House resolutions seek censure, expulsion of GOP lawmaker

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Lansing — Two Democratic lawmakers have called for the censure or expulsion of Republican state Rep. Matt Maddock for his efforts to overturn Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Michigan and his attendance at Washington, D.C., demonstrations ahead of the storming of the Capitol. 

Maddock and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, have been the focus of controversy in recent months for their roles in attempting to overturn Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Michigan. Last week, the couple participated in a pro-President Donald Trump demonstrations in Washington that on Wednesday devolved into the storming of the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College count. 

Maddock, a Milford Republican, said Wednesday he did not attend the Jan. 6 "Capitol protest," but attended a rally the day prior. When he and his wife walked to The Ellipse Jan. 6 for Trump's rally ahead of the storming of the Capitol, the couple couldn't get in and went back to their hotel, he said.

"I'm glad the House does not disenfranchise voters and remove their representatives for merely attending a political prayer rally," Maddock said Wednesday. 

"Unfortunately, other people the next day protested separately at the Capitol. Many of those were peaceful, but sadly some were not. We didn't attend the Capitol protest."

Maddock said he supported Trump's Wednesday call for protests over the next week to include no violence, lawbreaking or vandalism.

The resolutions are an "unfortunate" move reflecting "pure partisanship" on the first day of session and will not be brought up for a vote, said Lynn Afendoulis, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell. 

"The speaker still has seen no evidence that Rep. Maddock did anything that rises to the level of reprimand or punishment," Afendoulis said. "He attended a peaceful rally and did not participate in the detestable riots at the Capitol."

Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford

Meshawn Maddock, who is expected to become co-chair of the state GOP in February, said she helped organize participation in the D.C. protest for thousands. After the protests, Meshawn condemned "the violence and breaching of the Capitol in the strongest possible terms."

Matt Maddock was one of 12 Michigan lawmakers who signed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to require legislative certification of Michigan's presidential results and one of 11 Republicans who signed a letter last week asking Vice President Mike Pence to delay certification of electoral votes in battleground states. 

The Maddocks also were part of a group of Republicans who attempted to enter the Michigan Capitol Dec. 14 to cast an alternate slate of electoral votes. 

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri's resolution called for Maddock's censure "over his actions, including fomenting sedition and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and filing lawsuits to overturn the will of the people," he said.

"Recently, he has also mused about civil war," the Brownstown Democrat said in a tweet. "Enough is enough."

"All evidence is clear: He is not fit to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives."

Camilleri argued that Maddock had broken his oath of office to the state and federal constitution and that House leadership should hold him accountable. 

"We have the chance to unify this country," he said. "But we can only bring unity when those who don't love our country are held to account for their actions."

State Rep. Abraham Aiyash's resolution calls for the formation of a select committee to investigate and expel Maddock, noting his involvement with an attempt to send a second slate of electors to Congress, his claims of election fraud, and his signing on to a Texas federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Michigan's results. 

"In the weeks preceding January 6th, elected representatives in state legislatures across the country, including Rep. Maddock, joined Republican members of Congress in an unconstitutional, scorched earth campaign to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which incited the insurrection in our Capitol,” the Hamtramck Democratic freshman said.

The resolutions to censure Maddock come after state House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski of Scio Township asked that 18 GOP lawmakers who supported challenges to the election not be seated in the House Wednesday. 

Wentworth said Wednesday he didn't "necessarily agree with open letter that was sent" but said the lawmakers would be seated.