Michigan lawmaker disciplined for threatening Trump backers

Posted at 4:24 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 08:28:37-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican leaders in the Michigan House have stripped a Democratic lawmaker of her committee assignments 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. In a Facebook video, she urged supportive "soldiers" to "make them pay."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released a statement regarding the more than 80 phone calls of racially charged threats toward Rep. Johnson. In the statement, she condemned both the threats made toward the representative and the message the Rep. Johnson released in response.

“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," Nessel said. "My office has received a number of calls and emails from residents about these incidents. 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.”

House Speaker Lee Chatfield Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth say they are exploring further disciplinary action against Johnson.