Who is Cynthia Johnson? Michighan rep ‘threatens’ pro-Trumpers in video, asks 'soldiers' to 'make them pay'
'So, this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful. Walk lightly. We ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough,' the Democrat said in the live-streamed video
Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D-MI) was removed from her committee assignments by the Republican leaders of the Michigan House of Representatives in response to a video she posted on Tuesday, December 8, on Facebook, where she appeared to threaten Trump supporters. "So, this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful. Walk lightly. We ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough," said Johnson in the live-streamed video. "And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay. I love y’all." In between thanking her supporters, she took sips from a glass that contained some sort of a red-colored beverage. The video was apparently in response to Johnson receiving death threats and racist messages after she tried to question Rudy Giuliani during a recent legislative committee hearing over alleged voter fraud.
Who is Cynthia Johnson?
According to the official website for Michigan House Democrats, Johnson was born and raised in Detroit and is serving her first term representing the 5th House District, which includes a portion of the city of Detroit. Rep. Johnson graduated from Cody High School before becoming a certified paralegal by the American Institute for Paralegal Studies. After earning her associate degree from Wayne County Community College, and her bachelor’s degree in business management from Walsh College in Troy, Rep. Johnson served as a corrections officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections. After a few years, she transitioned to working parole and probation cases.
The website called her "a tireless advocate for social justice, education, and cleaning up the city of Detroit. Rep. Johnson has hosted her own radio show, StandUp Now with Cynthia A. Johnson, for the past five years to passionately highlight causes she feels too often go ignored." The committees that she was a member of included agriculture; and Family, Children and Senior. She was also the vice-chair of the Oversight committee.
GOP and Democratic reps of Michigan react to Johnson's video
Johnson received death threats and racist messages after she tried to question Rudy Giuliani during a recent legislative committee hearing and the Facebook live video was her response to them. She also posted some of the voicemails she received and many of them called her to get lynched.
Before issuing what seemed like a veiled threat at the end of her nearly 3-minute-long video, Johnson referenced law enforcement tracking down someone who made a threat against her. Although the last few seconds of the video was what went viral on social media and formed the basis of a news release Wednesday from the Michigan Republican Party, in the same video, Johnson also called on supporters to "hit 'em in their pocketbooks" and thanked people for "doing things right and in order."
House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, issued a joint news release Wednesday stating, "Threats to either Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations."
“We have been consistent in our position on this — violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics. We have said that about threats against Gov. Whitmer, Secretary (of State Jocelyn) Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others. That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the threats come from public officials. Behavior like this will not be tolerated this term or next," the statement added.
House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington, and Leader-elect Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon where they labeled Johnson's comments "regrettable." "It is regrettable that her comments have led to the unintended consequence of adding further tension. It’s incumbent upon every elected official to be mindful of the impact of our words, especially in a moment of national tension and crisis," Greig and Lasinski said.
The Democratic leaders also blasted the move to remove Johnson from her committees, saying it "illustrates that the Republicans prioritize partisan politics and political theater overhealing the wounds of division, preserving the well-being of the Legislature as an institution, protecting the safety of members, and acting on the needs of the people of Michigan."