Michigan Legislature Buildings Shut Down Ahead of Electoral College Vote Over “Credible Threat”

The Michigan State Capitol and state House and Senate offices were shut down on Monday ahead of a meeting of the Electoral College due to security concerns, The Detroit Free Press reports.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said the buildings were closed "based on recommendations from law enforcement."

"The decision was not made because of anticipated protests, but based on credible threats of violence," said spokeswoman Amber McCann.

Lawmakers would not specify the nature of the threat.

"I can't get into the nature of the concern," a spokesperson for House Speaker Lee Chatfield told the outlet. "Have to refer you to the MSP (Michigan State Police) on that."

A spokesperson for the MSP said the department did not make the call to close buildings.

Lawmakers say they face threats:

There have been unconfirmed reports of threats against Michigan Electoral College delegates, who were set to vote for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday.

State Rep. Kevin Hertel said the closures came "because credible threats have been made as Michigan's electors to the Electoral College will meet at the Capitol."

House Minority Leader-elect Donna Lasinski blamed the threats on "shameful actions by certain Republicans to smear our democratic institutions and deny the clear will of the voters” that have created a "dangerous, hostile atmosphere."

"Another day, another alert that the Capitol is being shut down out of concern for everyone’s safety,” said state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, a Democrat. "I’m proud of our electors and hope they can complete their duty tomorrow safely and with as little controversy as possible."

Rep reprimanded over threat:

Michigan state Rep. Gary Eisen was stripped of his committee assignments for the rest of the year over comments he made on a radio show Monday.

Eisen said that he couldn’t assure listeners that it would be safe in the state capitol because “what we’re doing today is uncharted.”

“It hasn’t been done. It’s not me doing it, it’s the Michigan House... it’s the Michigan party. I’m just a witness,” he said.

“I was warned that it’s going to be violence, going to be protests, and they asked me if I would assist today and I said you know what, how can I not? That’s my job,” he added.

“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics—it is never appropriate and never acceptable,” Chatfield said after the interview. “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.”


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