Aide: Courser asked me to send false email

Posted at 9:01 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 22:11:09-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An aide says a former Michigan lawmaker asked him to send an outlandishly false email to fellow Republicans so his extramarital affair with another legislator wouldn't be believed, but the staffer refused because it was unethical and possibly illegal.

Benjamin Graham testified in court Wednesday that ex-Rep. Todd Courser called him in May 2015, asking for help to "destroy" himself as a ruse. Courser devised an explicit email that said he had been caught having sex with a male prostitute, to make his real affair with then-Rep. Cindy Gamrat less plausible if it was revealed publicly by an extortionist.

Graham, who later was fired, recorded the conversation with Courser and gave it to a newspaper for publication.

The House expelled Gamrat in September, and Courser resigned rather than be expelled.

The former legislators face felony misconduct in office charges stemming from a House investigation into their conduct.