Yesterday, an absolutely horrible story broke: domestic terrorists were arrested in connection with a plot to kidnap and/or kill Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer, a Democrat, has been the target of threats, abuse and hate from Donald Trump and his supporters all year. Trump seemed particularly irked that a Democratic woman governor had ordered a completely reasonable shutdown during the pandemic. Michigan has been the site of white supremacists, Karens and “anti-mask” protesters storming government buildings and throwing armed tantrums because of Whitmer’s lockdown measures (which, again, were completely reasonable). It’s also perfectly reasonable to assume that Donald Trump’s targeted harassment of Whitmer was an attempt to incite this plot:
Michigan-based militia members plotted extensively to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home before the Nov. 3 presidential election, stockpiling weapons and explosives and twice staking out her residence, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed Thursday that described probable cause to charge six suspects as part of a conspiracy.
The FBI, relying on confidential sources who recorded conversations and informed on the plot, became aware of the effort through social media chatter early this year and developed detailed insight on the purported plan over the ensuing months. The FBI had already suspected the militia of plotting to kill police officers, and a member of the group concerned about that plan had agreed to become an FBI source, according to the affidavit.
The plan to kidnap Whitmer was hatched in the basement of a Grand Rapids business in June, according to the FBI filing.
“The attendees discussed plans for assaulting the Michigan State Capitol, countering law enforcement first responders, and using ‘Molotov cocktails’ to destroy police vehicles,” the affidavit indicates. “The attendees also discussed plans for an additional meeting during the first weekend of July when they also would conduct firearms and tactical training.”
The plot ultimately evolved into one in which the conspirators would storm her vacation home, blowing up a nearby bridge and grabbing Whitmer, if not killing her outright, the FBI indicated, citing recordings and internal communications it obtained from the alleged conspirators.
This is just awful. And it’s yet another exhibit of the kind of white supremacist/anti-government movements which have been steadily on the rise for decades. Those movements have been given steroids by the Trump administration – it’s not even dog whistles or winks and nudges anymore. Trump is actively inciting these people to commit violent acts against his “political enemies.” So obviously, Donald Trump got on Twitter and blamed Whitmer for… being the target of a terrorist plot.
Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and …read more