State Rep. Matt Maddock should be kicked off the ballot because he repeatedly violated his oath of office by trying to overturn the presidential election, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The lawsuit, filed in Michigan Court of Appeals, alleges Maddock “has ‘engaged in insurrection’ in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore is ineligible to serve as a candidate for or a member of the Michigan Legislature.”
The suit was filed by registered voter Lee Estes with the help of Progress Michigan, a progressive nonprofit.
No elected official in Michigan has been as vociferous about peddling conspiracy theories and overturning the presidential election than Maddock, a far-right Republican from Milford.
Maddock is a bail bondsman, early Tea Party organizer, and longtime grassroots activist, who was elected to the state House in 2018. His wife, Meshawn Maddock, is the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party.
Maddock helped organize a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters to descend on the former TCF Center in downton Detroit in an attempt to stop the vote from being counted in November 2020.
Maddock was also among a group of Republicans masquerading as electors in an attempt to gain access to the state Capitol and overturn the election. The Department of Justice is investigating the fake elector scheme.
In December 2020, Maddock joined a federal lawsuit filed by Trump supporters to challenge the results of the election. The suit asked a judge to allow lawmakers to certify the states’ election results, a move that would have enabled the Republican-led Michigan Legislature to reject Joe Biden’s victory. But a judge turned down the suit, calling their arguments “flat-out wrong” and “a fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution.”
Maddock was one of 10 Republican legislators who signed on to a baseless lawsuit filed by Texas that sought to challenge the election results in several states, including Michigan.
Maddock also signed a letter demanding a full forensic audit of the 2020 election, falsely claiming there were “numerous irregularities.” He also urged Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in June to investigate and “bring charges if credible evidence is found” stemming from a widely denounced propaganda film, 2000 Mules, by conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza.
Maddock and his wife attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally that devolved into a riot. A day earlier, they spoke at the rally.
Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill last month that called on the Department of Justice to investigate Maddock and his Republican colleagues for attempting to overturn the election.
“Before, during and after the November 2020 election, Matt Maddock was one of the ringleaders who sought to use illegal means — in violation of his oath of office — to try to overturn a free and fair election,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said in a statement. “Actions have consequences and Maddock’s actions surrounding the 2020 election demand accountability. He’s spread lies and misinformation, attempted to subvert the will of voters, and betrayed the oath he swore to uphold.”
Progress Michigan filed a similar lawsuit against Ryan Kelley, arguing he should be removed from the ballot because he’s a “clear and present danger to democracy.” The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit, saying it was filled too close to the Aug. 2 primary election.
The court made no judgment on whether Kelley was an insurrectionist.
Kelley lost in the primary and is now refusing to concede.