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

01:25  10 october  2020
01:25  10 october  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Foiled kidnapping of Michigan governor highlights preparations for election-related conflict

  Foiled kidnapping of Michigan governor highlights preparations for election-related conflict Law enforcement officials have been bracing for possible clashes at local polling places, violence and larger demonstrations similar to summer-long social justice protests.Federal, state and local law enforcement officials have been bracing for possible clashes at local polling places, violence and larger demonstrations similar to the summer-long social justice protests that spilled into the streets of dozens of American cities.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (R) welcomed Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden when he US Attorney Andrew Birge told reporters Thursday that the conspirators used encrypted Whitmer gave a speech on the kidnapping plot later Thursday, saying she hopes to see convictions

plots to kidnap Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer over coronavirus restrictions she imposed in the state, detailing the harrowing allegations in court papers on Thursday. Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan .

Six men were arrested this week for an alleged plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and violently overthrow the state's government.

a group of people standing on the floor: Members of a militia group stand near the doors to the chamber in the capitol building in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020. © Seth Herald/Reuters, FILE Members of a militia group stand near the doors to the chamber in the capitol building in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020.

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.

Trump says Whitmer didn't say 'thank you' after thwarted kidnapped plot. She did thank law enforcement

  Trump says Whitmer didn't say 'thank you' after thwarted kidnapped plot. She did thank law enforcement Whitmer thanked law enforcement in her press conference on Thursday but criticized Trump for his responses to hate groups.Seven additional people are also facing state charges pursuant to Michigan's anti-terrorism act in connection to the alleged plot.

Six people have been arrested and charged over an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. More details of the allegations were given by the US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan , Andrew Birge, in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Media captionOfficials say the alleged plot involved kidnapping Mrs Whitmer from her holiday home. In a press conference on Thursday, the governor tied the plot against her to the rhetoric of President Donald Trump, who she said had spent the last several months "stoking distrust, fomenting

Through it all, President Donald Trump has been involved in heightening those tensions with his own public statements, which Whitmer rebuked after the arrests were announced.

Here is how it played out since coronavirus was declared a pandemic in mid-March.

March 23: Whitmer announces COVID restrictions

a person sitting on a table: In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tells Michigan residents to stay at home, in her most sweeping order of the coronavirus crisis, March 23, 2020, in Lansing, Mich. © Michigan Governor via AP, FILE In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tells Michigan residents to stay at home, in her most sweeping order of the coronavirus crisis, March 23, 2020, in Lansing, Mich.

On March 23, Whitmer announced a stay-at-home order for the state through at least April 13. That included orders for all businesses and operations not necessary to sustain or protect life to temporarily suspend in-person operations.

AG: Michigan governor, family were moved as plotters tracked

  AG: Michigan governor, family were moved as plotters tracked 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. 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. “She was aware of things that were happening," NesselDana Nessel disclosed the detail to “CBS This Morning." She said the Democratic governor was consistently updated about the investigation over the past couple months.

Thirteen people have been arrested in alleged plots to kidnap the Michigan governor and attack the state capitol building, prosecutors said on Thursday. Seven people were charged with material support to “terrorism” related to an alleged plot to storm Michigan ’s state capitol building, authorities

The Plot Against Michigan 's Governor Is Where It Was Headed All Along. The alleged plot involved reaching out to members of a Michigan militia, according to a federal affidavit filed Thursday. The court filing also alleges the conspirators twice conducted surveillance at Whitmer's vacation

chart, histogram: Michigan COVID-19 cases © ABC News Michigan COVID-19 cases

"This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home," she said in a public announcement. "I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives."

Late March and early April: Trump criticizes Whitmer

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks with members of the coronavirus task force at the White House on March 27, 2020, in Washington. © The Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE President Donald Trump speaks with members of the coronavirus task force at the White House on March 27, 2020, in Washington.

At a White House daily briefing on coronavirus on March 27, the president said Whitmer "has no idea what's going on," referring to her as "the young woman governor," and saying she wasn't "stepping up."

He continued to criticize and dismiss her decisions, infamously referring to her as "that woman from Michigan" -- a phrase she wore on a shirt while making an appearance on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" on April 1.

Accused militia members arraigned on domestic terrorism charges in Michigan

  Accused militia members arraigned on domestic terrorism charges in Michigan Accused militia members arraigned on domestic terrorism charges in Michigan(Reuters) - Six men arrested on suspicion of taking part in a plot by armed extremists to kidnap Michigan's governor have been arraigned on domestic terrorism and weapons charges, while a seventh awaits extradition from South Carolina, authorities said on Friday.

Six men are under arrest for "conspiring to kidnap " Michigan 's Democratic governor , Gretchen Whitmer Those six suspects facing federal charges in the alleged kidnapping plot used encrypted messaging to communicate about the plot , conducted coordinated surveillance on the governor 's

FBI said plot involved reaching out to members of a militia who ‘talked about murdering tyrants or taking a sitting governor ’.

"I don't think anyone has the energy to deal with politics right now," she said on the show. "All of our energy, all of our focus has to be on meeting the needs of our people. People are dying."

Early and mid-April: Protests break out in Michigan

a group of people walking down a street next to a sign: People protest against the coronavirus quarantine orders at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 15, 2020. © Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images People protest against the coronavirus quarantine orders at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 15, 2020. a group of people walking on a city street: People protest against excessive quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 15, 2020. © Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images, FILE People protest against excessive quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 15, 2020.

Trump wasn't the only person publicly condemning Whitmer's efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus in Michigan. In mid-April, critics planned a drive-by demonstration, dubbing it "Operation Gridlock." While the plan was only for in-car demonstrations, protesters did appear in public.

MORE: 'Operation Gridlock': Convoy in Michigan's capital protests stay-at-home orders

Many of the protesters, including some wearing red "Make America Great Again" hats and T-shirts supporting Trump, also displayed signs reading "Impeach Whitmer" and "My Freedom is Essential."

India: Hundreds of thousands of tea pickers in Assam on indefinite strike

 India: Hundreds of thousands of tea pickers in Assam on indefinite strike © Biju BORO / AFP Tea pickers joined farmers in protesting the liberalization of the sale of fruits and vegetables. The strike began this Friday, October 9 to demand wage increases. These workers joined the farmers, who have been protesting for two weeks now against the new selling prices for fruit and vegetables. With our correspondent in Bangalore, Côme Bastin The State of Assam produces nearly 50% of India's tea, and it is found on many tables around the world.

Commenting on the thwarted extremist plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, leftist reporter Walker Bragman was hounded by online commenters for suggesting that the would-be This is the home of Joseph Morrison, one of the Michigan men recently arrested for his plot to kidnap Gov.

Six people were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as part of a plan to overthrow the state’s government, according The alleged plot , which the U.S. said included staking out Whitmer’s vacation home, came to light early this year when the FBI learned from social

Whitmer's coronavirus restrictions were among the strictest in the nation, including, in addition to the business orders, limiting the number of customers in essential stores to four for every 1,000 square feet, suggesting people limit the number of household members who are running errands, and banning all public and private gatherings outside homes.

On April 17, Trump tweeted, "LIBERATE MICHIGAN," apparently referring to Whitmer's restrictions and business closures.

April 30: Protesters, some armed, push into Michigan State Capitol building

a group of people holding a colorful umbrella: Armed protesters provide security as demonstrators take part in an © Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images, FILE Armed protesters provide security as demonstrators take part in an "American Patriot Rally," organized on April 30, 2020, by Michigan United for Liberty on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, demanding the reopening of businesses. a man talking on a cell phone: Protesters try to enter the Michigan House of Representative chamber in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020. © Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images, FILE Protesters try to enter the Michigan House of Representative chamber in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020.

Protests continued around the state capitol as Whitmer continued to stand behind her restrictions. On April 30, protesters, some of whom were armed, stormed into the state capitol building demanding the state legislature not extend her stay-at-home order. State legislators were meeting to discuss extending Michigan's state of emergency, which was issued on March 10 and was slated to end April 30.

One piece of alleged extremist plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included a 'plan to target and kill police'

  One piece of alleged extremist plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included a 'plan to target and kill police' Law enforcement is on high alert in Michigan as alleged plot involving alleged anti-government activists included targeting police."We're cautious. We're absolutely more careful," said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. "This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. if you're mad at the government, you're mad at the police.

It is legal in Michigan to carry a firearm in public "as long as the person is carrying the firearm with lawful intent and the firearm is not concealed," according to the state police.

MORE: Protesters, some armed, spill into Michigan Capitol building demanding end to stay-at-home order

As of that morning, Michigan had more than 40,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,600 deaths, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

a group of people standing in a room: A militia group from Michigan, including Pete Musico, stands in front of the Governors office after protesters occupied the state capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020. © Seth Herald/Reuters A militia group from Michigan, including Pete Musico, stands in front of the Governors office after protesters occupied the state capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020. a group of people standing in a room: Members of a militia group stand near the doors to the chamber in the capitol building in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020. © Seth Herald/Reuters, FILE Members of a militia group stand near the doors to the chamber in the capitol building in Lansing, Mich., April 30, 2020.

Among the armed protesters that day were at least several of the men who were arrested in October for the alleged kidnapping plot. This included Pete Musico, according to Reuters, and Michael John Null and William Grant Null, according to WXYZ.

MORE: Michigan judge sides with governor in lawsuit over coronavirus shelter-in-place order

Protests and criticism of Whitmer continued into the summer, which the governor said on ABC's "The View" in mid-May did "undermine the effort" to stem the spread of coronavirus.

a parking meter next to a sign: A woman carries a sign critical of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a rally in Lansing, Mich., organized by Michigan United for Liberty to protest the coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home order, May 14, 2020. © Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images, FILE A woman carries a sign critical of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a rally in Lansing, Mich., organized by Michigan United for Liberty to protest the coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home order, May 14, 2020.

Oct. 8: Arrests and alleged kidnapping plot announced

A total of 13 men were charged related to an alleged plan to kidnap Whitmer before the November election and violently overthrow the state government.

Michigan Republican linked to organizer of rally where militia allegedly plotted to kidnap Whitmer

  Michigan Republican linked to organizer of rally where militia allegedly plotted to kidnap Whitmer The rally drew numerous extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois and the alleged coup plotters John James and Gretchen Whitmer Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

"Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," an FBI criminal complaint released Friday said. The FBI claimed these discussions took place over the summer, including, in late August, conducting surveillance on Whitmer's vacation home.

a group of people posing for the camera: Adam Fox, Ty Garbin and Daniel Harris; at bottom are Kaleb Franks, Brandon Castera and Barry Croft. © Kent County Sheriff/Delaware Dept. of Justice Adam Fox, Ty Garbin and Daniel Harris; at bottom are Kaleb Franks, Brandon Castera and Barry Croft.

According to the FBI criminal complaint, Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta planned to take Whitmer and others hostage at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.

MORE: FBI says it foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

In addition to those six, seven men who were part of a "militia group" were charged by the Michigan attorney general for allegedly calling on group members to identify home addresses of law enforcement officers, making threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse, and planning and training for an attack on the state capitol building and to kidnap government officials, including Whitmer.

a group of people posing for a photo: Pictured in the top row are Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar; on the bottom row are Michael Null, William Null, Eric Molitor and Shawn Fix. © Antrim County Sheriff/Richland County PIO/Jackson County Sheriff Pictured in the top row are Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar; on the bottom row are Michael Null, William Null, Eric Molitor and Shawn Fix.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference to address the arrests, Whitmer lashed out at Trump for "stoking" hate and called the suspects "sick and depraved men."

"This should be a moment for national unity where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head on with the same might and muscle that put a man on the moon," Whitmer said. "Instead our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust and fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread hatred and division."

Michigan bans open carry of guns at Election Day polling places on heels of Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot

  Michigan bans open carry of guns at Election Day polling places on heels of Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot President Donald Trump, who has been critical of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden in recent polls in the state. © Provided by CNBC Armed protesters take part in an Michigan's secretary of state on Friday banned the open carry of guns at polling places and other official voting locations on Election Day in the state, a move that comes on the heels of an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and after armed protests at the statehouse.

Gretchen Whitmer standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference after thirteen people were arrested for alleged plots to take Whitmer hostage and attack the state capitol building, in Lansing, Mich., Oct. 8, 2020. © Michigan Governors Office via Reuters Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference after thirteen people were arrested for alleged plots to take Whitmer hostage and attack the state capitol building, in Lansing, Mich., Oct. 8, 2020.

Trump also reacted himself hours later, tweeting Thursday night that Whitmer has "done a terrible job" and, regarding the foiled kidnapping plot, "rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist."

"Governor Whitmer -- open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!" he wrote.

During an Oct. 9 appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America," Whitmer said threats against her were "ongoing."

"Even the president last night in his tweet storm won't stop attacking me, and I think that it's creating a very dangerous situation -- not just for me but for people in leadership roles who are trying to save lives all across this country," she said.

a little girl standing in front of a book shelf: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appears on ABC's, © ABC News Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appears on ABC's, "Good Morning America," on Oct. 9, 2020.

"Each time he has tweeted about me, each time that he has said 'liberate Michigan' and said I should negotiate with the very people who are arrested because they're 'good people,' that incites more domestic terror," Whitmer went on to say. "And I am not the only governor going through this. Certainly it's been worse for me than most, but it is not unique to me, it is not even unique to Democrats. This White House has a duty to call it out and they won't do it; in fact, they encourage it."

ABC News' Jeff Costello, Libby Cathey, Bill Hutchinson, Ivan Pereira, Alexander Mallin and Luke Barr contributed to this report.

Michigan bans open carry of guns at Election Day polling places on heels of Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot .
President Donald Trump, who has been critical of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden in recent polls in the state. © Provided by CNBC Armed protesters take part in an Michigan's secretary of state on Friday banned the open carry of guns at polling places and other official voting locations on Election Day in the state, a move that comes on the heels of an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and after armed protests at the statehouse.

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