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Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson gets committee assignment in new term

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan State Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Detroit Democrat who was removed from her committee assignments after controversial comments about threats she received, will be back on a committee in the new legislative term.

On Thursday, state House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, released lawmakers' assignments for 2021-22. Johnson will be a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Michigan state Rep. Cynthia Johnson

Last term, Johnson was the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, the panel that heard testimony Dec. 2 from President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. She pushed back on Giuliani's claims and said his witnesses were lying. Afterward, she received death threats from Trump supporters.

In a three-minute video posted to her personal Facebook page on Dec. 8, Johnson responded to those making threats and told her supporters to do "things right and in order" but advised Trump's backers to "be careful" and "walk lightly." She then said, "We ain't playing with you." She also told her supporters to "hit their a---s" in the pocketbook.

"Enough of the shenanigans," Johnson said. "Enough is enough. And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay."

The comments drew criticisms from Republicans who viewed the remarks as threatening.

Then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Wentworth issued a statement calling Johnson's comments "unbecoming of an elected official" and announcing she would lose her committee assignments.

On Thursday, Johnson said she expected she would receive assignments in the new term. She described the Republicans' statement about her in December as "red meat" for their base.

“I am not surprised by it," she said of getting a position on the House Appropriations Committee.

Another Detroit lawmaker, Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, will be minority vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Wentworth revealed Thursday. The committee's chairman is Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, whose position was previously announced.

cmauger@detroitnews.com