The same far-right militia group that was allegedly planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also discussed kidnapping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (above), the Detroit News writes. The group reportedly talked about “taking out” a second politician, according to testimony from an FBI agent on Tuesday.
FBI Special Agent Richard Trask identified that politician to be Northam during a court hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Tuesday, where a judge is reviewing evidence against three men involved in the alleged conspiracy, and is deciding whether they should be detained before trial. The suspects are Michigan residents Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.
“They discussed possible targets, taking out a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governors of Michigan and Virginia,” due to government-mandated guidelines issued during the pandemic, Trask testified. Both Northam and Whitmer are Democrats.
The hearing provided a glimpse into the enormous amount of evidence the FBI gathered during its investigation, including secret audio and video recordings, and encrypted chats that implied the conspiracy had marked more politicians and targets and was looking to overthrow governments in as many as five states.
New details also emerged about how authorities penetrated the alleged conspiracy using informants and undercover agents—and that the militia group considered kidnapping Whitmer and leaving her alone on Lake Michigan in a boat.
Two other men, Adam Fox and Ty Garbin had their hearings moved to Friday. They are Michigan residents, while a sixth man, Barry Croft, is from Delaware and remains in custody in that state. While his hearing is also scheduled for Tuesday, he could be transferred to Michigan soon.
The men were apprehended alongside seven other men, all of whom were either members or associates of a Michigan militia called the Wolverine Watchmen. According to state officials, the group is looking to topple Michigan’s Capitol and “instigate a civil war.” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged the original seven men with the state’s anti-terrorism law, a felony holds a 20-year sentence.