The federal government is charging 13 people for plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, ahead of the presidential election. Those involved, seven of whom are members of the “Wolverine Watchmen,” apparently aimed to start a “civil war,” as they are deeply dissatisfied with the government. The formal charges against them are terrorism, weapons and conspiracy.
According to USA Today, Michigan is a “hotspot” for armed militia activity and has been for roughly 30 years. This particular instance included a plot to kidnap the governor, who is a Democrat, remove her from the state and put her on an unofficial trial for treason. She feared that the groups The New York Times has reported that Whitmer’s stance on the appropriate measures to take during the COVID-19 pandemic sparked anger.
The FBI has said that the conspirators met several times during the summer to practice shooting firearms and crafting explosive devices. They also spent two months spying on Governor Whitmer’s home.
“When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard,” Governor Whitmer said during a press conference on Thursday, October 8. “But I’ll be honest, I never could’ve imagined anything like this.” She appeared to be feeling strong, and addressed bigoted militia groups directly during her speech.
“Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan,” she said. “If you break the law, or conspire to commit heinous acts of violence against anyone, we will find you.”
Watch the full press conference below.