Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer kidnap suspects also considered ‘taking out’ Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, according to FBI

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Suspects accused of a domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week also considered “taking out” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, according to FBI testimony on Tuesday.

“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governors of Michigan and Virginia, based upon the lockdown orders,” FBI Special Agent Richard Trask said in court hearings in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to determine whether five of the 13 men arrested for the scheme could be released on bond. 

Six defendants have been federally charged for conspiracy to kidnap. The other seven, revealed to have connections with an armed militia group known as “Wolverine Watchmewere,” have been charged at the state level.

Trask said that the plotting discussions among some of the men took place during a meeting in June in Dublin, Ohio, following weeks of coronavirus-triggered stay-at-home orders in several states. Both Whitmer and Northam are among the Democratic leaders who faced heavy criticism from Republicans for their statewide shutdowns.

The FBI alerted Northam’s security staffers of its investigation, though per protocol, did not inform the governor, according to a statement from his office on Tuesday. The statement notes that the governor was never in immediate danger and that extra security measures have been put in place for him and his family.

In the same statement, Northam took aim at President Donald Trump’s charged language over the summer against lockdown measures, claiming it was used as fuel for the kidnapping plot. 

“Here’s the reality: President Trump called upon his supporters to ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA’ in April — just like Michigan,” the statement read. “In fact, the President regularly encourages violence against those that disagree with him. The rhetoric coming out of this White House has serious and potentially deadly consequences. It must stop.” 

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The five suspects being considered for release on bond, Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, appeared in handcuffs to the courtroom. They are all residents of Michigan.

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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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