Gretchen Whitmer: Alleged Kidnapping Conspirators Surveilled Governor’s Vacation Home

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Gretchen Whitmer: Alleged Kidnapping Conspirators Surveilled Governor’s Vacation Home” – below is their description.

    Six people were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as part of a plan to overthrow the state’s government, according to court papers unsealed in federal court in Michigan on Thursday. Early this year, the FBI learned from social media that a group of people was discussing the “violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components,” according to court papers. “The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” according to the U.S. “They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions. 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. Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.” Five Michiganders were arrested Wednesday in Ypsilanti, court records indicate. A Delaware man was also charged. Michigan is a hotbed of nationalist, extremist and white supremacist hate groups, with more than two dozen organizations active in the state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. During the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, Michigan was among the states where President Donald Trump urged supporters to resist lockdown measures, with a tweet on April 17 urging people to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” Whitmer, once considered a top contender as Joe Biden’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket, has become a target of conservatives who believe her response to the coronavirus pandemic trampled on individual freedoms with statewide orders to wear masks and stay at home. This spring, hundreds of demonstrators, some of them armed, occupied the Michigan statehouse to protest the orders. The Michigan Supreme Court later ruled that Whitmer lacked the authority to enforce such orders. Those charged include Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft. The charge, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. In June, Croft, Fox and about 13 others gathered in Dublin, Ohio, with a secret government cooperator in attendance, according to the U.S. In the end, law enforcement agents who learned of the plot lured Fox, Garbin, Franks and Harris to a meeting where they thought they’d be able to buy explosives and tactical gear. Whitmer is scheduled to speak later on Thursday. Users of the internet forum 4chan reacted with suspicion to reports of the alleged plot, doubting the authenticity of the FBI’s claim. Much of the chatter concluded that the news was ‘fake,’ but nonetheless predicted it would be bad for Trump. Some cheered on the militia, saying their plan, if true, sounded, “heroic.”

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  • In This Story: Gretchen Whitmer

    Gretchen Esther Whitmer is an American politician serving as the 49th governor of Michigan since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2001 to 2006 and in the Michigan Senate from 2006 to 2015.

    On October 8, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation thwarted a militia group’s kidnapping plot against her.

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