LANSING, Mich. (AP/CBS DETROIT) — Republican leaders in the Michigan House stripped a Democratic lawmaker of her committee assignments Wednesday after she threatened “Trumpers” in a social media video.
Rep. Cynthia Johnson of Detroit sits on a GOP-led committee that heard baseless allegations of election fraud from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others last week. Johnson, who is Black, reported getting multiple threats after the hearing — including one saying she should be lynched — and on Tuesday night took to Facebook to warn “you Trumpers. Be careful. Walk lightly. We ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough. And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay.”
House Speaker Lee Chatfield of Levering and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth of Farwell said they were exploring further disciplinary action against the first-term legislator.
“Threats to either Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official,” they said in a joint statement stating that violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics. “That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the threats come from public officials. Behavior like this will not be tolerated this term or next.”
On Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement regarding racially charged threats of violence that were made to Johnson.
Nessel said her office received more than 80 phone calls Wednesday.
“The threats Rep. Johnson has received are appalling, ugly and deeply disturbing, but her response to those messages is also unacceptable and I strongly condemn both. My office has received a number of calls and emails from residents about these incidents,” said Nessel. “I must remind people that if they have been threatened or if they fear for their safety, the appropriate thing to do is to call your local police department or 911, if it’s an emergency, so that law enforcement officers can respond. As Michiganders, and as Americans, we cannot allow hateful rhetoric from a few individuals to drag the masses down into a spiral of unjust actions. It is never acceptable for anyone – especially a public servant – to incite violence or to threaten others with harm. When vigilantes assume justice is theirs to serve, our democracy suffers. It’s time for us to move forward together as a state instead of engaging in – or celebrating – actions of hate and divisiveness.”
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