A Republican state representative in Michigan was rebuked by members of his own party on Monday hours after he made comments suggesting that he and others planned to disrupt the Electoral College vote at the state Capitol in Lansing.
The top Republicans in the Michigan legislature announced that they had removed state Rep. Gary Eisen (R) from his committee assignments.
The move came hours after a radio interview in which Eisen did not specify what the plans to disrupt the Electoral College entailed, but said that “it’ll be all over the news later on.”
Asked by a radio host whether he could assure that the meeting would remain safe and that “nobody is going to get hurt,” Eisen answered bluntly.
“No,” he said. “I don’t know, because what we’re doing today is uncharted. It hasn’t been done. It’s not me doing it. It’s the Michigan Party, Republican Party. I’m just here to witness.”
A spokesperson for the Michigan Republican Party told the Detroit Free Press on Monday that he is “unaware of what Rep. Eisen is referring to.”
In a statement, Michigan state House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R) and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth (R) condemned any suggestion of violence. They said that Eisen had been removed from his committee posts as a result of his comments.
“We as elected officials must be clear that violence has no place in our democratic process,” Chatfield and Wentworth said. “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.”
Eisen did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on his removal from his committee assignments and his earlier remarks to the radio station WPHM.
President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE carried Michigan in last month’s presidential election by more than 150,000 votes, recapturing a key battleground state for Democrats that President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE won narrowly in 2016. Michigan’s 16 electors are slated to meet Monday afternoon to formalize Biden’s victory in the state.
But Trump and his allies have refused to acknowledge Biden’s win and have falsely claimed that the presidential election was marred by widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities. A longshot legal effort to overturn the election results was rejected on Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump and his allies have also suggested that lawmakers in several states could simply ignore the results of their state’s popular vote and appoint new electors that could cast their votes for the president, effectively overriding the results of the election. State lawmakers and officials have largely rejected that suggestion.
Still, there are fears of potential violence as electors meet across the country on Monday.
In the interview with WPHM on Monday morning, Eisen complained about a decision to close the Michigan state House and Senate offices ahead of the electoral vote due to “safety and security concerns.”
Despite the closures, Eisen said that he and an unspecified group of people planned to “proceed with what we’re going to do today,” calling the effort a “Hail Mary” in the fight over the election results. Asked several times by the radio host what those plans entailed, Eisen demurred, saying he “can’t get into a lot of it.”
He warned, however that the situation on Monday “is dangerous,” mentioning possible violence and protests. Regardless of the potential for violence, he said, he planned to move forward with the unspecified efforts.
“We’re worried right now that there could be outbreaks of violence and all this in Lansing, and they’re suggesting for everybody to stay home,” Eisen said. “Okay, well, that’s not how we work in America, okay? And we’re just exercising our constitutional powers that were given to us.”
Also on Monday, Stephen MillerStephen MillerAre the legal walls closing in on Donald Trump? On immigration, President Biden needs a re-set The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks MORE, a senior White House adviser, told Fox News that alternate slates of electors in “contested states” would meet on Monday to cast their votes for Trump. The votes cast by those so-called “electors” are not valid and are not part of the official process for choosing the next president.
Updated at 12:05 p.m.