Six Charged in Scheme Against Michigan Governor Whitmer

Avatar

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

Related Post Roulette

45 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Just riot like everyone else. Jeez.Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    My first thought was that the big lie that the right wing is going to go with is that these are “lone wolf” actors, wholly unrelated to the larger Trump movement and Republican Party.

    But damn…I was wrong.

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1314282762271158275
    “Trump campaign official Jason Miller is on Fox News attacking Gretchen Whitmer, the victim of a kidnapping plot: “If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up everyday with such hatred in her heart for President Trump.”Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Is this gonna be like all those Muslim bombers the FBI stopped, after they had an informant convince the bomber to go bomb something, and got the bomber the ‘materials’ needed for the bomb, and helped them learn how to assemble the bomb, then arrested the bomber with the bomb that was never going to detonate because the explosive was inert and/or the directions were flawed?

    I mean, if you REALLY need to show that you are saving the world, it does help to make up your own bad guys to save the world from.Report

    • Avatar George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s not entirely unlikely, as a huge plurality of white self-described white-supremacists are actually FBI agents or informants, in contrast to most of the ones the press identifies, most of whom are blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. But the Wolverine militia (and navy!) has been around for a long time. I used to listen to their short-wave radio programs back before the Oklahoma City bombing, because they were such a hoot to listen to, especially the commercials, which said things like “Do you have what it takes to be a member of the Michigan navy? Do you have a bass boat or john boat and want to be a elite blah blah blah…” It was an unintentional self-parody. Overall, I’d say they have the combined IQ of a hockey score, but the FBI has to keep close tabs on them because they’re prone to going all “Hold my beer. I got this!” and more importantly, psychos often search them out for guidance.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Kind of, not really.

      There was a militia who started thinking about making moves, they reached out to another militia that had an informant for the FBI in it, this other militia member who was an informant to the FBI told the FBI about it, and then the FBI pulled out the “hey, I know someone who can sell explosives!” trick.

      Read the whole thread.

      So… militia member stops militia.

      Report

      • Avatar George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        One of those arrested is definitely an anarchist. He has the anarchist flag behind him on his videos, plus of course the giant ear lobes, tats, etc. He looks like someone from CHAZ/CHOP. And of course he expounds on his anarchist philosophy, saying “the Declaration of Independence is an anarchist document.”

        Tweet.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        I guess that’s… good? … that the FBI is arresting people who dreamed up bad ideas on their own. But given recent history, it’s a valid question and concern.

        I’m still not comfortable with the government enabling these clowns in one way or another. Had the FBI left them to their own devices and merely kept an eye on them, would anything have happened?Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        Slate telling me the plot seems real is like my 8 year old telling me Pokemon really exist.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          Slate is liberal but it is hardly a raging leftist organization. We live in a world where Rod Dreher had a meltdown on twitter because Nabisco is making pride colored Oreos. He calls this a sign of “totalitarianim” because capitalists realize that there is more of a market for rainbow colored pride cookies than there is for his Christian theocracy. So it is entirely within the realm of possibility that a bunch of mini-Drehers decided they had enough with all this liberal stuff and decided to take matters into their own hands.

          You might have the luxury for not taking this stuff seriously but I’m Jewish. I do not. These guys want to put me up against the wall and mow me down.

          And it is not “economic anxiety” that makes these guys go out and get violent: https://twitter.com/SarahTaber_bww/status/1314578628655620098?s=20&fbclid=IwAR3HjUxcRAlTOC6IWox1ma-MFac1O6–YZ98lEt57uufmprdR7nZc20n9J0Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Points made, in order:

            1. Slate is liberal but it’s not raging liberal.
            2. Rod Dreher had a meltdown over gay cookies.
            3. Therefore, it’s likely that people who probably agree with Rod would do something like this.
            4. I’m Jewish.

            Personally, I don’t think it’s that unsurprising that one of the White people who was part of the plot was in the BLM protesters earlier in the summer. People who think it’s appropriate to throw a brick through a Vietnamese-owned storefront window on behalf of Black Lives Mattering have already indicated their willingness to break the law to express displeasure. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that these protesters will start killing people like politicians.

            I’m Scottish.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            There is a tendency among the chattering classes to disregard the violence of white Christian males because their violence is directed at other people.

            Violence by people who code as foreign is presented easily as terrorism or lawless anarchy but from white males is downplayed as a minor oddity, and nothing to worry about.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            Liberal has nothing to do with it. Slate just has no credibility because they take ho-hum things and turn them into hyperbolic shite storms.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        And let me re-iterate: A plot is nothing more than free speech. The plot is nothing without the means to carry it out.

        My concern is not the plot, it’s if the FBI stepped in an enabled the plot to move forward in a way that would never have happened if these guys had been left to their own devices.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          What “means” to kill or kidnap her did they lack?Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            Getting past a security cordon, to start with. I know those Hollywood types near you come up with all sorts of fantastic ways to grab or kill a popular, well protected politician, but how often have such people actually been successful? As far back as I can remember, it was always a lone actor.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Its not easy, but entirely possible to kill a governor. Hinkley’s bullet came within an inch of killing a President.

              That’s why even conspiring to do it is a crime.

              The militias in Michigan have been a real thing for decades. The fact that they are ragtag and almost comical doesn’t change the fact they are deadly.

              Add to the fact that they have allies in law enforcement who can provide information and cover, and its clear we have a serious problem.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t say it wasn’t possible, I said it’s only ever been done by lone actors.

                What I expect we’ll hear is a story of a bunch of yahoo’s talking shite, catching the ear of the FBI, who instead of just watching to see if they went outside to build a snowman, instead said, “Do you wanna build a snowman?!”

                Then helped them put on their coats, and snowpants, and mittens, and moon boots, and made sure the snow machines had put down a good 12″ of wet snow, and showed up with coal and carrots and a scarf and a top hat and made sure to push everybody outside where a dramatic TacTeam was just waiting to snatch them all up very dramatically.

                Because hey, they’ve done it before.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                From the WaPo story:
                “Several members of the group participated in firearms training, and in July, they attempted to make and test improvised explosive devices. Those devices ultimately did not detonate as planned, though Andrew B. Birge, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said the group later detonated one.

                In addition to talking about storming the state Capitol, the group discussed “shooting up” Whitmer’s vacation home or trying to abduct her as she left there or her official summer residence, the affidavit said. In July, according to the affidavit, Fox told an informant that he had “narrowed down his attack targets to the vacation home and the summer residence” and that he and others twice conducted surveillance at the vacation home.
                In September, according to the affidavit, Fox and others drove to the area surrounding the residence and discussed detonating explosives to divert police — even checking the underside of a bridge for spots to place a charge.”

                This was more than a few goobers talking shite.
                These were terrorists planning an attack.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, sure, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these guys were all gung-ho about it and couldn’t wait to get ‘er done!

                But my faith in the FBI in these kinds of cases is really pretty damn low.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                My comment somehow ended up in moderation, but you really should check out the WaPo story- these guys were pretty far along in planning.

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/michigan-governor-kidnap-plot/2020/10/08/0032e206-0980-11eb-9be6-cf25fb429f1a_story.htmlReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Again, my faith in the veracity of the FBI is wanting. You are reading the version of events according to the FBI. I’m withholding judgement until I see the evidence from court.

                I mean, let’s just start with “over throwing the government”. Really? Killing the sitting executive is not an overthrow of government. It’s murder, and absolutely should be taken seriously, but that’s it. It’s not like you get all the knowledge and power of the executive when you take their life, ala The Highlander.

                I’m totally agree the FBI should have been keeping tabs on these guys, and if the evidence shows what the FBI claims (that the ball was well and truly rolling before they FBI guy got involved), then good on the FBI for actually stopping this.

                I mean, without having to find a patsy and make it up.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m pretty sure than anyone who kills the governor of Michigan in open combat with Klingon bat’leths becomes the new governor.

                Kentucky is the only state that has had a governor assassinated (Goebels – died 1900), though if you get technical about it, he was shot the day before he was inaugurated, so perhaps he was the first governor to die of a pre-existing gunshot wound.

                A few years earlier Goebels had fatally shot a political opponent in the head, but successfully argued that it was self-defense, not a duel. The prior governor, thought to have been one of the architects of the assassination, fled to Indiana and escaped extradition, while other officials, such as the secretary of state were indicted, convicted, freed on appeal, pardoned, etc.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think its good to be skeptical about government claims.

                The stories about the rightwing militias, and Michigan militias in general go back decades and are very well documented entirely apart from anything about this case.

                There is a reason why the biggest security threat to America now is rightwing terrorism.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, since most right wing terrorists are on the far left, that would make some kind of sense.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I think what you’re getting that is that the guys really don’t seem any more “adult” than a group of 14-year old boy scouts. I mean, they once tried to make an explosive do-hickey – and failed at it. I guess it was the first attempt for everybody involved?

                They may have had crazy tats and thick bushy beards, but would these guys be mentally on the level of a bunch of precocious kids in a Disney movie, were it not for the grown-ups in the FBI helping them out?

                They got caught after reaching out to some other militia group that apparently included some functioning adults, who called the Feds in. Now that does show real intent, yet also shows ineptitude because their group apparently didn’t include enough competent people to actually pull anything off, other than probably causing some mayhem.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            I mean, I have to wonder, you don’t trust the cops to treat fairly with minorities, but the feds manage to drum up a militia plot (anyone remember Hutaree?), and suddenly they get it right?Report

        • Avatar George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, conspiracy charges aside, you’re getting into inchoate offenses, and what is meant by “attempt”. In most states, an inchoate offense is punishable as if the planned crime had been completed.

          The concept also overlaps with “failed” crimes, where the gears are in motion but something breaks along the way, which could happen anywhere from early planning all the way to a climactic point in the subsequent comedy movie. At what point does the chain of steps from “crazy notion to do something stupid” cross the line into an actual “attempt” to do something stupid? That’s also where juries have to weigh in, figuring out if the accused were just talking smack or whether they were really up to no good.

          Unfortunately Michigan didn’t adopt the model legal codes that many other states did in the 60’s or 70’s, which included a very structured and rational approach to things like inchoate offences. Michigan statutes still reflecting their chaotic 1938 reforms.

          For example, here’s the section dealing with conspiracy to attempt.

          750.155 Violation by corporation forfeits charter; quo warranto.
          750.156 Chapter inapplicable to agricultural products or livestock under certain conditions; chapter inapplicable to conspiracy committed under chapter LXVIIA.
          750.157 Providing incriminating testimony or evidence; use of truthful testimony, evidence, or other information against witness in criminal case.
          750.157a Conspiracy to commit offense or legal act in illegal manner; penalty.

          Perhaps their laws are numbered sequentially in the order in which they were first enacted, or numbered in alphabetical order, or sorted by total length. I have no idea how attorneys there even found a particular statute prior to the use of search engines, but I’m sure they billed heavily for it.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Related:
    Former Special Forces sought by business group to guard polling sites in Minnesota, company says

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/private-security-minnesota-election/2020/10/09/89766964-0987-11eb-991c-be6ead8c4018_story.html#click=https://t.co/ul7099fqfA

    This is not the sign of a healthy democracy.
    This is a sign that a significant portion of the electorate has given up on democracy and is embracing force to impose their views on their fellow citizens.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Also related:
    https://twitter.com/SimonBalto/status/1314343582288019458
    GOP nominee
    @LorenCulp
    to
    @KATUNews

    “The problem with Democracy — you can look at quotes from famous Chinese leaders like Mao, Gorbachev — they loved Democracy because Democracy is a step toward socialism, which is a step towards communism.”Report

  6. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, so far three of the sixth have turned out to be anti-Trump Anarchists (with a capital ‘A’), and a fourth is a big BLM supporter. The odds that those four had been in bed with two actual right wingers is remote, so it looks like Whitmer was off her rocker in blaming Trump – again. One of them had recently been pardoned by the Democrat governor of Delaware because he’d “straightened himself out”. Eh, not so much…Report

  7. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Also related:

    The group charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also discussed kidnapping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, an FBI agent testified in court on Tuesday.

    FBI agent Richard Trask testified during a preliminary hearing that the group discussed taking out sitting governors due to their “coronavirus-related lockdown orders.”
    “They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically governors of Michigan and Virginia, over shut down orders,” Trask said.
    “The understanding at the time was to potentially kidnap a sitting governor and remove them from office,” he added.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/13/us/kidnap-plot-governor-michigan-virginia/index.htmlReport

  8. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The defense is officially out there:

    Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      Like I said, the FBI has a history of doing that. I would absolutely leverage that in my defense.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      ah-ha, it’s the “are you a cop, you HAVE TO TELL ME if you’re a cop” defenseReport

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        Not exactly, it’s the enabler defense, that if the FBI hadn’t encouraged and provided material support, the crime never would have happened because the accused would have never had the determination or ability to go through with it.

        It’s the “my client is too lazy and stupid to have done this without the government’s help” defense.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *