Michigan House speaker rejects ‘mutually assured destruction’ of overturning election for Trump


Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield said he fears “we'd lose our country forever” if the Legislature overturned President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in the state.

In a statement put out prior to the Electoral College vote on Monday, Chatfield, a Republican, reaffirmed his support for President Trump but said that he could not in good conscience support an effort to have the Legislature choose electors for the incumbent.

“I fought hard for President Trump. Nobody wanted him to win more than me,” Chatfield said. “I think he's done an incredible job. But I love our republic, too. I can't fathom risking our norms, traditions and institutions to pass a resolution retroactively changing the electors for Trump, simply because some think there may have been enough widespread fraud to give him the win. That's unprecedented for good reason. And that’s why there is not enough support in the House to cast a new slate of electors.”

“I fear we'd lose our country forever,” he continued. “This truly would bring mutually assured destruction for every future election in regards to the Electoral College. And I can't stand for that. I won’t. I know this isn’t the outcome some want. It isn’t what I want, either. But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I intend to.”

Some Trump supporters have raised the prospect of having Republican-controlled legislatures pick electors who support the president. Among them is former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, who has filed a litany of lawsuits in states won by Biden.

Last month, Chatfield and other lawmakers were invited to the White House to meet with Trump. The meeting was highly scrutinized, with some wondering if Chatfield and the others were discussing the possibility of handing the election to the president through the Legislature. After the meeting, Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey released a joint statement saying the winner of the Wolverine State would be the candidate with the most votes.

“The candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan's electoral votes,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

Michigan Rep. Gary Eisen, also a Republican, was stripped of his committee assignments on Monday after the lawmaker suggesting protests when the state casts its Electoral College votes for Biden could turn violent.

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