A Michigan state representative who suggested there was “going to be violence” at the Capitol in Lansing on Monday ahead of the state’s electors meeting to cast their votes for Joe Biden has lost his committee assignments for the rest of the year. The move against Rep. Gary Eisen comes after his comments during a Monday interview on WPHM, in which he said he couldn’t assure listeners it would be a safe day at the Michigan Capitol building. “I don’t know, because what we’re doing today is uncharted,” Eisen said. “It hasn’t been done. It’s not me doing it, it’s the Michigan House... it’s the Michigan party. I’m just a witness.”
At another point in the interview, Eisen declined to give specifics on the attempt to stop the vote he was referring to, but described it as “dangerous:” “I was warned that it’s going to be violence, going to be protests, and they asked me if I would assist today and I said you know what, how can I not? That’s my job.”
“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics—it is never appropriate and never acceptable,” Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Republican Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth said in a statement. That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the public officials open the door to violent behavior and refuse to condemn it. We must do better.”
The Michigan State House and Senate office buildings were forced to close their doors Monday after receiving violent threats. According to the Detroit Free Press, officials already announced last week that the Capitol would be closed to the public during the Electoral College meeting because of expected protests. However, an alert went out Sunday to senators, representatives, and employees to tell them that the offices will also shut down.