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MI lawmaker punished after cryptic call for ‘soldiers’ to make Trump supporters ‘pay’

The Michigan State Capitol building pictured in Lansing on Thursday, April 25, 2019 (Neil Blake | MLive.com/TNS)
December 09, 2020

On Wednesday, Michigan state Speaker of the House Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) announced Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D-Detroit) had been stripped of her committee assignments after she shared a video in which she addressed “Trumpers” to “be careful” and called on “soldiers” to “make them pay.

Chatfield tweeted, “Threats to Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. CA Johnson has been stripped of her committees and we’re looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their investigation.”

Chatfield’s tweet included the following statement:

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth today released the following statement on the video released last night by Rep. Cynthia Johnson on social media:

“Threats to Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. CA Johnson has been stripped of her committees and we’re looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their investigation.

“We have been consistent in our position on this — violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics. We have said that about threats against Gov. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others. That applies to threats made toward public officials and it must also apply when the threats come from public officials. Behavior like this will not be tolerated this term or next.”

Chatfield’s statement with Wentworth addressed threats made against a number of Michigan politicians, including Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Johnson herself.

In her video, Johnson says, “So this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful, walk lightly, we ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough. And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay.”

Earlier in the video, Johnson addressed the threats she received in recent days and said, “Don’t get upset with folks and start cussing them out and all that. It never works. I wish I could be talking to you all in a private room because, uh, I just wish I could. But we’re public, so be smart.”

American Military News made repeated efforts to reach Johnson’s office by phone and email on Wednesday but did not respond to requests for comment.

Johnson recently shared a recording of one of the threatening voicemails she received. In a Facebook post she said, “Wow! I shared this despicable voicemail message https://www.dropbox.com/s/0yec8…/Big%20lip%20nigger-672.m4a… with all my colleagues and this was the response from colleague Representative Mary Whiteford (R). When they tell you who they are, believe them. I dare you to listen to this message three times.”

In her response to Johnson Rep. Whiteford criticized Johnson for asking a witness to spell her name out during the election hearing. According to the Detroit Free Press all speakers at public meetings are public record under the Michigan Open Meetings Act, and clerks often record people’s names for the public record.

Whiteford said, “By the way, I am shocked that you had that poor woman spell out her name during the hearing You put her life at risk! That is the most heartless action I have ever witnessed, using your power of position to shame someone who was in a very vulnerable position. I am praying for you to have compassion with those you disagree with.”