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Questions Remain Around Republican Ties to Militia and Insurrection

Ken Whittaker, executive director, Michigan People’s Campaign

Current lack of federal investigation does not mean MIGOP officials should escape scrutiny

MICHIGAN – Today on a virtual press call, Progress Michigan and the Michigan People’s Campaign lifted questions surrounding any ties between Michigan lawmakers, right-wing militias, and the January 6th insurrection. The refusal by Republicans in Washington D.C. to help form a commission into the insurrection means that states must pick up the pieces and make sense of what led to the attempted overthrow of American democracy.

“Michigan’s election was secure, accurate and experienced record turnout. This should be cause for celebration and our elected officials should be working to build on that success. Instead, what we saw before, during and after the election were attempts to undermine the process, spread misinformation, and even actively work with extremist seditionist groups,” said Ken Whittaker, executive director of the Michigan People’s Campaign. “All of that led to the attack on our nation’s Capital on January 6th in Washington, D.C., an attack that desecrated the capitol where people were killed, and lives were threatened. It was an attempted coup to overturn the legal votes of more than 70 million people. Given the fact that Republicans in our nation’s capital blocked an investigation into the insurrection from getting us the answers our country deserves, we feel it is necessary for Michiganders to ask the questions to find out what happened in Washington D.C. and find out who needs to be held accountable right here at home.”

To date, eight Michigan residents have been charged in the insurrection and several face charges for the terroristic plot to kidnap our Governor. Yet, Republican elected and party officials continues to avoid direct questions about their role in these events,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Nationally the GOP has opposed a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6th. There needs to be a thorough investigation of ties to militias and other extremist groups by the Michigan legislature and the attempts to overtake the Michigan Capitol and U.S. Capitol. Communities have been terrorized by the actions of violent extremists and we deserve answers. Michiganders deserve answers about the role their elected officials played in giving support to militias and domestic terrorists. With the failure of the January 6th Commission to pass the Senate, it is more important than ever for there to be answers delivered at the state level.”

Given the fact there has never been a thorough investigation or true accountability for a number of troubling events in Michigan over the last year, a number of questions deserving of answers were floated out during the press conference.

  • What meetings have members of the legislature had with militia members?

  • We know and have released info about Mike Shirkey meeting with them and he even admitted to giving them messaging advice. Who else is meeting with militia members and those who sought to kidnap our Governor?

  • Beyond just meeting with them, have any legislators offered support to militia organizations? Including funding, logistical guidance, strategy, or information?

  • Shirkey, Chatfield, and Wentworth flew to Washington DC to meet with Trump, where according to Rudy Giuliani, they discussed the 2020 elections. Was Trump lobbying them to overturn the election and appoint new electors? Who paid for their travel? Who paid for their stay in the Trump Hotel and the expensive bottle of champagne we released photos of them enjoying?

  • A plane Ron Weiser has previously used flew to DC on Jan.5: who was on the plane? What were those people doing in DC? Did they participate in the insurrection? Did Weiser pay for their travel?

  • What elected officials participated in the MI or DC actions on January 6th?

  • Who paid for the four buses to take people from Michigan to the insurrection? Did any of the people transported commit crimes during the insurrection?

  • Rep. Matt and Meshawn Maddock travelled to Washington DC on Jan 4th - 6th. Who paid for their private travel to the insurrection? Did other legislators travel with them? Who did they meet with when they were in DC? Which groups were they associated with? Did they fundraise while they were in DC? What donors did they meet with?

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