LANSING — Yesterday, House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint called on their fellow legislators to create a bipartisan committee to investigate and uncover the full extent of Michigan-based contributions to the January 6th insurrection that killed five and injured 140 officers in Washington DC. Leader Lasinski will introduce a resolution to formally create the committee next week.
In their joint press release, Lasinski and Ananich referred to a number of actions carried out by state legislators indicating their sympathy for last year’s militia “dress rehearsal” that took place in Lansing, commitment to propping up the Big Lie that led to the insurrection, or facilitation of the violent display at our nation’s Capitol itself.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey gained national attention for happily meeting with one of the very militia members who plotted to kidnap and kill the governor and it was reported that he invited multiple militia groups to his office to discuss their strategy days after their storming of the Michigan Capitol in April 2020.
And before the 2020 presidential election results were even certified, Shirkey, then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield, current Speaker Jason Wentworth, Senator Tom Barrett, and other Republican legislators travelled to Washington DC to huddle with Trump, willingly enabling the former president’s baseless claim that the election was stolen from him with the theft path allegedly running right through Michigan.
Not to be outdone, as Michigan’s 16 presidential electors gathered at the state Capitol to cast their ballots formalizing the state’s vote for President Biden in December 2020, The Detroit News reported that “a group of Republicans, including a handful of Trump electors, attempted to enter the building, including five sitting state representatives — Rep. Matt Maddock of Milford, Rep. Daire Rendon of Lake City, Rep. John Reilly of Oakland Township, Rep. Beth Griffin of Mattawan and Rep. Julie Alexander of Hanover.”
Rep. Maddock then joined his wife MIGOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock in organizing busloads of people to attend the Jan 6th protests in DC that resulted in the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol that took place on January 6th to support the Big Lie.
Both Lasinski and Ananich did not mince words to highlight the severity of certain legislators’ willingness to be so intertwined with the disinformation and violence associated with the Big Lie and the storming of both Capitol buildings:
House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski: “When we are sworn into office, we swear an oath to uphold the constitution of our state and nation — and to uphold our form of democratic government. Actions of violence against our institutions, both here and in D.C., cannot be left unexamined. Irresponsible actions by elected officials to stop the peaceful transfer of power cannot be wished away. It would be cowardly to turn away and ignore the role that Michigan played in the lead-up to the insurrection at our nation’s Capitol. Michiganders deserve a thorough, bipartisan investigation of those events and actions.”
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich: “On January 6, 2021, we all watched as unspeakable acts of insurrection and violence were committed in the sacred halls of our nation’s Capitol, just months after a similar mob stormed Michigan’s very own state Capitol. We can choose to pretend as if these events never happened, and in doing so jeopardize the security of our democracy for the next generations, or we can choose to get to the bottom of what happened on those ugly days. It’s that simple, and it would be a shame if we couldn’t put politics aside in order to stop possible repeat acts of insurrection.”
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes released the following statement:
“The extremist displays in both Lansing and Washington should concern any Michigander, especially those we trust to represent our voices and votes accurately. We applaud Leaders Donna Lasinski and Jim Ananich’s commitment to holding insurrection sympathizers accountable with this effort to begin a bipartisan investigation into just how much Michigan lawmakers and political leaders contributed to the January 6th insurrection. The violence that took place that day should spur all of us to want to uncover how the day devolved, so that we may never experience it again. We urge Republican lawmakers to join their Democratic colleagues in creating this bipartisan committee without delay.”