Black Michigan lawmaker gets lynching threat after voter fraud hearing

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A state representative said she received threatening phone calls after she heard testimony claming voter fraud following President-elect's Joseph Biden Jr.'s 154,000-vote win over President Trump in Michigan.

State Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Detroit Democrat, posted the messages on her Facebook page on Sunday following a House Oversight Committee meeting in Lansing on Wednesday.

Michigan state Rep. Cynthia Johnson

The voicemails were from a woman from Wheeling, Illinois, based on the number associated with the call, which Johnson posted, and two men. The woman criticized how Johnson questioned a witness and told Johnson she was going to share the lawmaker's phone number with "a million people."

A message from one of the men threatened the state representative, including using vile language to describe women and threatened Johnson, who is Black, with being lynched, telling her: "Your time is coming ...from the (expletive) gallows you'll be hanging."

The calls were received Saturday, according to the post.

The voicemails are the latest in threats Democrats and Republicans have said they've received after a contentious election and its aftermath. A Republican member of the state Board of Canvassers reported "quite a few" threats as he considered whether to validate Michigan's Nov. 3 vote. Monica Palmer, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, said she was threatened after first voting not to certify the county's election results. She later changed her vote to support certification and requested an audit of the count.

Johnson was among the state lawmakers who questioned Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday during a hearing called by Giuliani in an effort to get lawmakers to intervene in the results of the election. He relied on claims of fraud that remain unsubstantiated or rejected by experts and some top-ranking Republicans.

During the hearing , Johnson admonished a GOP member of the House who allowed Giuliani the unusual procedure of questioning witnesses.

"You’re allowing people to come in here and lie. And I know they’re lying," Johnson told House Oversight Chairman Matt Hall, R-Marshall, who allowed Giuliani ask  questions, including those directed to a former Detroit city employee and Detroit election worker, Jessy Jacob.Jacob clamied ballots were counted without proper verification, but election officials have said that Jacob and other witnesses didn't understand what they were seeing at TCF Center.

Normally, Michigan House lawmakers ask questions of witnesses appearing before their committees.

Johson objected to witnesses not being sworn in before they gave their accounts of alleged wrongdoing at TCF Center during absentee ballot counting after the election.

Efforts to reach Johnson were not immediately successful Sunday.