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6 people charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer
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6 people charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer

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Virus Outbreak Michigan

FILE - In a June 17, 2020, file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer was unreceptive Tuesday, July 28, 2020, to Republican-passed legislation that would require public schools to offer in-person instruction to students in kindergarten through fifth grade amid the coronavirus pandemic.(Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Six men plotted to try to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in federal court.

Four of the six men had planned to meet Wednesday to "make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear," the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer "has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end."

Authorities scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to talk about the case. The government used informants and undercover agents to thwart the alleged plot.

The criminal complaint said the plan involved Whitmer and her second home in northern Michigan.

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state's response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators "agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution," the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI.

He said he wanted to try Whitmer for "treason" and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said.

Later, however, the group shifted to targeting the governor's vacation home, the FBI said.


Scenes from lockdown protests in Michigan and around the US earlier this year

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