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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

MI plot suspects also considered targeting VA Gov: FBI

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MI plot suspects also considered targeting VA Gov: FBI
MI plot suspects also considered targeting VA Gov: FBI

[NFA] 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.

Freddie Joyner has more

An FBI agent on Tuesday testified that some of the suspects accused of trying to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, also contemplated abducting Virginia Governor Ralph Northam - both are Democrats.

[NORTHAM] Fortunately, in regards to today's developments, there is no imminent danger to me or my family, and I'm continuing my work for the Commonwealth as I would any other day." Thirteen people including at least seven tied to an armed militia were arrested last week and accused of plotting to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan - who has come under criticism from Republican President Donald Trump as well as from right-wing extremists for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic in her state.

Testifying at a bail hearing on Tuesday - FBI Special Agent Richard Trask said that during a planning meeting in Dublin, Ohio, in June, some of the suspects discussed quote - taking a sitting governor - and considered targeting Whitmer and Northam.

The alleged plotting took place after President Trump in April had tweeted "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" and "LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment.

It is under siege!" [NORTHAM] “I will not work under a cloud of intimidation" Northam on Tuesday blasted what he sees as dangerous rhetoric and seemed to draw a direct line to the White House.

"What is different now, which is concerning to me, is that the people that are making comments and the rhetoric about our elected officials, not just me, it's not about me, the governor of Michigan.

This rhetoric is not coming from another country, it's coming from Washington.

And that I regret and it needs to stop." The defendants in Tuesday's hearing are among six people facing federal kidnapping charges who could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Seven suspects associated with the Wolverine Watchmen militia group face state charges in Michigan.

FBI agent Trask said the plotters were eager to carry out some action before the election, with one suggesting they put Governor Whitmer on trial for treason.

Internal U.S. security memos in recent months have warned that violent domestic extremists could pose a threat to election-related targets, a concern exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, political tensions, civil unrest and foreign disinformation campaigns.

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