Michigan state representative Cindy Gamrat made it clear in her tearful press conference on Friday that she did not have any knowledge of the composition of or the sending of an email by her colleague — and sex scandal partner — Rep. Todd Courser, a mass email written by Courser accusing himself of having sex with a man behind a Lansing nightclub. Courser admitted in an audio statement this past week that he had composed the email to distract from his affair because he was under duress from a blackmailer, who had threatened to out the representatives’ extramarital sexual relationship. And according to The Detroit News, it is clear that Rep. Gamrat is mistaken in her recollection of what she knew about the contrived homosexual sex scandal email that Courser maintains was written to distract the media and fellow Republicans from the actual affair between himself and Gamrat.
The Detroit News reported August 15 that, according to audio files provided the news organization, Rep. Cindy Gamrat not only knew about the fictitious email composed by Rep. Todd Courser, she and her husband allegedly signed off on its final contents. The audio, which was surreptitiously recorded without Courser’s knowledge by then aide Ben Graham, contains a conversation wherein Courser identifies Gamrat by her first name.
But during Friday’s press conference, Gamrat said, “I did not author nor assist in sending the email in question,” Gamrat said Friday. “I was unaware that this email was sent and also the content until a reporter pointed it out to me.”
It would appear that if Gamrat had stopped speaking after the first denial she would have been truthful — or at least in the realm of plausible deniability. Because, again according to the audio recording, Courser told Ben Graham that although both the Gamrats had agreed to the final draft, including labeling her “a tramp” and wanting the email slanted more toward Cindy Gamrat, his telling Graham is hearsay evidence. But when Rep. Gamrat went on to say she was unaware of the email being sent, that statement might prove problematical and question her credibility about what she did and did not know.
According to the audio recording, Rep. Courser received a phone call from an individual he identified in the recording as Cindy Gamrat. He is then heard on the recording explaining to Gamrat his plan for distributing the email to Republicans. He then asked, “Do you see another option there, Cindy?”
CBS News reported Friday that the Michigan House of Representatives has launched an official investigation into the circumstances surrounding the email, ostensibly to determine whether or not whether or not the two representatives misused public resources to try and hide their affair and, additionally, whether or not an aide was fired who had refused to help. Ben Graham was that aide and, after being fired in July, promptly delivered his secret recording of the Courser meeting to The Detroit News.
Graham has alleged that Rep. Courser planned for him to send the email, telling him to take a sick day to do it. Graham refused. He was subsequently fired, as was a second aide, Keith Allard, both of whom received raises in June. Oddly enough, Graham and Allard where the remaining two — of three — aides shared by the representatives, an arrangement found strange because the two lawmakers represented constituents on opposite sides of the state. Gamrat claims that the sharing of the aides was to “eliminate redundancy and save taxpayer dollars.” She also claims the firings were work related.
Rep. Cindy Gamrat may have denied knowledge of certain aspects concerning the sex scandal email during her press conference, but she did admit to an extramarital affair with Rep. Todd Courser, an affair that she apologized for with her husband standing at her side. She made a tear-filled apology to her constituents for her “personal indiscretion” but said she also believed that a House investigation would exonerate her of any wrongdoing. Therefore, she said that even though she was considering resignation, she would not do so at present.
Both Gamrat and Courser are facing a rising tide of outrage, crested with those calling for their resignations. Rep. Courser said earlier in the week, in an audio statement, that he would not resign his position. The two representatives were elected as Republicans on strong family values platforms.