Judge orders House speaker to testify in ex-lawmakers’ case

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MI House Speaker Kevin Cotter (file)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A judge has ordered Michigan’s House speaker to testify in public in the criminal case of two lawmakers who were forced from office in a sex scandal.

Lansing District Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. on Thursday denied Speaker Kevin Cotter’s motion to quash Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat’s subpoena for him to answer questions in their probable cause hearing next week. Clarke also reversed course and ruled he won’t allow Cotter to first be questioned privately in the judge’s chambers.

Clarke denied Cotter legislative immunity, unless he’s asked questions pertaining to his speech or actions on the House floor or in committee.

Spokesman Gideon D’Assandro says Cotter disagrees “strongly” with the ruling and will appeal.

The defendants are accused of crimes related to an effort to cover up their extramarital affair.

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