Republican leaders in the Michigan state House have stripped a Democratic representative of her committee assignments after she posted a “warning” to “you Trumpers” in a Facebook video.
Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D) served as the leading Democrat on the Michigan House Oversight Committee, the body that hosted a hearing with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on election integrity and allegations of voter fraud in Michigan, the Detroit News reported. After publicly challenging Giuliani’s claims during the hearing, Johnson received death threats, including a racist voicemail that said she should be lynched.
In a three-minute video posted on her personal Facebook page, Johnson drinks what appears to be wine and thanks her supporters, urging them to do “things right and in order.” She also told them to “hit their a**es in the pocketbook,” presumably referring to the people sending her threats.
At the end of her video, she issued this warning: “So this is just a warning to 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. I love y’all, bye bye.”
In a follow-up video, Johnson appears to clarify that “soldiers” are for “Christ” and against “racism” and “misogyny.”
The Detroit News reported that Johnson began receiving threats after participating in the Dec. 2 election integrity hearing featuring Giuliani and testimony from poll challengers and a Dominion Voting System contract worker who testified to election irregularities at the TCF center in Detroit, where ballots were counted on Election Night. The Detroit lawmaker accused the witnesses of lying.
Since then, Johnson has publicly shared racist and threatening voicemails she’s received from one woman and two men. The woman, who was identified as being from Illinois based on her phone number, threatened to share Johnson’s phone number with “a million people.”
One of the men used misogynistic and racist language and told Johnson, “Your time is coming … from the (expletive) gallows you’ll be hanging.”
In her video posted Tuesday, Johnson said the woman who left a voicemail had been identified by the FBI and state police. She told her supporters to “be smart” and reminded them that they don’t have to yell or “curse people out.”
“Always provide proof. Nobody cares what your mouth is saying. Provide proof,” Johnson said before issuing her warning to “Trumpers.”
The day after the video was posted, House Speaker Lee Chatfield and his incoming successor Rep. Jason Wentworth issued a statement condemning Johnson’s remarks.
“Threats to either Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official,” the Republican lawmakers said. “Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations.”
“We have been consistent in our position on this — violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics. We have said that about threats against Gov. [Gretchen] Whitmer, Secretary [Jocelyn] Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others. 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.”
The Republicans announced Johnson would be stripped of her position on the Oversight Committee in addition to her positions on the Agriculture Committee and the Families, Children, and Seniors Committee.