GOP Rep. Maddock on tape: ‘We’re going to have a civil war or some sort of revolution’

By: - August 12, 2023 10:43 am

Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock and Rep. Matt Maddock at the Michigan Republican Party Endorsement Convention, April 23, 2022 | Allison R. Donahue

A Michigan legislator was caught on tape predicting somebody would “shoot someone” and a civil war could happen if the government continues to prosecute conservatives for election crimes.

The comments, heard on a recording provided to The Messenger, are from state Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford) who, along with his wife, former Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, held a fundraiser at their Milford home on Aug. 4.

The “Free The 16 Electors Poolside Party!” fundraiser was hosted by the Grand New Party PAC chaired by state Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers). The event also briefly featured Meshawn Maddock, who was one of 16 Michigan Republicans charged last month with submitting false electoral votes in December 2020 in support of former President Donald Trump. 

Michigan fake electors arraigned in Lansing court Thursday

President Joe Biden defeated Trump by more than 7 million votes nationwide, and by more than 154,000 votes in Michigan. 

“If the government continues to weaponize these departments against conservatives and the citizens that are then the taxpayers, you know what’s going to happen to this country?” Matt Maddock is heard asking the crowd. 

Someone responded “communism.”

“The goal is communism, right?” Maddock continued. “Or Marxism, the Democrats’ dream, right? But what’s going to happen before that? Someone’s going to get so pissed off, they’re going to shoot someone,”’said Maddock. “That’s what’s going to happen. Or we’re going to 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. The people here are going to be the first ones to go.”

Meshawn Maddock can be heard saying: “There are other electors here, but I didn’t want to out them. They’re just among the crowd and I didn’t know if they wanted to say anything, but it’s really better for none of us to say anything. Which is hard because I like to say shit.” 

Also present was Amy Facchinello, a Grand Blanc Board of Education trustee and former vice chairwoman of the Genesee County Republican Party who is also charged in the fake elector scheme. 

“I just want to let you know that it’s very heartwarming to see so many people here tonight supporting us,” she said. “It’s been very difficult, as you can imagine, so I just want to thank each and every one of you for being here tonight.”

Maddock, Facchinello and their 14 co-defendants each face multiple felonies including election law forgery, and conspiracy to commit election law forgery. 

All 16 electors have been arraigned and have pleaded not guilty

Here are the 16 people charged:

Kathy Berden, 70, of Snover: A Michigan Republican national committeewoman.

William (Hank) Choate, 72, of Cement City: Served as chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party.

Amy Facchinello, 55, of Grand Blanc: A trustee on the Grand Blanc Board of Education who ran on right-wing values and has posted QAnon content on social media.

Clifford Frost, 75, of Warren: Ran for the 28th District seat in the state House of Representatives in 2020, but lost in the Republican primary.

Stanley Grot, 71, of Shelby Township: A GOP powerbroker in Macomb County, serving on the Shelby Township Board of Trustees. as well as the township clerk. In 2018, he ran for secretary of state but abruptly dropped out of the race, which became the center of an alleged payoff scandal that resulted in then-Michigan Party Chair Ron Weiser paying a $200,000 state fine for violating campaign finance law.

John Haggard, 82, of Charlevoix: A plaintiff in a case against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

Mari-Ann Henry, 65, of Brighton: As of June 29, 2022, Henry’s LinkedIn listed her as the treasurer of the Greater Oakland Republican Club. 

Timothy King, 56, of Ypsilanti: A plaintiff in a case against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

Michele Lundgren, 73, of Detroit: Ran for the 9th District seat in the state House of Representatives in 2022, but lost in the general election.

Meshawn Maddock, 55, of Milford: Former co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party and vocal proponent of Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. She attended a pro-Trump event on Jan. 5, 2021, in Washington, D.C., the day before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. She is the co-owner of A1 Bail Bonds, a bail bondsman company, along with her spouse, GOP state Rep. Matt Maddock.

James Renner, 76, of Lansing: Served as a precinct delegate in 2020 for Watertown Township.

Mayra Rodriguez, 64, of Grosse Pointe Farms: Ran for the 2nd District seat in the state House of Representatives in 2022 as a Republican, but lost to nowHouse Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit).

Rose Rook, 81, of Paw Paw, a former Van Buren County GOP chair who also served on the executive committee of the county party. 

Marian Sheridan, 69, of West Bloomfield: Co-founder of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a right-wing group founded by the Maddocks. Sheridan was also a plaintiff in a case to decertify the 2020 election in Michigan.  

Ken Thompson, 68, of Orleans: An Ionia County Republican who served as a precinct delegate and as the chair of Ionia County Republican Party’s August convention in 2022.

Kent Vanderwood, 69, of Wyoming: Mayor of Wyoming and vice president of the Timothy Group, which advances Christian organizations.

Matt Maddock further notched up the rhetoric making comparisons between Republicans who have questioned elections and the gassing of Jews by Nazis in the Holocaust.

“They’re trying to take away our right to appeal an election or just to question the election,” he said “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. You are going to shut the F up and you were going to walk into that gas chamber. That’s what they want because that’s what’s coming for us.”

Neither Matt Maddock nor Meshawn Maddock returned a request for comment by Michigan Advance.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, whose investigation resulted in the charges, was a target of Republicans’ ire.

The fundraiser’s invite says proceeds from the event “will be used to support the legal defense funds for the 16 Michigan Electors fighting the politicized attacks from the Evil AG Dana Nessel!”

“My goal is to get a resolution up to impeach Dana Nessel,” state Rep. James DeSana (R-Carleton) was heard saying on the recording. “She has obviously committed corruption with this corrupt prosecution. The law is there. Now we need to get the Republicans on paper to sign the resolution to impeach Dana Nessel.”

DeSana then told the crowd that the Democratic majority in the Michigan House was 56-54, noting that two Democrats could potentially vacate their seats as they are running for mayoral races in their respective districts.

“So if both of those go for six months, we’re 54-54,” he said. “And we have recalls that are going on in our state. If a few of these Democrats are recalled, it’s even less than that. So don’t lose heart. Don’t think that all is lost.”

Neither DeSana nor Nessel returned requests for comment.

In response to the tape, the Michigan Democratic Party issued a statement questioning how Republican leadership planned to respond.

“What we’re left wondering is if House Minority Leader Matt Hall and his new fundraising chief disgraced former Governor Rick Snyder support this kind of violent and dangerous rhetoric which is becoming increasingly common among members of their House Republican caucus,” stated the release.

A request for comment from Hall (R-Richland Twp.) was also not returned.

House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Twp.) participates in a panel discussion with Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt (R-Porter Twp.) and House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) at the Mackinac Policy Conference on June 1, 2023. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

The Advance asked Amber McCann, spokesperson for Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit), if the speaker planned a censure or any other action against Maddock. Last session, when Republicans controlled the House, Maddock was kicked out of the GOP caucus for allegedly leaking confidential discussions.

“I don’t know one Democrat — or any rational person for that matter — who would agree with anything Maddock has to say,” McCann told the Advance. “I think what’s more noteworthy is the silence from Republican leaders in response to his rhetoric.”

In addition to the alleged attempt at submitting fake electoral certificates, Meshawn Maddock helped to organize busloads of West Michigan Republicans to travel to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally featuring Trump. She and Matt Maddock appeared at a Jan. 5 rally, although she claims that they were in a hotel when the violence started the next day.

The repeated false claims by the Maddocks and others of fraudulent voting in 2020’s election come in spite of an investigation by the then-Republican-controlled Senate Oversight Committee, court rulings and audits that have repeatedly upheld the results of Biden’s win.

Several days after the Jan. 6 riot, however, the Maddocks joined a far-right Facebook group where the possibility of civil war was also discussed.


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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King is the Senior Reporter for the Michigan Advance and has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2022 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell.