A Michigan Republican state legislator has lost his committee assignments after he said in an interview that he couldn’t guarantee that an upcoming protest outside the state Capitol would be nonviolent, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics — it is never appropriate and never acceptable,” House Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, said in a statement on Monday, noting the recent threats of violence against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others in the state.
Rep. Gary Eisen told WPHM in the Port Huron area earlier that morning that he could not rule out that the group planning to protest the meeting of the Electoral College on Monday would be nonviolent.
"Can you assure me that this is going to be safe day in Lansing, nobody's going to get hurt?" radio host Paul Miller asked Eisen towards the end of the interview.
"No," Eisen said. "I don't know because what we're doing today is uncharted. It hasn't been done."
He later said that while his group plans to be peaceful, he “did not feel I could speak for other groups."
Michigan’s legislative office buildings were eventually closed for the day due to “credible threats of violence.”
Chatfield said in his statement: “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.”
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