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Michigan Lawmakers Behind Fake, Sexually Explicit Email Leave Office

Former Rep. Todd Courser, who admitted last month to writing and sending an email alleging he had hired male sex workers, resigned early Friday morning. Former Rep. Cindy Gamrat was voted out an hour later.

Last updated on September 11, 2015, at 1:33 p.m. ET

Posted on September 11, 2015, at 10:45 a.m. ET

David Eggert / AP
David Eggert / AP Photo

Two Michigan lawmakers left office early Friday morning nearly four months after they conspired to "leak" a false rumor about their sex lives in order to distract others from their extramarital affair, the Associated Press reported.

Former Rep. Todd Courser, 43, who penned the sexually explicit email, submitted his immediate resignation from the legislature around 3 a.m. Friday in the midst of what would be a 16-hour session.

One hour later, former Rep. Cindy Gamrat was expelled from office on a 91-12 vote, according to the AP.

"Resigning would have been a whole lot easier, I'll tell you that," she told Detroit News. "But sometimes the easy roads aren't the best roads to take."

Last month, BuzzFeed News reported the controversy that sparked the two former legislators' departures: On May 20, several Michigan lawmakers received an email from an anonymous sender filled with allegations that Courser, had engaged in sex with a male prostitute.

The email called him a "bi-sexual porn addicted sex deviant" and referred to Gamrat as a "tramp."

On May 19, Courser had ordered his aide, Ben Graham, to craft the salacious email after he and Gamrat received a text message from someone who knew of their affair. Graham secretly recorded the whole conversation, and later sent it to the Detroit Press, who published the findings on August 7.

At one point in the recording, Graham can be heard saying, "Are you serious? What are you talking about? That's ridiculous!" when he realized what Courser wanted him to do.

"It is ridiculous!" Courser responded. "I need it to be over the top."

Three days later, Courser announced in a voice recording on his personal blog that the faux-leaked email was intended to "inoculate the herd," referring to those who supported him.

"The email in question was really put in motion to try to disrupt the blackmailer," he said, "and to give me some clues as to what their ability was in terms of surveillance of my life."

This wasn't the first time that both lawmakers, who aligned themselves with the Tea Party, had caused a stir in the legislature.

The Detroit Press reported that as early as one week after the two were elected into office in January, they began pitting themselves up against Republicans. In April, Gamrat was removed from the caucus after distributing classified documents from private meetings.

"I put everybody through a whole bunch — across the state, my own family, the constituents, the people in this room," Courser told reporters after the hearing, according to the Detroit Press. "Whether it was the third vote or the fourth vote or the fifth vote, they were going to eventually get me."

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Courser and Gamrat for comment.

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