Six men associated with a right-wing militia have been charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and put her on trial for treason.
The six men had talked about taking Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, hostage since at least the summer, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court and unsealed on Thursday. They met over the summer for firearms training and combat drills and tried to make explosives; they also gathered several times to discuss the mission, including in the basement of a shop in Michigan that was accessible only through a “trap door” under a rug, the F.B.I. said.
The men had surveilled Ms. Whitmer’s vacation home in August and September, and they indicated that they wanted to take her hostage before the election in November, Richard J. Trask II, an F.B.I. special agent, said in the criminal complaint. In July, one of the men said the group should take Ms. Whitmer hostage and move her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin for a “trial,” Mr. Trask said.
...The F.B.I. believed the men were planning to buy explosives this week for their plot. Court records indicated that at least five of the men had been arrested on Wednesday in Ypsilanti, Mich.; it was not immediately clear if the sixth man had been taken into the custody.
The F.B.I. said it had learned about the group by intercepting encrypted messages and because it had undercover agents and confidential informants working with the group. The six men were charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which can carry a life sentence.
...The authorities said that Mr. Fox and Mr. Croft had decided to “unite others” to “take violent action” against state governments that they thought were violating the Constitution and that Mr. Fox was the one to initiate contact with a Michigan-based militia group. The F.B.I. said he had talked of storming the Michigan statehouse with 200 men and trying Ms. Whitmer for treason.
In April, thousands of people gathered at the State Capitol to protest the executive orders she issued shutting down most of the state to help stop the spread of the virus that has now infected more than 145,000 Michiganders and killed more than 7,000.
President Trump openly encouraged such protests, tweeting, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”
The protests featured some signs with swastikas, Confederate flags and language that advocated violence against Ms. Whitmer, including one man who carried a doll with brown hair hanging from a noose. Many in the crowd carried semiautomatic weapons, leading some Democrats in the Legislature to call for a ban on guns in the Capitol.
The New York Daily News added a few more details.
“Grab the f---ing Governor. Just grab the b---h,” one of the key suspects, Adam Fox, said in a recorded phone conversation on July 27, according to an affidavit obtained by the Daily News.
“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” the FBI wrote in the affidavit. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”
The FBI investigation began in March, when a militia member who later became a confidential informant reported being “concerned about the group’s plans to target and kill police officers," according to the agency.
Investigators also learned that the group had been meeting in remote areas of Michigan to engage in firearms training and tactical drill and once considered sending a bomb to the governor.
As for that bloated orange shitgibbon, Trump, he deserves to be impeached for inciting sedition.
Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent toward, or resistance against, established authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel.
I don't think there's any question that Trump's incitement of America's violent radical right rises to "high crimes and misdemeanours." The House should bring articles of impeachment now, before the election, lest Trump lose and incite some insurgency or insurrection.
Michigan governor Whitman has also said that Trump is "complicit" in this plot.