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US AG: Michigan governor, family were moved as plotters tracked

16:51  09 october  2020
16:51  09 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her family were at times moved around by authorities as law enforcement tracked the men who allegedly plotted for months to kidnap her, Michigan's attorney general said Friday.

In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. The governor delivered remarks addressing Michiganders after the Michigan Attorney General, Michigan State Police, U.S. Department of Justice, and FBI announced state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill the governor. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. The governor delivered remarks addressing Michiganders after the Michigan Attorney General, Michigan State Police, U.S. Department of Justice, and FBI announced state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill the governor. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

Dana Nessel disclosed the detail to “CBS This Morning." She said the Democratic governor was consistently updated about the investigation over the past couple months.

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“She was aware of things that were happening," Nessel said. "At times, she and her family had been moved around as a result of activities that law enforcement was aware of.”

Authorities announced Thursday that they foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Whitmer in a scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home before the Nov. 3 elections.

Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were charged in state court for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and seek a “civil war," including four who allegedly helped to surveil Whitmer’s house.

Michigan governor links Trump to foiled kidnapping plot

  Michigan governor links Trump to foiled kidnapping plot Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer linked a plot to kidnap her to President Donald Trump, arguing Thursday in a speech hours after arrests were announced that Trump's words had been a “rallying cry” for extremists. Whitmer, a Democrat, said the Republican president has spent the last seven months of the coronavirus pandemic “denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Nessel has charged seven people with plotting to target law enforcement and attack state Capitol building. The announcement comes after six others were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Nessel has charged seven people with plotting to target law enforcement and attack state Capitol building. The announcement comes after six others were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her "uncontrolled power," according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday , Oct. 8, 2020, in federal court. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

The two groups trained together and planned “various acts of violence,” according to the state police.

Surveillance for the kidnapping plot took place in August and September, according to an FBI affidavit, and four of the men had planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear.”

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The FBI quoted one of the men as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

Authorities said the plots were stopped with the work of undercover agents and informants. The men were arrested Wednesday night. The six charged in federal court face up to life in prison if convicted. The state terrorism charges the other seven men face carry a possible 20-year sentence.

Andrew Birge, the U.S. attorney in western Michigan, called the men “violent extremists.” They discussed detonating explosive devices — including under a highway bridge — to divert police from the area near Whitmer’s vacation home and Fox bought a Taser for use in the kidnapping, Birge said.

In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Kaleb Franks is shown in a booking photo. Franks is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Kaleb Franks is shown in a booking photo. Franks is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP)

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The alleged kidnapping plot against the Michigan governor as told in photos

  The alleged kidnapping plot against the Michigan governor as told in photos A photo series showing how the kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unfolded. Tensions between Whitmer, the state's second female governor, and right-wing activists have been playing out publicly, with large protests through the spring and summer as the governor instituted restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A few hours later, Whitmer pinned some blame on President Donald Trump, noting that he did not condemn white supremacists in last week’s debate with Joe Biden and instead told a far-right group to “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,” Whitmer said.

Trump tweeted that the governor “has done a terrible job” and again called on her to “open up your state.” He said he does not tolerate any extreme violence.

In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Brandon Caserta is shown in a booking photo. Caserta is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Brandon Caserta is shown in a booking photo. Caserta is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP)

Whitmer, who was considered as Biden’s running mate and is nearly halfway through a four-year term, has been widely praised for her response to the coronavirus but also sharply criticized by Republican lawmakers and people in conservative areas of the state. The Capitol has been the site of many rallies, including ones with gun-toting protesters calling for her ouster.

Sheriff in Michigan says plot to kidnap governor may have been LEGAL

  Sheriff in Michigan says plot to kidnap governor may have been LEGAL Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf in May took the stage at an anti-lockdown rally with William Null, who with his twin brother Michael Null is among the 13 charged in the kidnapping plot. 'It's just a charge, and they say a 'plot to kidnap' and you got to remember that. Are they trying to kidnap?' Leaf told WXMI-TV on Thursday.'Because a lot of people are angry with the governor, and they want her arrested. So are they trying to arrest or was it a kidnap attempt? Because you can still in Michigan if it's a felony, make a felony arrest,' Leaf said.

In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Ty Garbin is shown in a booking photo. Garbin is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Ty Garbin is shown in a booking photo. Garbin is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP)

Whitmer put major restrictions on personal movement and the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted since spring. The governor has exchanged barbs with Trump on social media, with the president declaring in April, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” There is no indication in the criminal complaint, however, that the men were inspired by Trump.

In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Daniel Harris is shown in a booking photo. Harris is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In a photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, Daniel Harris is shown in a booking photo. Harris is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Kent County Sheriff via AP)

___

White reported from Detroit. AP reporters Michael Kunzelman in College Park, Maryland, and John Flesher in Traverse City, Michigan, contributed to this story.

Suspects in Michigan kidnap plot also weighed targeting Virginia governor: FBI .
Suspects in Michigan kidnap plot also weighed targeting Virginia governor: FBI(Reuters) - Some suspects accused of trying to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also discussed whether they should shoot her in the head and contemplated abducting Virginia Governor Ralph Northam as well, an FBI agent testified on Tuesday.

usr: 5
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