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The FBI said it stopped a plot to ‘violently overthrow’ the government and kidnap Michigan’s governor

The militia group’s plan included kidnapping Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

SHARE The FBI said it stopped a plot to ‘violently overthrow’ the government and kidnap Michigan’s governor
In this photo Sept. 16, 2020 file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Oct. 8 six people plotted to try to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home.

In this photo Sept. 16, 2020 file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Oct. 8 six people plotted to try to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home.

Michigan Office of the Governor via Associated Press

The FBI said Thursday it stopped an alleged plot to “violently overthrow the government and kidnap” Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer, The Detroit News reports.

What’s going on?

  • A federal affidavit filed Thursday — which was obtained by The Detroit News — said the alleged plot included the FBI reaching out to members of a Michigan militia group, according to The Detroit News.
  • Six people who plotted to kidnap Witmer at her vacation home were charged Thursday. Four of the six men planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said, according to the Associated Press.
  • Seven other people — who were associated with the militia group “Wolverine Watchmen” — were also charged by the state, according to CNN.
  • “Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” one FBI agent wrote, according to The Detroit News. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”
  • According to the Associated Press, an FBI agent said one of the accused men said Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

Reaction:

Whitmer reacted to the news Thursday.

  • “When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard. But I’ll be honest, I never could’ve imagined anything like this,” Whitmer said in remarks Thursday, according to CNN. “I want to start by saying thank you to our law enforcement. Thank you to the fearless FBI agents. And thank you to the brave Michigan state troopers who participated in this operation.”

She blamed President Donald Trump for what happened.

  • “Just last week, the President of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” she said. “‘Stand back and stand by,’ he told them. ‘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. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight.”

History and controversy

Whitmer said earlier this week that more orders will be issued for Michigan to battle the novel coronavirus, according to reports.

But she has fallen under immense criticism for her response to the epidemic from the state of Michigan. Earlier this week, Michigan court ruled that the state’s emergency order is unconstitutional.

  • The court issued a ruling on Friday that many of Whitmer’s emergency ordersto battle COVID-19are not legal. Whitmer reportedly used a 1945 law to declare a statement of emergency. But the court ruled 4-3 that the governor’s use of the 1945 law was unconstitutional.

Whitmer and President Donald Trump have had a complicated relationship over the last few months. Whitmer once called Trump the biggest threat to the American people.