Meshawn Maddock was proud to address a crowd of thousands last Tuesday in Washington, the day before protesters would descend on the Capitol.
“We have over 19 buses that are leaving and have left from Michigan and are headed this way,” she said to a screaming crowd. “All flights filled up.”
The Milford mother was part of Trump’s National Advisory Board of Women and helped bring scores of Trump supporters from Michigan to the event. Her husband Matt, a longtime bail bondsman who was elected to the Michigan House in 2018, stood at her side.
In a Tweet on January 6, Meshawn Maddock wrote that the rally included "(the) most incredible crowd and sea of people I’ve ever walked with," but later said she did not participate in any violence or destruction and was back at her hotel room by the time the rally devolved.
Today, Meshawn Maddock is running unopposed to become the next co-chair of the Michigan GOP, and her rise in the state politics coincides with Donald Trump’s. So too does her taste for conspiracy theories, falsehoods about Michigan’s election and expert use social media.
For years, Meshawn fought to make the Republican Party more socially conservative, often battling to keep protections for gay people out of the party platform as she did at a GOP platform meeting held in 2016.
“Whoever wrote this, that you would think that LBGT in particular have been a target of violent and oppression?” she said, objecting to the language recommended for the party platform. “Just the fact that you want to add it now is insulting.”
Since last November’s election, she has pushed false claims about voter fraud, claiming incorrectly on social media that massive numbers of dead people cast ballots.
Her husband Matt was elected in 2018 after a number of unsuccessful runs for Michigan legislative seats that included an endorsement from “Dog the Bounty Hunter.”
Last year, he tried to start impeachment proceedings against Governor Whitmer over her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic but was unsuccessful.
He has consistently argued that the deadly virus is overblown, even after one of his own colleagues in the House, Rep. Issac Robinson, died of COVID last year.
“I know like sixty people who have had COVID, and only one of them had any serious symptoms whatsoever,” he said on a conservative talk show in November. “Most people tell me it’s like a cold or a flu, and that’s it.”
Matt Marsden, a Republican strategist, said the Maddocks have been irresponsible in their spouting of conspiracy theories and falsities. “You can’t go around perpetuating these falsehoods that people clearly, clearly can’t seem to understand are not true,” he said.
Marsden worked on then-Sen. Mike Kowall’s campaign when Maddock was defeated in a 2014 primary.
“These guys can’t fly any farther to the right that we are already now,” Marsden said, “and what it has gotten us is a direct threat on our democracy, a direct threat on our citizenry.”
During the same talk show appearance from November, Matt Maddock made chilling comments regarding the election’s outcome, seemingly predicting the horrifying scenes that would play out less than two months later. “As soon as we lose our faith in elections … the next step after that … the same thing happened with the Civil War,” he said. “They lost faith in the election because there was inadequate elections going on, and the next step was the Civil War. We’re treading on very, very thin ice.”
Marsden said Maddock’s words were reckless.
“That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” he said. “And any discussion of Civil War and going back is the most ridiculous, (expletive) backward line of thinking and it’s exactly the kind of thing that leads to people waving confederate flags in our nation’s Capitol.”
In a tweet on January 7, Meshawn Maddock condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol “in the strongest terms possible,” adding that “rally was supposed to be a peaceful event and people who broke the law should be held accountable. I am horrified by the death of the young woman and pray for the healing of our nation.”
Neither Meshawn nor Matt Maddock responded to requests for an interview.
Contact WXYZ Investigator Ross Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (248) 827-9466.