13 people have now been charged federally and at the state level in a domestic terrorism plot.
Seven months have passed since COVID-19 lockdowns started initiated across the United States. Americans across the country have demanded the opportunity to return to work and their lives. This continues as elected officials refuse to budge on unconstitutional executive orders. Now, authorities arrested thirteen people in a domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. There were also additional discussions to abduct Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that six people were charged federally with conspiracy to kidnap. Meanwhile, seven other people, associated with the militia group “Wolverine Watchmen,” were charged by the state.
The six charged by the federal government are Michigan residents Adam Fox, 37, Ty Garbin, 24, Kaleb Franks, 26, Daniel Harris, 23, Brandon Caserta, 32, and Delaware resident Barry Croft, 44. The men may receive a sentence of life in prison if convicted.
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The seven people charged by the state are Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Michael Null, 38, William Null, 38, Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 26. They face a variety of firearm and terror charges. These include terrorism, gang membership, and providing support for planned terrorist actions. It also includes possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Some of the defendants had participated in various demonstrations at the Michigan Capitol building over the past several months. These demonstrations were concerned with the ongoing Coronavirus shutdowns.
“The individuals in (state) custody are suspected to have attempted to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them, made threats of violence intended to instigate a civil war, and engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the capitol building of Michigan and to kidnap government officials, including the governor of Michigan,” Nessel said at a press conference.
Authorities have identified Fox as a leader of the group. Also, he allegedly said he needed “200 men” to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages. These include Whitmer, according to the criminal complaint.
They would try the governor of Michigan for “treason,” Fox allegedly claimed. He also said they would execute the kidnapping plan prior to the November 2020 elections.
Authorities accused the men involved of surveilling Whitmer’s vacation home. They allegedly made plans to detonate explosives in order to distract law enforcement.
The men targeted governors due to their dissatisfaction with their response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Associated Press. Conservatives heavily criticized Whitmer’s state lockdown measures. This led to multiple protests at the Michigan State Capitol building.
Whitmer took the opportunity to place all blame for the plot on President Trump. “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,” she said. “‘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.”
Whitmer has continuously refused to accept responsibility for her actions to keep Michigan’s economy closed, and has acted without input or approval from the Republican-controlled House and Senate. Whitmer chose to extend her “Safer at Home” order until June 1 before implementing a six-stage plan to reopen.
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller admonished Whitmer for calling out the President at a time when Washington has united over their condemnation of the plot to kidnap the governors.
“We’re all united standing against anyone who would conspire to cause such hatred and violence. And there is no place for that in American society in any way, shape, or form,” he said on Fox News. “But why Gov. Whitmer would go and start attacking President Trump, this is just — people can see right through it. They can see that Gov. Whitmer is a complete phony and it is just disgusting that she would take a moment of unity to attack the President.”
Five of the men accused in the plot will return to federal court Friday as a hearing on whether there is enough evidence to charge them continues. A federal judge also plans to consider whether two of the men, including Fox, should remain in jail before trial.