GOP Rep. Gary Eisen clarifies controversial statements
When pressed during a radio interview he would not rule out political violence.
UPDATE: State Representative Gary Eisen has released the following statement:
“I regret the confusion over my comments this morning, and I want to assure everyone that those of us who are supporting an alternative slate of electors intend to do so peacefully and legally. I wanted to attend today’s event to help prevent violence, not promote it. I no longer plan to go to the Capitol with that group today.
“My comments were meant to reflect that while our group intends to be peaceful, I did not feel I could speak for other groups. Apparently some people are making credible threats of violence today, and I am glad local law enforcement is on the scene preventing any such action and keeping everyone safe. Our group, who will also be at the Capitol today to request to be seated as electors, intends to participate in our democracy peacefully. We are all concerned about safety today and hopeful for a safe, legal and clear process at the Capitol.”
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Monday, during a radio interview with a Port Huron based radio station, Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Township, made comments implying he was part of a group that intended to disrupt or undermine the vote slated to happen in the Electoral College this afternoon.
Eisen suggested that a group of which he was a member was planning an event or disruption of some kind, and when pressed he would not rule out violence. The comments were made only a day after it was announced that the Michigan House and Senate offices would be closed due to a credible threat, only a few months after an alleged terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor came to light and following a summer that saw armed protesters storm the capitol building while it legislators were at work.
Eisen has a history of implied violence against elected officials.
Michigan Republican legislative leaders acted immediately, pulling Eisen from his committee assignments.
Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield released statements on the radio interview by Rep. Gary Eisen Monday Morning.
“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics – it is never appropriate and never acceptable,” Chatfield said. “That is true of threats or suggestions of violence against Gov. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson and others on the Oversight committee, Republicans, Democrats, and members of the Electoral College. 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.
He continued, “We as elected officials must be clear that violence has no place in our democratic process. We must be held to a higher standard. Because of that, Rep. Eisen has been removed from his committee assignments for the rest of the term.”
The electors are still scheduled to meet today to assign Michigan’s 16 electoral votes.
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