Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) said Tuesday that he supports seating an embattled GOP lawmaker and that he does not intend to discipline him, according to an email to the Advance from spokesman Gideon D’Assandro.
Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford) and his wife, Meshawn Maddock — who’s running for Michigan GOP co-chair — traveled to Washington, D.C., last week. On Wednesday, an insurrection attempt was carried out by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol building in which five people, including a police officer died. The couple addressed a rally there a day before the insurrection. The Maddocks previously were part of a protest of the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote in Lansing in which Republicans sought to substitute an illegal slate of electors.
Since then, the Maddocks, who have been deleting social media posts, have joined a far-right Facebook group where the possibility of civil war has been discussed, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The state House is scheduled to meet on Wednesday for the first time this year amid heightened security threats at the U.S. Capitol and statehouses from right-wing extremists before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated next week.
House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) repeated her call for Wentworth to investigate Maddock and discipline him, if necessary.
“What I know is that when we are sitting on the House floor together as members, and we know that there are members sitting on that House floor who are taking direct action and contradiction to the Constitution of the state of Michigan, the Constitution of the United States of America who are participating in inflammatory rhetoric, that’s directly resulted in fomenting violence. Those members bear responsibility, and the Speaker is the leader of the chamber and has the authority to take action. And that is why I requested that he take a serious look at that and take action with the members,” Lasinski told the Advance.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has called on Wentworth to ask for Rep. Maddock’s resignation.
Joe Schwarz, a former state lawmaker and U.S. House member, said that it is up to Maddock’s state House colleagues to decide whether he retains his seat or is disciplined but he firmly criticized his actions.
“The only thing I can say about it, it was poor judgment, ill-advised and shows very little knowledge or respect for the history and tradition of presidential succession in the country. He should be called out for it,” said Schwarz about Maddock’s trip to the nation’s capitol last week.
Maddock did not respond to an Advance call and email to his Lansing office.
Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, Oakland County Republican Party chair, said that Maddock should not resign or be reprimanded. He claimed that Maddock did not participate in mob behavior, although did not offer any evidence.
“I have known the Maddocks for many years, in Oakland County and beyond Oakland County. I have always known them to be passionate for the cause but I’ve never known them to be violent, or extremist or people who would not lend a helping hand to others,” said Raczkowski, a former Michigan House majority floor leader.
Busloads of Michigan residents traveled to the nation’s capitol last week, with Meshawn Maddock helping to organize them.
The Maddocks are co-founders of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, which has organized many anti-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer events at the state Capitol to protest her COVID-19 orders. Meshawn Maddock is chair of the 11th Congressional District GOP, a national advisory board member of the “Women for Trump” organization.
Mike Cox, the GOP former Michigan attorney general who ran for Michigan governor in 2010 and is married to Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox, blasted insurrectionists Tuesday. He tweeted:
“Leaders condemn insurrection, they don’t egg it on. @RonWeiser and @meshawnmaria Republicans don’t undermine the Constitution. Act like Abe Lincoln, not Jeff Davis. Wiki those names if u don’t understand.”
Laura Cox has announced she’s not running for another term this year, and former Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser is running again alongside Maddock.