“There is no doubt that this election cycle has been rife with hyperpartisan political rhetoric, theatrics and dangerous threats of violence toward elected and public officials and their loved ones which continue to escalate amid the most significant public health crisis in our state and country.

“As widely reported in the media, Representative Johnson has received numerous racist and heinous threats of violence — as have other Democratic and Republican elected officials — that have continued to place the safety of her and her loved ones in jeopardy. 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.

“Our caucus has called on the Republican leadership and the present Legislature repeatedly to set aside hyperpartisan rhetoric, stop coddling conspiracy theories and condemn threats of violence. Even today, Speaker Chatfield’s decision to summarily remove Representative Johnson from her committee assignments in the final days of the 100th Legislature, and the overheated language of the statement issued by Speaker Chatfield and Speaker-elect Wentworth, illustrates that the Republicans prioritize partisan politics and political theater over healing 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.

“The perpetuation of meritless and disingenuous claims of election fraud — without the production of any evidence weeks after the general election — continues to fuel an increasingly dangerous and destructive political environment that needlessly removes focus on addressing the significant challenges of the pandemic as it continues to claim the lives and livelihoods of Michiganders across our state and throughout the political spectrum.

“There is no place for threats of violence or intimidation in our political discourse. We must end the divisive rhetoric, political theatrics and return civility in our political discourse so we may rightfully and immediately focus on our state’s response to the pandemic and help Michiganders who critically need our bipartisan leadership.