A Donald Trump supporter who gave bizarre and discredited testimony about voter fraud in Detroit was recently released from probation after being accused of sending pornographic videos to her fiancé’s ex-wife and framing the woman for stealing them, HuffPost has learned.
Mellissa Carone, a contract information technology worker for a voting systems company, made sweeping allegations about mass voter fraud when she testified in hearings before the Michigan Senate and House last week.
She was previously charged under the name Mellissa Wright with first degree obscenity and using a computer to commit a crime. Under a plea agreement, she reduced her charge to disorderly conduct and received 12 months of probation, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County, Michigan, prosecutor’s office told HuffPost. Her probation ended on Sept. 13, just weeks before Election Day, when a temporary staffing agency employed Carone to assist Dominion Voting Systems in Detroit.
Police records obtained by HuffPost, which were first reported by Deadline Detroit, say that Carone lied to police about sending explicit videos of herself to her fiancé’s ex-wife, but then confessed that she had done so after being confronted with information obtained from search warrants. Carone even confessed that she had told her fiancé “to get a new router and get a new wifi company” to cover her tracks, police said.
But Carone, in an interview with HuffPost on Saturday, claimed that it was actually her fiancé, Matthew Stackpoole, who sent the explicit videos to his ex-wife and that she took a plea deal only because they didn’t want to spend any more time in court. Stackpoole also admitted to HuffPost in a text message that he sent the videos and suggested that police officers knew he had done so when officers “took [Carone’s] official ‘confession.’”
“The reason I got charged for it is it was sent off of my phone,” Carone, a self-proclaimed cybersecurity analyst, told HuffPost. “I just said screw it, I’m going to have to take it.”
Carone’s alleged computer crime and false accusations about hacking are directly relevant to her credibility.
The Trump campaign and the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, put Carone forward, presented her as a credible witness and asked state legislators to disenfranchise millions of Michigan voters and declare Trump the winner of Michigan’s electoral votes based in large part on Carone’s claims.
“There is no rule that people coming off probation are incredible as a matter of law,” Giuliani texted HuffPost when asked about Carone’s credibility. “I don’t know her circumstances, but her testimony is corroborated by other witnesses, documentary evidence and expert testimony.” Giuliani also took the opportunity to point out that Hunter Biden used cocaine.
Stackpoole’s ex-wife, the target of the pair’s wrath, provided HuffPost with a prosecutor’s letter naming her as Carone’s victim, and her former attorney corroborated her story. She told HuffPost that the couple had torn her life apart. (HuffPost is not identifying the ex-wife out of concern for the privacy of Stackpoole’s minor son.)
Explicit videos featuring Carone and Stackpoole came from an address with the ex-wife’s maiden name on it, which Stackpoole’s ex-wife believes Carone set up. Stackpoole, according to police records, claimed his ex-wife unlawfully accessed his account, a false allegation that Carone also made.
Carone later denied to police that she sent the videos but then confessed she did send them, adding that she wanted to send her boyfriend’s ex-wife “over the top” according to police records.
Now Carone is telling a much different story, despite what she reportedly told police. Carone admitted in a phone interview that she initially told police she believed her fiancé’s ex-wife unlawfully obtained the videos. But she argued that she didn’t make a false allegation at the time because she honestly believed that was the case.
“I didn’t make a false accusation. That is what I thought at the time. That is what I assumed to be the truth at the time,” Carone said. “He had not yet came out and told me that he had sent it.”
Stackpoole told HuffPost in a text message that he sent the explicit videos to his ex-wife.
Nevertheless, Carone insisted that Americans should still believe she told the truth about voter fraud in Detroit. “I’m 100% credible,” Carone said. “I’ve already talked to Trump and Giuliani about this.”
When pressed on her claim that she spoke to the president, Carone revised her story. “I’ve talked directly to Giuliani that has spoken directly to Trump,” Carone said.
A staffing agency hired Carone to provide temporary assistance to Dominion Voting Systems at the TCF Center in Detroit.
She later appeared on Lou Dobbs’ show on Fox Business to float a conspiracy theory that vans of food for election workers might have secretly been filled with ballots. Giuliani repeated her claims on Fox Business and Fox News in mid-November.
A Michigan judge declared Carone’s wild accusations “simply are not credible.” Like many of the Michigan conservatives who made outlandish claims about the vote count in Detroit, Carone has posted a number of stories from conspiracy websites about mass voter fraud.
But it was her testimony alongside Giuliani that went viral last week. Carone made sweeping, baffling, wholly noncredible accusations of mass criminality. “Everything that happened at that TCF Center was fraud,” Carone claimed at one point. “Every single thing.”
A clip of Carone’s testimony posted by this reporter racked up more than 21 million views as Twitter users compared her to Cecily Strong’s “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party” character on “Saturday Night Live.”
The video also made the rounds of the late night shows. Jimmy Fallon asked whether Giuliani found her on “LinkedInsane.” Jimmy Kimmel wondered if she was wearing a “Rosé All Day” tank top under her scarf. And Stephen Colbert joked that Carone ended her testimony by saying she’d “like to speak to America’s manager.”
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) December 3, 2020
Even Giuliani, who twice appeared to audibly flatulate during his testimony, seemed embarrassed by Carone’s behavior. Giuliani tried to shush her and calm her down when she faced off with a Republican legislator asking basic questions about Carone’s conspiracy theories.
Provided with a summary of HuffPost’s reporting, Carone’s former attorney, David Loeckner, confirmed that he represented her in the case but said he couldn’t offer any details of the case. HuffPost asked the attorney whether the public should take any of her voter fraud claims seriously given what he knows about Carone.
“I do not have any comment,” Loeckner replied.
Todd Barron, an attorney for Carone’s victim, hadn’t seen any of Carone’s eye-opening testimony when he spoke to HuffPost. But he also wasn’t shocked once he was filled in.
“Let me say I’m not surprised,” Barron said.
Carone, based on her social media track record, has lived an eventful life. The charges that led to her probation grew out of a long-running dispute with Stackpoole’s ex-wife. An official with the Lincoln Park Police Department told HuffPost that there was “a lot of back and forth contact” between the couple and Stackpoole’s ex-wife, with somewhere between 15 and 20 police reports involving the trio dating back to 2017. Police in Southgate, Michigan, brought the case that led to Carone’s probation.
Stackpoole’s ex-wife said the Southgate detective assigned to the case eventually determined the videos were emailed from a public Wi-Fi network. Stackpoole now admits that he sent the videos, but police records showed that Stackpoole told Lincoln Park police earlier that “he is not sure how someone would get sexual videos of him and his girlfriend” and that he thought his ex-wife “somehow was able to access his Google account to view his pictures and videos that he had stored on his Google account.”
Stackpoole’s ex-wife said Stackpoole’s false report to the Lincoln Park police led to an investigation that cost her a lot of money. She said she eventually took a lie-detector test to show that she hadn’t unlawfully accessed her ex-husband’s account.
Barron, the attorney for Stackpoole’s ex-wife, said that he recalled that Carone “testified that my client had sent these videos out or had hacked [Stackpoole’s] phone” and was “adamant that she was appalled that these videos had gotten out.”
Stackpoole’s ex-wife has known Carone for years and said the pair were like sisters at one point. But she said she “never heard a political word out of her mouth” until recently and thinks Carone is simply seizing an opportunity for publicity.
Carone has posted plenty of Trump content on social media. Minutes after she testified that she “had to get rid of social media,” Carone posted images of herself with Giuliani and Trump attorney Jenna Ellis on Facebook.
“I just think this was an easy bandwagon for her to jump on,” Stackpoole’s ex-wife said. “She is a very calculating and methodical person.”
Carone still pushes her discredited conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud in Detroit. In a conversation with HuffPost on Saturday, she declined to say how much actual training she received on how the voting process works but said HuffPost would “blow up” if it wrote about a 10-minute video she found on her phone that was going to expose a mass criminal conspiracy to steal the election for Joe Biden.
“You guys are acting stupid about it. You’re acting like you don’t know what’s going on. You’re acting, like, ‘Oh, my God, you guys are crazy,’” Carone said. “But you know what I just found? I just found something on my phone that is going to blow this all up in about three days.”
Stackpoole said that HuffPost shouldn’t focus on the false claims he and Carone made against his ex-wife and should instead look into the mass voter fraud conspiracy theories floated by his fiancé.
He, too, appears to have bought fully into Trump’s false claims of a stolen election and still believes there’s a path for the Supreme Court to toss out the actual results and declare Trump the president for four more years.
“Once again, the left media is going to look ridiculous when SCOTUS overturns this election,” he texted HuffPost.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.