A Michigan congresswoman has published a series of threatening voicemails she received from supporters of President Donald Trump who want the legislature to award Michigan’s electoral votes to Trump, although President-elect Joe Biden earned 154,000 more votes than the president.
One caller told Michigan state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson, D-Detroit, who is black, that she should be “swinging from a … rope.”
Another call received by Johnson predicted she would be lynched, according to multiple voicemails Johnson shared on her Facebook page.
The calls are some of many threats received by Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Michigan, as President Donald Trump and his allies continue to rely on conspiracy theories – not credible evidence – to argue widespread fraud led to a stolen election.
Supporters want lawmakers to step in and award Michigan’s electoral votes to Trump, although President-elect Joe Biden earned 154,000 more votes than the president.
Legislative leaders have already said they have no role in intervening in the election, but that didn’t stop Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis from asking lawmakers to take some action when they appeared at a House Oversight Committee meeting last week.
Johnson is the Democratic minority vice chairwoman of the committee. During the hearing, Giuliani spent hours interviewing his own witnesses, who provided largely uncontested inaccuracies and misinformation about the election.
There have also been threats made against Republicans, confirmed state House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, according to the USA Today.
“Violent threats against anyone are a stain on our society and unacceptable, especially when that person is just trying to do their job and help people. I and my family have received numerous threats, along with members on both sides of the aisle,” Chatfield said Sunday in an emailed statement.
“Whenever a threat is made against a representative and we are made aware, we contact our House sergeants and the Michigan State Police so they can look into its credibility, stay alert and prepare for any possible situation.”
Trump asked Chatfield and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, to attend a White House meeting after the election in November. While many feared the president would try to strongarm the legislative leaders into taking legislative action to undermine the will of Michigan voters, the legislators have repeatedly said they will respect the current process set out in Michigan law.
The president undermined the lawmakers’ statements after the meeting though, saying and tweeting many times after the meeting that fraud would be found in Michigan. Neither his legal team nor anyone else has presented any evidence of widespread election fraud in the state.
Other election officials in other states have also received threats. A Georgia elections official, a Republican, recently called on Trump to stop spreading misinformation and to condemn attacks made on elections workers. During a visit to Georgia Saturday, Trump blasted elected leaders in the state for not bending to his will.
The threats and attacks must stop, said Michigan House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills.
“There is no place in our political process for intimidation or threats of violence against elected officials, our families and loved ones. Following this hard fought election, we must lower temperature and return civility to our political discourse,” Greig said in a statement emailed Sunday.
“With the increasing severity of the most recent threats of violence and intimidation, our caucus will be working in concert with law enforcement authorities to address our security throughout the lame duck session.”
Michigan lawmakers are set to meet in session for two more weeks this month. The Capitol has seen its fair share of protests this year, including several rallies where some people brought guns inside the statehouse.
The threats come two months after state and federal law enforcement revealed an alleged plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.