It turns out that the men behind the terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer considered at least one other target, also a Democratic Governor who Donald Trump had labeled as a threat to American values and rights. Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, who Trump has targeted with lies and propaganda, was also a potential target.
The Washington Post reports that during a bond hearing FBI Special Agent Richard Trask discussed some of the information leading to the charges filed against suspects accused of plotting to kidnap the Governor of Michigan. He said that the group had discussed who to target, and had considered, in addition to Whitmer, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, with both potential victims being a focus over COVID-19 lockdown rules.
The Department of Justice had initially charged 6 men with the plot: Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. Additional suspects are facing charges at the state level.
Trump has targeted Northam, too, falsely claiming the governor supports the right to kill newborn babies and call it abortion, and called for followers to “liberate Virginia” (as he did with Michigan),
According to the initial Justice Department release, the plan was for two members of the group to plant explosive devices to draw law enforcement away while the kidnapping took place. Federal law enforcement first became aware through social media that the group was plotting for an overthrow of “certain government and law enforcement components,” and by following up through informants and other avenues, were able to uncover the kidnapping plot.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com