Thirteen Men Arrested in Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor

Ella Pedroso, Design Editor

On Oct. 8, The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Michigan state authorities revealed that a militia group conspired to kidnap Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Authorities arrested 13 men from two anti-government groups who planned to kidnap the governor and take her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin; they also planned to blow up a bridge near Whitmer’s home to distract authorities. 

Richard J. Trask II, (an FBI special) agent said in the criminal complaint that the men were planning to kidnap her in November before the election. Their plan included going to her house, asking her a question and seizing her.

The criminal complaint states that the FBI  became aware of a group of individuals that would discuss a violent overthrow of the government. The group included two of the men arrested. The two men agreed to find others who would aid them in their cause to take violent action against state governments who they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution. 

On June 6, 2020, two of the men arrested and approximately 13 other people gathered for a meeting to discuss their operation to establish a society where they would be self-sufficient. A Confidential Human Source was present at this meeting. The members discussed Whitmer and how they felt she violated the U.S Constitution. One of the men arrested sought out a Michigan militia group to aid their cause. 

The militia group would meet in a hidden basement of a shop that one of the men worked at. A Second CHS recorded these meetings by having a recording device attached to them. In these meetings they discussed a violent overthrow, including plans to assault the Michigan state capital with weapons and use “molotov cocktails” to destroy police vehicles. 

Whitmer had become disliked by anti-government and right-wing groups due to the restrictions she put on residents and businesses to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Authorities said the men referred to Whitmer in vulgar terms and claimed she was too authoritarian, explaining that they had to do something. 

During the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump did not condemn white supremacy groups. Whitmer said that the men took his refusal as encouragement. 

In a press conference on Thursday, Whitmer said although she knew the dangers of her job, she never imagined something like this happening.