The first electoral votes are cast


A Michigan Republican House member was stripped of his committee assignments after saying there could be violent protests in the state capitol on Monday because of the Electoral College vote. 

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth just removed Rep. Gary Eisen from his committee assignments for the rest of the term as a result of his comments from the radio interview that incited violence. 

Michigan Republican House Representative Gary Eisen said during a local radio interview that he was helping coordinate protests today and could not assure a local radio host that there would not be violence as the protests unfolded.

When asked if he could assure that it would be a safe day in Lansing today and that no one would get hurt by a WPHM radio host, Eisen said, “no.”

Eisen, who was one of the Michigan lawmakers to support the Texas Attorney General lawsuit that was dismissed by the Supreme Court, would not give details about the event other than saying “it’s going to be violence, it’s going to be protests.” Eisen also was not clear about who was organizing the protests.

Eisen also said the security threat that led the state buildings to be shut down was a bomb threat from Wisconsin. CNN has not confirmed that threat instigated the closure. 

“I came over last night to Lansing, to help and give my support. And now all of a sudden we’re locked out of our offices, we can’t go into the Capitol. So we are going to make an attempt because they technically can’t keep me from going into the Capitol on official business, They can’t do that. Okay, so if they do that today then we’re simply going to move our event to a different location and proceed with what we’re going to do today.”

In a statement released Monday, Chatfield and Wentworth said that they were removing Eisen for not condemning violence because “we must be clear that violence has no place in our democratic process.”

“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics – it is never appropriate and never acceptable,” Chatfield and Wentworth said in a statement. “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.