?”

Mack: “Yes, sir.”

Leaf: “Boy, I almost, your posses, your militias, um, ‘cause that’s what it’s going to come down to…If you go listen to what they’re trying to do globally, if our government’s involved in that, I don’t know how we cannot call that treason.”

Mack: “Your absolutely correct, Sheriff Leaf. Thank you so much.”

Election conspiracy and January 6th

Mack and Bushman continued to spin the election denial conspiracies undergirding their current activism and the January 6th nationalist insurrection. Mack, a former member of the Oath Keepers Board of Directors, claimed, “voter fraud was ubiquitous in 2020, and it has been very prevalent in every election before then, I would say for the last 60, 70, 80, hundred years. It’s been there for a long time.”

Richard Mack (second row center in white shirt) with Oath Keepers, a group deeply implicated in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Mack asked, “Why do we use computers to tabulate votes in America?… It guarantees the probability and possibility of voter fraud every single election. It guarantees that threat possibly will always be there as long as we use computers…There is no way anyone can determine an honest, integrous (?) election as long as you’re using computers.”

Mack continued that “we” should be “sarcastic” about the Attorney General saying of electoral fraud that “it wasn’t enough” to change the election outcome, an apparent reference to former AG William Barr’s recently aired deposition describing his rejection of Donald Trump’s election conspiracies. Mack continued that,

“We’re not gonna investigate the most horrendous coup attempt in American history. The greatest crime [unclear]…is stealing the authority and power of the American people to choose their own representatives, destroying our constitutional republic.”

Bushman responded, “In New York, they have illegals voting and illegals on the voting rolls, and they say that’s fine. We have 350,000 dead people in the country that are on the voter rolls. That’s been proven as well…How is this just petty vote fraud?”

Mack concluded, “If it didn’t change any of the outcomes, they wouldn’t be doing it…It proves that the Attorney General was an accomplice…At the very least, he covered it up.”

The two also spent time mocking the Congressional January 6th committee and, on Bushman’s account, spinning conspiracies about the insurrection itself.

Bushman cast the January 6th hearings as “more like a reality TV show, ladies and gentlemen, but it’s not reality. It’s like fake TV. They talked about fake news. Now they’re peddling it prime time via your government-controlled media.”

Citing a recent press release from Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot announcing his office’s own voter fraud “investigation,” Mack declared, “somebody should take this to the sham, or the party, that the Democrats are having with Liz Cheney as they go through the January 6th, quote, insurrection. Because they keep saying that Donald Trump fabricated these charges of election fraud. Here you go, folks. Here’s an official investigation going on in Yuma County, Arizona. And it’s not the only one.”

Bushman added, “I believe that government provocateurs literally created the insurrection. Whether Democrats and Republicans were involved in that, I don’t know.”

Sheriff’s network

The interview also shed light on Mack and CSPOA’s ongoing interactions with sheriffs. Mack claimed that Racine County, Wisconsin Sheriff Chris Schmaling had been a scheduled guest on the show, but a family emergency kept him from appearing. Mack also claimed to have recently talked with Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff Calvin Hayden about his efforts.

Mack also appeared to be in touch with the Yuma, Arizona Sheriff’s department, claiming that the office had already made three arrests related to voter fraud – a fact not mentioned in Sheriff Leon Wilmot’s May 11 press release.

At one point, Mack asserted, “We have lots of sheriffs now, well I’d say about, at least 6 or 7 sheriffs now that are conducting investigations.”

Bushman said Mack would soon be traveling to Texas “for some incredible training.” He continued, “Texas, like no other state, is on fire. Their sheriffs are understanding their oaths of office. They’re sick of the issues on the border. They’re gathering together and saying…We need to… learn about the proper role of a constitutional sheriff.”

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, a state agency that oversees ongoing officer education, provides credit to officers who attend CSPOA training sessions. Mack was slated to conduct a training hosted by Bosque County, Texas Sheriff Trace Hendricks on June 16.

Mack also claimed that Yuma County Sheriff Wilmot’s Arizona efforts are having an impact beyond inspiring sheriffs, describing that in the wake of the Yuma County Sheriff’s investigation, “Gregg Phillips is now speaking out about what’s happening in Arizona, more so than even the sheriff is.”

Mack claimed that Gregg Phillips of True the Vote and some sheriffs would participate in a July 12 press conference to boost the “electoral fraud” project. In addition, Mack hoped that True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and “2000 Mules” director Dinesh D’Souza would also appear.



Correction: This article originally referred to Sam Bushman as CSPOA’s Vice-President of Operations, a position he formerly held. As of July 14, 2022 the group’s website lists Bushman as the National Operations Director ( This article has been corrected to reflect this fact.

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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