WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Democrat, has been stripped of her committee assignments by House Republican leaders as punishment after issuing inappropriate threats on video via her Facebook page.
In the videos – which have since been removed – Johnson made thinly-veiled calls for violence against supporters of President Donald Trump, which were in response to harassment and threats the Congresswoman herself received stemming from an Oversight Committee hearing she participated in last week where she leveled intense criticism against Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
“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,” Johnson reportedly said in the initial video. “And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay. I love y’all.”
Johnson followed up the video with a second one posted a short time later where she intensely refers to “Soldiers for Christ, soldiers against racism, soldiers against misogyny… it’s time for you to rise.” This video has also been removed from Facebook, but is available to view on Twitter.
Johnson, who is black, received numerous death threats after questioning Giuliani during last week’s hearing, including voicemails calling for her to by lynched that she posted on her Facebook page.
House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth issued a joint statement on Johnson’s social media outburst after officially stripping her of her assignments, including her place on the Oversight Committee.
“Threats to either Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American,” the statement said. “They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations.”
The statement acknowledged the threats against Johnson, but essentially stated that two wrongs don’t make a right, especially when it comes to the standards that a public official should be held to.
“We have been consistent in our position on this – violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics,” the statement continued. “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.”
In a statement issued in response to the action taken against Johnson, House Democratic Leader Christine Greig and Democratic Leader-elect Donna Lasinski decried “hyper-partisan political rhetoric” that has been responsible for “dangerous threats of violence toward elected and public officials.”