GOP congressional candidate is militia member who says US is 'heading toward a civil war'

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Audra Johnson is a member of the Michigan Liberty Militia and had a Trump-themed wedding in 2019.

Republican congressional candidate Audra Johnson, who is running for the seat in Michigan's Third Congressional District, told the New York Times in a story published on Thursday that she believes the country is "heading toward a civil war."

Discussing the state of America, Johnson told the Times that "people are terrified," adding, "We're heading toward a civil war, if we're not already in a cold civil war."

The candidate also told the paper that she refuses to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Johnson is running to win the Republican nomination against GOP Rep. Peter Meijer, who voted in January to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. In 2020, Meijer defeated his Democratic opponent Hillary Scholten by 6%. The seat was previously held by GOP Rep. Justin Amash, who resigned after voting to impeach Trump in 2019.

In her campaign announcement video, Johnson criticizes Meijer for voting to impeach Trump, describing him as "a fake conservative siding with Nancy Pelosi."

Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C., with a group to attend the infamous Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally led by Trump. She told the Times she did not enter the building in the riot that followed the speech, but said she knew people who did and expressed sympathy for them: "Honestly, they're terrified that the F.B.I. is going to come knock on their door."

In her official YouTube account, Johnson identifies herself as a member of the Michigan Liberty Militia. The Southern Poverty Law Center listed the militia as one of 566 "extreme antigovernment groups that were active in 2020."

In May 2020, Johnson also identified herself as part of the militia when she was interviewed by a local TV station while supporting a salon that opened in defiance of lockdown orders by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

At a Pro-Trump rally at the Michigan Capitol on Jan. 6, Phil Robinson, who leads the militia, told supporters that he knows the men accused of a plot to kidnap and kill Whitmer but that they are "not guilty." He said, "We'll all find out the truth."

In 2019, Johnson made news when she dressed in a custom "Make America Great Again" dress for her wedding. The event used the hashtag "#MAGAPatriotWedding" and Johnson has been identified as "MAGA Bride."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.