Michigan GOP leaders are seen drinking at Trump's DC hotel hours after meeting with president

Michigan’s top Republican legislative leaders were seen drinking champagne at the Trump International Hotel, hours after they were invited to the White House by the president to discuss the election results in the state. 

House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Rep. Jim Lilly were photographed on Friday night indulging in a bottle of Dom Perignon at the hotel’s Benjamin Bar & Lounge.

The photos, tweeted by journalist Lauren Windsor on Saturday, showed Chatfield and Lilly sitting at a table as they chatted with three other men over drinks. 

The group reportedly stayed at the hotel drinking until midnight, Windsor said. 

The celebratory drinks came hours after Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey had met with Trump as part of the president’s extraordinary move to try to overturn Joe Biden’s popular vote win in Michigan.  

House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Rep. Jim Lilly were photographed on Friday night indulging in a bottle of Dom Perignon at the hotel's Benjamin Bar & Lounge

House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Rep. Jim Lilly were photographed on Friday night indulging in a bottle of Dom Perignon at the hotel’s Benjamin Bar & Lounge

The group reportedly stayed at the hotel drinking until midnight

The group reportedly stayed at the hotel drinking until midnight

The celebratory drinks came hours after Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey had met with Trump as part of the president's extraordinary move to try to overturn Joe Biden's popular vote win in Michigan

The celebratory drinks came hours after Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey had met with Trump as part of the president’s extraordinary move to try to overturn Joe Biden’s popular vote win in Michigan

It came on the same day Trump once again claimed he ‘won’ the election, despite trailing President-elect Joe Biden by six million votes. 

Chatfield and Shirkey issued a joint statement after the meeting, saying they had not seen anything that would ‘change the outcome’ of the race.

The meeting however had drawn skepticism from the public after the lawmakers failed to provide details of the discussion and seemed to suggest it had been focused on federal assistance for the state during the pandemic. 

‘We used our time in the White House to deliver a letter to President Trump making clear our support for additional federal funds to Michigan in the fight against COVID-19,’ the statement read.

The photos, tweeted by journalist Lauren Windsor on Saturday, showed Chatfield and Lilly sitting at a table as they chatted with three other men over a bo0ttle of Dom Perignon

The photos, tweeted by journalist Lauren Windsor on Saturday, showed Chatfield and Lilly sitting at a table as they chatted with three other men over a bo0ttle of Dom Perignon

Michigan's top Republican legislative leaders were seen drinking champagne at the Trump International Hotel, hours after they were invited to the White House by the president to discuss the election results in the state

Michigan’s top Republican legislative leaders were seen drinking champagne at the Trump International Hotel, hours after they were invited to the White House by the president to discuss the election results in the state

They then referenced the election results saying: ‘The Senate and House Oversight Committees are actively engaged in a thorough review of Michigan’s elections process and we have faith in the committee process to provide greater transparency and accountability to our citizens.’ 

‘Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes. These are simple truths and should provide confidence in our elections,’ they added.

The photos of the champagne drinks on Friday drew further backlash on Twitter, as critics slammed the lawmakers for the pricey drink of choice amid the ongoing pandemic. 

Earlier on Friday Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (pictured) and Chatfield issued a statement saying they had not seen 'information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan' and would 'follow the law'

Earlier on Friday Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (pictured) and Chatfield issued a statement saying they had not seen ‘information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan’ and would ‘follow the law’

Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Lee Chatfield speaks during a campaign rally on October 17, 2020 in Muskegon, Michigan. He met with President Trump days before Michigan's certification deadline

Rep. Jim Lilly

Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Lee Chatfield (left) speaks during a campaign rally on October 17. Chatfield was pictured drinking at the Trump hotel with Rep. Jim Lilly (right)

Trump fueled further speculation of the outcome of the meeting on Saturday when he posted tweets responding to the lawmakers' statement

Trump fueled further speculation of the outcome of the meeting on Saturday when he posted tweets responding to the lawmakers’ statement

‘Close your eyes and try to imagine the reaction if someone photographed Gov. Whitmer in a Washington DC hotel bar, with a $500 bottle of Dom Pérignon, without a mask, on the day Michigan had nearly 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 deaths,’ Whitmer’s Deputy Chief of Staff Zack Pohl tweeted.

‘People in #Michigan are getting sick and dying at record rates from #COVID19, the legislature isn’t doing anything about it, and our reps are drinking Dom Perignon at Trump hotel in DC after meeting with @realDonaldTrump. Truly disgusting,’ Dr. Rob Davidson said. 

A spokesman for Chatfield told the Detroit Free Press the legislator had paid for his own expenses but did not provide further comment. 

The photos of the champagne drinks on Friday drew further backlash on Twitter, as critics slammed the lawmakers for pricey drink of choice amid the ongoing pandemic

The photos of the champagne drinks on Friday drew further backlash on Twitter, as critics slammed the lawmakers for pricey drink of choice amid the ongoing pandemic

President Trump fueled further speculation of the outcome of the meeting on Saturday when he posted tweets responding to the lawmakers’ statement. 

‘This is true, but much different than reported by the media. We will show massive and unprecedented fraud!’ he said in response to Senator Shirkey’s statement. 

Chatfield on Friday had posted the statement on Twitter, under the heading: ‘I was glad to have met with President Trump this evening.’ 

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said beforehand it wasn’t an ‘advocacy’ meeting, and compared it to meetings with lawmakers that Trump has regularly – even though it comes days before the deadline for Michigan certifying the results in the election where Trump was a candidate. 

The statement came after President-elect Joe Biden’s legal advisor blasted the ‘appalling’ move by Trump to seek to overturn the results of the election in Michigan and battleground states where he lost, but said the effort won’t work.    

‘It’s an abuse of office,’ Biden legal advisor Bob Bauer told reporters by video.  

‘It’s an open attempt to intimidate election officials. It’s absolutely appalling.’  

Election law expert Rick Hasen compared the effort to an attempted coup. He wrote: ‘We should worry because this is profoundly antidemocratic and is delegitimizing the victory of Joe Biden in a free and fair election. It is profoundly depressing we still have to discuss this. But it is extremely unlikely to lead to any different result for president.’ 

Even as Bauer and Biden himself have turned up the volume in their denunciations in recent days, Bauer continued to maintain the effort would be fruitless. 

‘There is however no chance whatsoever that Donald Trump can be successful in what it is that he is trying to do,’ he said. He cited what he called the ‘complete, ignominious collapse’ of the Trump team’s legal case across states. 

He spoke on a day when Trump is meeting with the Republican heads of the Michigan legislature, in part of a plan to get lawmakers to use their majority to overturn Biden’s lead of more than 150,000 votes in the state.

It’s a move that Democrats and a smattering of senior Republicans call brazen and illegal – but that Bauer said simply won’t happen successfully.   

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk