Updated Dec 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Fears mount of potential violence as Electoral College casts its votes

Trump supporters outside Michigan Capitol
Trump supporters at a "Stop the Steal" rally at the Michigan Capitol in November. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky.

Rhetoric by President Trump and his allies seeking to undermine the integrity of the election is fueling potential violence against public servants, with fears running especially high as the Electoral College meets Monday to further cement Joe Biden's victory.

Driving the news: As Michigan electors meet on Monday to hand Biden his 16 electoral votes, state Senate and House offices will be closed due to “credible threats of violence,” according to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R).

  • GOP State Rep. Gary Eisen was removed from his committee assignments after declining to rule out violence in a radio interview in which he discussed an unspecified effort to disrupt Michigan's Electoral College vote.
  • "No. I don’t know," Eisen said when asked on WPHM if he could ensure people wouldn't get hurt. "Because what we’re doing today is uncharted. It hasn’t been done. And it’s not me who’s doing it. ... It’s the Michigan Republican Party."

The big picture: Public officials in multiple states have reported receiving death threats over the election, as Trump continues to baselessly claim that the election was "rigged."

  • An "enemies list" containing home addresses of officials that rejected Trump's election conspiracy theories popped up in dark corners of the internet last week, with users accusing them of a treasonous plot to overthrow the president, WashPost reports.
  • Social media hashtags like #remembertheirfaces and #NoQuarterForTraitors were promoted alongside the names on the list.
  • At least four people were stabbed over the weekend in Washington, D.C., as violent clashes broke out after Trump supporters protesting the election descended on the nation's capital.

The state of play: Michigan's electors will receive a police escort as they walk from their cars to the Capitol Monday, per the New York Times.

  • Stop the Steal, a group which believes baseless claims the election was stolen from President Trump, has said on social media they will protest the vote.

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