Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock (R) warned supporters at a recent fundraiser at his home that a “civil war” would break out or that people would get shot if the government continued to target conservatives, according to audio of the event obtained by the Messenger, which first reported the remarks.
Maddock, whose wife was one of 16 “fake electors” charged with felony crimes in Michigan last month, told the crowd that it had been a “difficult” time for them recently. The event — billed as the “Free The 16 Electors Poolside Party!” — was held at the Maddocks’ home to raise legal defense funds for the fake electors, according to a copy of the invitation.
“If the government continues to weaponize these departments against conservatives, and the citizens and the taxpayers, what’s going to happen to this country? Does anyone have any idea, if this doesn’t stop?” Maddock is heard asking in the recording.
His question prompted several responses from the audience, each one waved off by Maddock as not the answer he had in mind.
“Someone’s going to get so pissed off, they’re going to shoot someone,” Maddock continued, according to the recording. “Or we’re going have a civil war or some sort of revolution. That’s where this is going. And when that happens, we’re going to get squashed.”
Many Republicans — including former president Donald Trump — have accused Democrats of “weaponizing” the government for handing down consequences to those who tried to overturn 2020 election results or who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in which a pro-Trump mob sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Maddock’s rhetoric, however, was especially inflammatory. His wife, Meshawn Maddock, is one of 16 Republicans who were charged with forgery and other felonies last month by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the first and so far only criminal prosecution against Trump electors. At the fundraiser, Matt Maddock compared prosecuting Trump electors to Nazis’ attempts to subdue Jewish people before leading them into gas chambers during the Holocaust.
“They want to make damn sure that anyone who questions the election or disputes the election in 2024 is threatened by what they’re doing to our electors and other people throughout this nation — that you will not say anything,” Matt Maddock told the crowd. “You are going to shut the eff up and you are going to walk into that gas chamber. That’s what they want, because that’s what’s coming for us.”
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According to documents from Nessel’s office, the 16 fake electors charged last month not only falsely declared duly elected status, but they also falsely claimed they had “convened and organized in the State Capitol” — the location where such proceedings must legally be held — despite meeting at state GOP headquarters instead.
At their recent arraignments, the Trump electors had not guilty pleas entered on their behalf. A magistrate released them on the condition that they follow the law, get permission to leave Michigan and not possess firearms.
A judge this week barred Meshawn Maddock from traveling to Missouri next week to attend a conference put on by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who for years has promoted false claims about elections. In a subsequent Facebook post, Meshawn Maddock, who was formerly co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, was defiant.
“Does our Attorney General think that punishing me by refusing to let me attend the Mike Lindell Summit will stop me from talking about stolen elections? Not a chance,” she wrote.
“For me it shows the political nature of the entire case,” said Nicholas Somberg, the attorney for Meshawn Maddock.
Somberg added that Maddock did not do anything wrong and would fight the charges against her. “There was no fraud,” he said. “It’s all free speech.”
At one point at the fundraising event, Meshawn Maddock was invited up to the microphone to be “honored for being an elector.” There, she was more reticent, only noting that there were other Trump electors at the party she did not want to “out.”
“It’s really better for none of us to say anything, which is really hard, because I like to say s—,” she said.
Amy Facchinello, another Trump elector who was among the 16 charged in Michigan last month, gave some brief remarks at the fundraiser. Facchinello is a member of her local school board and is facing a recall effort over the charges.
“I just want to let you know that it is very heartwarming to see so many people here tonight supporting us,” she said. “It’s been very difficult, as you can imagine.”
Facchinello did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Many of the Republican electors have made pleas for funds through the online fundraising platform GiveSendGo.com. Meshawn Maddock and another GOP elector raised more than $32,000 on a page they set up together. Others have raised a few hundred or a few thousand dollars apiece, according to their pages.
The possibility of criminal charges for making such false statements in a legal document has long been talked about. Trump electors in Georgia have also been scrutinized, and news broke last month that Arizona’s Democratic attorney general was similarly probing her state’s Republican electors. The Michigan 16 became the latest in a long line of people indicted on charges stemming from their roles in trying to overturn the election for Trump — including Trump himself.
Matt Maddock’s invocation of gas chambers at the pool party also is not the first time Michigan Republicans have drawn contentious comparisons to the Holocaust. Earlier this year, the Michigan Republican Party compared gun laws proposed in the state legislature to restrictions imposed in Nazi Germany, in a social media post that drew bipartisan condemnation.
Aaron Blake contributed to this report.