Headlines today about the plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer
A sheriff from Michigan who shared a protest stage with two of the seven men suspected of attempting to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer downplayed the supposed scheme as an effort to apprehend a resident.
Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf suggested in an interview with Fox 17 West Michigan the men may have an explanation for their actions.
“It’s just a charge, and they say a ‘plot to kidnap’ and you got to remember that,” Leaf told the station. “Are they trying to kidnap? Because a lot of people are angry with the governor, and they want her arrested. So are they trying to arrest or was it a kidnap attempt? Because you can still in Michigan if it’s a felony, make a felony arrest.”
“I have to look at it from that angle and I’m hoping that’s more what it is, in fact, these guys are innocent till proven guilty, so I’m not even sure if they had any part of it,” Leaf added.
The sheriff insists the Null brothers were always very nice and respectful and that he was “shocked” at the accusations.
“The two gentlemen that I know of from my county, were they involved in that? I don’t know. They’re innocent till proven guilty. And we really, really should be careful, trying to try them in the media,” Leaf said.
13 Charged in Alleged Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
The FBI broke up a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, federal and state authorities said.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Andrew Birge told reporters on Oct. 8 that the six men who were arrested and charged “conspired to kidnap the governor from her vacation home in the Western District of Michigan before the November election.”
FBI special agent Richard Trask II wrote in an affidavit that agents became aware early this year that a group of people were discussing violently overthrowing certain government and law enforcement components. The group included Ty Garbin, 24, Adam Fox, 37, and Barry Croft, 44, residents of Michigan and Delaware, respectively.
Fox and Croft connected online and agreed to join forces to unite in violent action against multiple state governments they thought were violating the U.S. Constitution, according to the affidavit.
The men and approximately 13 others gathered in Dublin, Ohio, on June 6 for a meeting. A confidential human source, or a spy for the FBI, was present.
The group allegedly discussed creating a new society and ways to bring it forth, some peaceful and some not.
“At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,” Trask II wrote. Several members discussed “murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.”
6 Men Charged In Months-Long Violent Plot To Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Six men have been charged for their alleged involvement in a months-long violent plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer before the November election that went as far as surveilling her vacation home and practicing the detonation of a bomb against human silhouette targets.
- Each man, if convicted, faces a term of up to life in prison for conspiring to kidnap the governor, said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Andrew Birge during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
- The FBI identified the plot earlier this year through social media and tracked its evolution into a vicious, thought-out conspiracy involving a local Michigan militia group, Wolverine Watchmen, whose members also face a slew of charges for attempting to identify and target the homes of law enforcement officers, instigate civil war and attack the the state’s Capitol building in Lansing.
- Per an affidavit filed Thursday morning by the FBI, the six men—Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta—complained of the state’s coronavirus restrictions and labeled Michigan’s governor a “tyrant” with “no checks and balances at all.”
- The plot began to take form after a June gathering in Ohio when 15 people from different states discussed creating a society following a U.S. bill of rights where they could be self-sufficient, and “at one point several members talked about state governments they believe were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,” read the affidavit.
- Over the next few months, the men, recruiting the militia group for help, honed the plan from an operation of “200 men” storming the Capitol building and taking hostages to a singular kidnapping of Whitmer at her vacation home, communicating frequently over encrypted messaging services.
- “Have one person go to her house, knock on the door and when she answers it just cap her,” said Harris at one point, with Franks later saying: “Kidnapping, arson, death, I don’t care.”
- Four of the men planned to meet on Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” according to the court filing, following two co-ordinated surveillance visits to Whitmer’s vacation home, a practice session where group members constructed and set off an IED in a clearing surrounded by human silhouette targets and the inspection of the underside of a bridge to see where an explosive device could be placed.
Militia Members Plotted To Kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, FBI Says
The FBI says it has thwarted a plot by militia members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and six people are facing federal charges. In a coordinated move, Michigan is pursuing state felony charges against seven people with ties to a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen.
In a statement early Wednesday, Whitmer said two militia groups “were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me.”
But in a later interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said “multiple white supremacy groups and militia groups have been acting in accordance with one another.”
Whitmer thanked law enforcement officer on Thursday afternoon for foiling the the alleged conspiracy. “I’ll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this,” she said.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: Trump provided ‘rallying cry’ to hate groups as kidnapping plot thwarted
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused President Trump on Thursday of providing a “rallying cry” to hate groups after the FBI uncovered a plot by individuals connected to an anti-government militia to abduct her ahead of the presidential election.
In her first public comments on the plot, Whitmer thanked the FBI, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel and state police for “bringing these sick and depraved men to justice.” She argued that Trump has provided tacit support to radical groups by refusing to condemn white supremacy, referencing the president’s comment during last week’s debate that the Proud Boys, a far-right group unaffiliated with the kidnapping plot, should ‘stand back and stand by.’”
“Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” Whitmer said at a press conference. “‘Stand back and stand by,” he told them. Stand back and stand by. Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action.”
“When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage and fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit,” the Michigan governor added.
More big headlines in the news today.