Michigan House Democratic leader: GOP lawmakers should disavow election challenges

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Donna Lasinski, the Michigan House's Democratic minority leader, says 18 Republican lawmakers who supported challenges to the election should either disavow those efforts or not be seated for the upcoming legislative session.

In a letter to House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, Lasinski, D-Scio Township, said several Michigan lawmakers "bear responsibility for stoking and fomenting" the supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The 18 lawmakers comprise 16% of the House, representing about 1.6 million people.

State Rep. Donna Lasinski

"Should these members fail to disavow their shameful conduct, I am calling on you to take immediate, appropriate action to discipline these members under your authority as Speaker or pursuant to the House’s plenary authority to discipline its Members," Lasinski wrote.

She continued, "As speaker, I implore you to consider what is at stake if these lawmakers are allowed to advocate for the subversion of our democracy one day and then be allowed to make decisions on behalf of the people of Michigan the next."

A spokesman for Wentworth didn't immediately provide a response.

Eleven of the 18 Republican lawmakers signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence this week asking him to delay certifying the election's results. According to the letter, the delay would provide "more time to properly review the 2020 election by postponing the January 6th opening and counting of the electoral votes for at least 10 days."

One of the lawmakers who signed the letter, Rep. Steve Carra, R-Three Rivers, said Wednesday there are "too many irregularities and inconsistencies with the election." However, there's been no proof of voter fraud that would impact the election's outcome.

Despite the letter, Congress and Pence certified the election early Thursday morning of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Other House Republicans targeted by Lasinski were involved in lawsuits or legal filings that aimed to give state legislatures the ability to sign off on election results. Michigan law doesn't require such a legislative certification. 

The 18 members mentioned comprise 31% of the 58-seat House Republican majority caucus. The House's first scheduled meeting of 2021 is Wednesday.

Lasinski said GOP leadership needs to hold the lawmakers accountable, including "not seating them in the 101st Legislature without disavowing their support of unproven conspiracy theories and actions, undermining our democracy and encouraging the violent overthrow of our government."