Two Michigan legislators involved in a scandal where they tried to cover up their adulterous affair are gone from the state’s House of Representatives. Rep. Todd Courser resigned his seat early Friday morning, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat was expelled an hour later, the Detroit Free Press reported. Both are Republicans.
Courser resigned during an overnight session in the state Capitol in Lansing where legislators were considering if the two should be expelled, NBC News reported. Gamrat asked the House to censure her instead of throwing her out, but she was eventually expelled on a 91-12 vote. The House was deadlocked for hours before the Republicans secured enough Democratic votes to vote the two out. When this became apparent, Courser resigned. Both Gamrat and Courser are married to others.
"I put everybody through a whole bunch — across the state, my own family, the constituents, the people in this room," Courser said, according to the Huffington Post. "Whether it was the third vote or the fourth vote or the fifth vote, they were going to eventually get me."
The end of the pair’s tenures in the House all came from an email Courser admitted he wrote that was sent to Republican activists in May. The email, which said he was found with a male prostitute, was in fact a self-smearing attempt to divert attention from his affair with Gamrat, which Courser said a blackmailer would reveal if he didn't resign.
The bizarre ploy was an attempt to make his affair with Gamrat less believable should the two be exposed. The scandal came to light when audio recordings came out that revealed Courser tried to get his staffers to send the email, which they refused to do.
Courser discussed with Gamrat the ploy to send the self-smear email, which stated that Courser, a Tea Party conservative Republican, was addicted to bisexual pornography and that he was a “gun toting Bible thumping … freak,” according to the Huffington Post. Gamrat admitted she knew of the email but did not know of its sexually explicit content.
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The House Democrats disapproved of Courser and Gamrat’s actions, but didn’t want to vote for expulsion until they knew more about how the scandal came to light, including when the Republican speaker knew about the cover-up and how two staffers went about revealing it to Republican leaders. According to a House Business Office probe, the cover-up was unethical, but the false email itself was likely legal.