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Republican state rep. in Michigan says he can't guarantee safety when state Electoral College votes

Threats have already closed Capitol builidng
Michigan State Rep. Gary Eisen
Posted at 12:26 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 12:26:09-05

A Republican state lawmaker in Michigan has been removed from his committee assignments after saying he couldn't guarantee a safe day in the state capital on Monday as Michigan's electors gather to vote for Joe Biden.

When asked if he could ensure that Monday's Electoral College vote could be held safely without any violence, Michigan Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair, said he couldn't.

"I don't know because what we're doing today is uncharted. It hasn't been done," Eisen told WPHM, a radio station in Port Huron, Michigan.

During the 11-minute interview, Eisen didn't give details about what he thought could happen but said he was asked to help.

In announcing discipline against Eisen, Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth — both of whom are Republicans — denounced calls for violence.

"We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics – it is never appropriate and never acceptable," their statement read.

Chatfield and Wentworth also said that violence has no place in the democratic process and that Eisen has been removed from his committee assignments for the rest of the current term, which ends at the close of this month.

The move by Chatfield and Wentworth comes days after they stripped a Democratic lawmaker, State Rep. Cynthia Johnson, of her committee assignments after she told "Trumpers" to "tread lightly" in a Facebook video last week.

The Michigan legislative buildings are closed Monday due to "credible threats," police say, as the 16 Michigan electors gather to send their Electoral College votes to Washington, D.C. for Joe Biden.

This story was originally published by Max White on WXYZ in Detroit.