Michigan to close legislative office buildings Monday due to ‘credible threats of violence’
Michigan’s legislative office buildings will be closed on Monday as the Electoral College meets due to “credible threats of violence,” officials announced Sunday night.
The state House and Senate office buildings will remain closed on Monday as officials warn of security risks, and as previously announced the Capitol will be closed to the public for the day.
State Rep. Kevin Hertel (D) tweeted that the closure was occurring “because credible threats have been made as Michigan’s electors to the Electoral College will meet at the Capitol.”
All House offices have been closed tomorow because credible threats have been made as Michigan’s electors to the Electoral College will meet at the Capitol. My office will monitor voicemail and are available to assist you by email at KevinHertel@House.MI.Gov
— Kevin Hertel (@RepHertel) December 13, 2020
Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R), told the Detroit Free Press that the Senate would keep its buildings closed “based on recommendations from law enforcement.”
“The decision was not made because of anticipated protests, but based on credible threats of violence,” McCann said.
Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesman for House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R), did not give details about the security risk but told the news outlet “House and Senate leadership conferred with” Michigan State Police before making the decision “to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Shanon Banner, a spokesperson for the Michigan State Police, said in a statement that the police will “continue to closely monitor what is occurring across the nation and are on the lookout for any issues here in our state.”
Banner noted that as of Monday morning the state police were “not aware of any credible threats of violence” related to the state.
“The decision to close the Capitol was made by the Capitol Commission, and likewise the decision to close House and Senate offices were made by those two bodies,” Banner said.
The Detroit Free Press cited unconfirmed reports of threats against Michigan’s delegates to the Electoral College, expected to vote for President-elect Joe Biden Monday afternoon.
The concerns about violence come as President Trump and other Republicans have contested the election results in Michigan and other battleground states Biden won. The president and his campaign have challenged the results in several lawsuits without success, promoting unfounded claims of voter fraud.
House Minority Leader-elect Donna Lasinski (D) criticized the “shameful actions by certain Republicans to smear our democratic institutions and deny the clear will of the voters” for creating a “dangerous, hostile atmosphere.”
It is a sad fact that the shameful actions by certain Republicans to smear our democratic institutions and deny the clear will of the voters has undeniably created this dangerous, hostile atmosphere.
— Donna Lasinski (@DonnaLasinski) December 13, 2020
Updated Monday at 1 p.m.