Michigan state legislature closes offices due to 'credible threats of violence'

Law enforcement recommended the Michigan legislature close its offices.

Last Updated: December 13, 2020, 10:17 PM EST

President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 39 days.

Dec 13, 2020, 10:17 PM EST

Michigan legislature closes offices due to 'credible threats of violence' ahead of Electoral College meeting

Ahead of Monday’s meeting of Michigan’s 16 electors at the state Capitol in Lansing, officials announced the state legislature's office buildings will be closed due to "credible threats of violence."

The decision to close the state House and Senate offices — while the presidential electors convene in the Senate chamber to cast their votes for President-elect Joe Biden, who carried the state by more than 154,000 votes — came from a recommendation from law enforcement, officials said.

But the decision was not motivated by anticipated protests outside the capitol, according to a statement from Amber McCann, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.

"The Senate has closed its own workspaces tomorrow based upon recommendations from law enforcement. The decision was not made because of anticipated protests, but was made based on credible threats of violence," McCann said late Sunday night, without adding any details about the threats. 

"Senate leadership does not have the authority to close the Capitol. That decision is made by the Capitol Commission," she continued. 

A spokesperson for Lee Chatfield, Speaker of the Michigan House, confirmed that the closures apply to the lower chamber as well. 

Amid the "safety concerns," state lawmakers will be working remotely on Monday, a Democratic member of the House tweeted.

-ABC News' Kendall Karson

Dec 13, 2020, 3:39 PM EST

'Small portion of GOP' are 'appeasing' and 'patronizing' Trump because they're 'scared of his Twitter power': Cedric Richmond

Incoming White House Senior Adviser Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, but revealed very little about the incoming Biden transition plans for vaccine distribution or dealing with the newly announced investigation of Hunter Biden’s taxes. However, Richmond stressed in his interview that Republicans were very aware that Biden would be president on Jan. 20.

When asked about congressional Republicans largely refusing to recognize President-elect Biden’s victory, Richmond pushed back, saying it was a small portion of the party afraid of Trump.

Rep. Cedric Richmond speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup in Washington, D.C., June 17, 2020.
Erin Scott/Reuters, FILE

"They recognize Joe Biden's victory. All of America recognizes Joe Biden's victory. This is just a small portion of the Republican conference that are appeasing and patronizing the President on his way out because they are scared of his Twitter power and other things. And so when it's time to govern, if we can't cooperate -- if Republicans won't meet us halfway, we will go to the American people, and we will continue to push our agenda. But this country is in far too much turmoil. And this pandemic, the economic aspects and health aspects really caused for America to get on one page -- solve this crisis and start to move forward. So -- we're not going to let them slow us down,” he said.

"I talk to Republican members of Congress all the time, and they say one thing privately, they say another thing publicly. But the one thing I will tell you is they realize he lost this election," Richmond added.

- Molly Nagle

Dec 13, 2020, 2:35 PM EST

'The legal theory put forward by his legal team and by the president is an absurdity': Chris Christie

Former New Jersey governor and ABC News political contributor Chris Christie, criticized President Donald Trump and his allies' efforts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's election victory during "This Week"'s Powerhouse Players Roundtable discussion on Sunday.

"The legal theory put forward by his legal team and by the president is an absurdity," Christie said. "The reason why the Supreme Court didn't take it is because it's an absurd idea to think that any state or any number of states, no matter how good they are, can challenge another state's right to run the election as they see fit. And, also, there's no evidence," he added.

Christie also denounced what he called were "attacks" by the president on "decent Republican governors."

"What's gotten even worse ... is the attacks by the president on good, hardworking, decent Republican governors," he said. "He's calling them corrupt, and also telling people things that aren't true," Christie said, mentioning the president's recent comments about Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

The president tweeted in November that Kemp was "hapless" and should "overrule his obstinate secretary of state," Brad Raffensperger -- also a Republican backer of Trump -- after the latter has refused to intervene to help Trump.

"The governor's done nothing," Trump also said in a Fox News interview. "He's done absolutely nothing. I'm ashamed that I endorsed him."

On Dec. 12, the president tweeted, "Who is a worse governor, @BrianKempGA of Georgia or @dougducey of Arizona???" as part of a series of tweets blasting both governors since the presidential election.

Dec 13, 2020, 1:16 PM EST

'While I don't agree with the court's decision, I accept it': Al Gore, 20 years ago today

Former Vice President Al Gore, 20 years ago today said, "Let there be no doubt. While I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it."

Twenty years ago during the 2000 presidential election, the campaigns of George W. Bush and Al Gore fought in court for a chaotic 36 days over a ballot recount in Florida and certification of final results. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately intervened, reversing a state Supreme Court ruling, to end the counting and effectively deliver the presidency to Bush.

At the center of the controversy were irregularities in the way ballots were marked -- so-called "hanging" or "dangling" chads -- which famously required interpretation of voter intent.

Former Vice President Al Gore delivers a speech on the importance of renewable energy, prior to Governer Cuomo signing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act at Fordham Law School, July 18, 2019 in New York City.
Scott Heins/Getty Images, FILE

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