Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

More Than a Dozen People Charged in Plot to Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Overthrow the Government

Illustration for article titled More Than a Dozen People Charged in Plot to Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Overthrow the Government
Photo: Bill Pugliano (Getty Images)

Man...2020 is officially not one of Michael Bay’s better movies.

In today’s episode of Boooooy, You Know These People Ain’t Black, the FBI revealed Thursday that six people have been charged with devising an intricate plot to overthrow the Michigan state government by, among other things, kidnapping Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

Advertisement

The Detroit News reports that the alleged plot came about after a group of people who probably hunt for sport and eat at McDonald’s met each other at a Second Amendment rally at the Capitol in Lansing in June. Since the plot was so serious that it reportedly necessitated explosive devices, staking out Whitmer’s home, and extensive firearm training, the men reached out to a local militia group called Wolverine Watchmen for reinforcements, according to investigators. I’m pretty sure the militia group came up with their name by mixing Marvel and DC comics, but whatever.

From the News:

The court filing alleges the conspirators twice conducted surveillance at Whitmer’s personal vacation home in northern Michigan and discussed kidnapping her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin to stand “trial” for treason prior to the Nov. 3 election.

“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” an FBI agent 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 affidavit was filed hours after a team of FBI agents raided a Hartland Township home Wednesday and comes amid an ongoing investigation into the death of a Metro Detroit man killed during a shootout with FBI agents.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, federal and state officers on Thursday detailed charges against more than 12 people and what they described as “elaborate plans” to overthrow the government and kidnap Whitmer.

The investigation is the result of months of work that culminated Wednesday night in the execution of a series of search warrants and arrest warrants — both in-state and out-of-state — related to acts of terrorism under Michigan state law.

Advertisement

So what was this dastardly scheme all about? Is Whitmer secretly an oppressive tyrant hellbent on eroding the basic freedoms of the people of Michigan and putting them all in chains? Just please, PLEASE tell me this isn’t about fucking pandemic precautions?

*deep sigh*

From the Washington Post:

The plotters, according to an FBI affidavit, seemed to be motivated by their belief that state governments, including Michigan’s, were violating the Constitution. One of those involved complained in June that Whitmer (D) was controlling the opening of gyms — an apparent reference to coronavirus shutdown restrictions. But unbeknown to them, the FBI had confidential informants recording many of their discussions, according to the affidavit.

President Trump has been publicly critical of Michigan’s leaders because of the state-imposed measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, tweeting in April, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.”

The FBI said in the affidavit that it became aware that people were discussing an overthrow of the government from social media postings in early 2020, and in June, two of those ultimately charged met with more than a dozen others in Ohio to discuss “creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient.” In that meeting, the FBI alleged, the group discussed both peaceful and violent tactics, and ultimately decided they needed to increase their numbers, according to the affidavit.

In all, 13 people have been charged in connection to the conspiracy, but the group was looking to recruit a lot more than that. According to the Post, included in the FBI’s affidavit is a report of a June 14 phone call in which group member Adam Fox talked about needing “200 men” to storm the Capitol building in Lansing to take hostages. The group also discussed “shooting up” Whitmer’s vacation home and several members participated in firearms training, according to the affidavit.

Here is a list of everyone who has been charged so far as reported by the Post:

Those charged federally were identified as Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. Those facing state charges were identified as Paul Bellar, 21; Shawn Fix, 38; Eric Molitor, 36; Michael Null, 38; William Null, 38; Pete Musico, 42; and Joseph Morrison, 42.

Advertisement

According to the News, of those charged federally, all but Croft are Michigan residents, and the seven facing state charges are all members or associates of Wolverine Watchmen. The militia members are facing a total of 19 state felony charges for firearms and terror-related acts.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

The plotters, according to an FBI affidavit, seemed to be motivated by their belief that state governments, including Michigan’s, were violating the Constitution. One of those involved complained in June that Whitmer (D) was controlling the opening of gyms

True story. During the framing of the Constitution, Jefferson and Franklin met secretly about an amendment they believed crucial to the welfare of the nation:

“Dude, we need to include gym memberships in the Constitution.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“Do you even lift bro? Because your calves doth resemble a lack of leg day.”
- Benjamin Franklin