Two top Republican state legislators in Michigan have stripped a state representative of his committee assignments after he suggested that efforts to block Monday’s Electoral College vote, which would deliver the state to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., could turn violent.
“Can you assure me that this is going to be a safe day in Lansing, nobody’s going to get hurt?” a local radio host asked the representative, Gary Eisen, a Trump supporter, hours after legislative leaders shuttered legislative offices over threats that groups were intending to violently disrupt the process.
“No,” responded Mr. Eisen, according to audio of the interview. “I don’t know because what we’re doing today is uncharted. It hasn’t been done.”
Mr. Eisen said that the Constitution gave legislators the right to stop the electors if the state’s results were not “up and up.” He complained that the security measures, emanating from bomb threats and implemented by leaders in his own party, prevented pro-Trump legislators from entering the Capitol to protest the proceedings.
He said that he still planned to participate in an “event” organized by Republicans but, when pressed, he declined to elaborate on what it would entail other than to say it would be “all over the news later on.”
When his interviewer, Paul Miller of WPHM in Port Huron, interrupted to call those plans “dangerous,” Mr. Eisen replied, “It is dangerous.”
Republican leaders in the state House of Representatives responded quickly after his comments were circulated widely on social media, citing the federal indictment of 13 far-right extremists for plots that included kidnapping Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and storming the State Capitol to protest coronavirus restrictions.
“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics — it is never appropriate and never acceptable,” wrote House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth.
“We as elected officials must be clear that violence has no place in our democratic process. We must be held to a higher standard,” they added. “Because of that, Rep. Eisen has been removed from his committee assignments for the rest of the term.”
Mr. Eisen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
He currently serves as vice chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and serves as a member of the agriculture, local government and environmental committees.
Last month, Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Chatfield and the Senate majority leader, Mike Shirkey, to the White House in a bid to get lawmakers to substitute their own slate of electors. The two men, both rumored to be interested in higher office, were hesitant to go and rebuffed his request.
Mr. Biden won Michigan by about 150,000 votes, a much greater margin than in the other most hotly contested battlegrounds. The electors are expected to affirm those results on Monday afternoon.