More than a dozen people were charged Thursday in connection with a plot to overthrow the Michigan government and kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Arrests were made late Wednesday and early Thursday in a raid at a home in Hartland, Michigan. The raid was conducted by the FBI and Michigan State Police and included SWAT members.
A Plan To Kidnap Michigan's Governor: Many of those accused of participating in the plot are connected to a Michigan militia group called “Wolverine Watchmen,” authorities said.
The FBI became aware of the plot through social media and eventually had two criminal informants at the meetings that were held.
Individuals discussed kidnapping Whitmer at both the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing and her vacation residence in northern Michigan.
The group reportedly conducted firearms training, attempted to make explosives and purchased a taser.
The initial plan was to get “200 men” to storm the state capitol and take hostages, including the governor.
Plans turned to kidnapping Whitmer at her vacation home based on the number of people, the logistics and at least one member not wanting to commit an act of violence at the state capitol.
The group conducted surveillance on Whitmer’s vacation home on at least two occasions. Plans called for kidnapping Whitmer and moving her to a secure location in Wisconsin, where she would be put on trial for “treason.” The group wanted to complete the kidnapping prior to the November election.
Whitmer Says Trump Encourages Hate Groups: A tweet from Donald Trump in April called on people to “Liberate Michigan!”
LIBERATE MICHIGAN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
"Hatred, bigotry, and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan," Whitmer said in a Thursday afternoon address.
The governor referenced Trump's refusal to condemn white supremacists at the first presidential debate last week.
"Hate groups heard the president's words, not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry," she said.
Whitmer discussed the difficult decisions she has had to make in shutting down businesses and schools due to the coronavirus, and asked Michiganders to stick together.
"We are not one another's enemy. The virus is our enemy. We're Michiganders, we have grit, we have heart, and we are tough as hell."
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Photo via Wikimedia.
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