FBI Thwarts Kidnapping Of Michigan Governor By Right Wing Extremists

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According to the FBI, federal authorities have discovered and stopped a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and violently overthrow that state’s government in the wake of the so-called lockdown measures that the state imposed earlier this year in an attempt to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. The plot involved “reaching out to members of a Michigan militia,” as The Detroit News explains, and these Michigan militia members would have been expected to participate in the violent assault on the state government, it seems. According to an affidavit from the FBI, members of the group responsible for the plot “talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.”

Six people who were involved in the plot have been named. One of the co-conspirators — 26-year-old Ty Garbin — was the target of an FBI raid on Wednesday. At least two of the co-conspirators were at a June meeting in Ohio where participants, who came from several different states, “talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” according to the FBI. One of the proposed means for the enactment of this violent utopian fantasy was an attack on state authorities. During the June meeting, “several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,” according to the FBI.

Adam Fox, who is one of the named co-conspirators and was at that June meeting, “reached out to a Michigan-based militia group,” according to the FBI. That group was apparently already on the FBI’s radar thanks to a plot on its part “to target and kill police officers,” according to the federal law enforcement agency, who also report that they discussed the plot against police officers, at least in part, with a member of the militia group who became a confidential source for the agency. Meanwhile, a confidential source recorded that June meeting for the FBI, according to the agency.

Some of Fox’s own conspiring against the government wasn’t even secret. In a video posted to Facebook in late June, he insisted that “boys, we gotta do something” about the Whitmer administration.

The June meeting and Fox’s June rant on Facebook came after President Donald Trump himself openly expressed support for violent demonstrators in the state who had turned out against Whitmer’s government following the imposition of Coronavirus-related economic restrictions. At one point, he tweeted in all caps: “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” The message sounds, of course, like an implicit call to violent action. On another occasion, Trump referred to partially armed protesters who had stormed the Michigan state capitol as “very good people” who “are angry,” and called on Whitmer to “See them, talk to them, make a deal.” While Trump obviously has no documented connection to the newly revealed conspirators against Whitmer, his apparent openness to violent action seems clear.

The idea, of course, that economic restrictions that have been imposed in an attempt to stop the spread of the Coronavirus are some kind of unconscionable affront against Americans’ rights is brazenly ridiculous. Attorney General Bill Barr himself compared the lockdowns to slavery — which is outrageous and totally and completely delusionally unreflective of actual reality.