The FBI provided more details about the case against members of anti-government paramilitary groups charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Special Agent Richard Trask testified about a June meeting between the members during a court hearing on whether the suspects should be detained until their trial.
Trask said that in addition to kidnapping Whitmer, the men also discussed plans to kidnap Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
"They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders," Trask said.
He explained that the men were unhappy with the strict lockdown orders that were put in place to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He said that the FBI used undercover agents, confidential sources, and covert recordings to help unravel the plot to kidnap Whitmer.
The men had already surveilled her vacation home in northern Michigan and planned to meet last week to pay for tactical gear and explosives.
The FBI arrested over a dozen people last week, charging Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Barry Croft, and Brandon Caserta with conspiracy to kidnap Governor Whitmer and other federal crimes. They face life in prison if convicted.
Seven members of a paramilitary group known as the Wolverine Watchmen were also arrested and are facing state charges for allegedly plotting to storm the Michigan Capitol and providing material support for terrorist acts.
Photo: Kent County Sheriff's Office