Michigan militiamen ‘plotted to leave Gretchen Whitmer on a boat in the middle of a lake’

Michigan militiamen ‘plotted to assassinate Gretchen Whitmer on her doorstep’ and also ‘discussed kidnapping Virginia Ralph Northam’, FBI agent claims at their court hearing

  • Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and 24-year-old Ty Garbin
  • They have been charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer 
  • At the five men’s detention hearing on Tuesday morning, an FBI counter-terrorism agent testified 
  • He also said they discussed making their own bombs as ‘making a cake and sending it’ 
  • They also discussed dressing up as pizza delivery men to kidnap her from her home, and shooting her in the head 
  • The men also planned to kidnap Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, the agent said in court 

The five men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer planned to snatch her from her vacation home then put her on a boat, alone, and cast it out to the middle of a lake but ‘not throw her overboard’, an FBI agent claimed in court on Tuesday. 

Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and 24-year-old Ty Garbin all appeared before a judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Tuesday. The men were all arrested last week in an early-morning raid. 

On Tuesday, an FBI agent who investigated the group testified at a detention hearing.

He revealed how they’d discussed shooting Whitmer in the head and even snatching a pizza delivery person, stealing their shirt, then having one of their group dress up in it to deceive her. 

They have since been charged with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer. Seven others have been charged by the state with other charges. 

The men also planned to kidnap Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, the agent said in court.   It’s unclear how far they got with that plan but the FBI notified Northam’s team about it.

Ralph Northam

The men also planned to kidnap Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, the agent said in court

Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said in a statement on Tuesday that he was never in danger. 

Like Whitmer, she blamed Trump. 

‘Here’s the reality: President Trump called upon his supporters to ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA’ in April — just like Michigan. 

‘In fact, the President regularly encourages violence against those who disagree with him. 

‘The rhetoric coming out of this White House has serious and potentially deadly consequences. It must stop,’ she said.

At least one of the men – Brandon Caserta – referred to Trump as a ‘political tyrant’ on social media.  

Adam Fox

Brandon Caserta

Adam Fox (L) and Brandon Caserta (R) are among the 13 militia men charged over the plots

Kaleb Franks

Daniel Harris

Kaleb Franks and Daniel Harris, another of the two men allegedly involved

At the five men’s detention hearing on Tuesday morning, FBI counter-terrorism agent Agent Richard Trask testified that the men planned to blow up a bridge near Whitmer’s home to try to slow down a police response to them. 

Ty Garbin

Ty Garbin

He also said they discussed making their own bombs as ‘making a cake and sending it’. 

They used a WhatsApp group where they discussed ‘capping’ Whitmer, a reference to killing her, the FBI agent said. 

The men were outraged over Whitmer’s handling of COVID-19 which involved sending Michigan into a strict lockdown when many in the state, largely conservatives, thought it was unwarranted. 

Some of those who have been arrested were among armed protesters who stormed the Capitol building in Lansing in April in outrage over the decision. 

Whitmer, a Democrat, blamed Trump for the hatred against her. 

According to the FBI agent and to the affidavits filed against the men last week, they practiced shooting and tactical drills at multiple camps.  

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