FBI reportedly thwarts alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the General Motors Detroit- Hamtramck assembly plant on January 27, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Image credit: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

The FBI has reportedly thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

A federal affidavit on Thursday described how six men allegedly discussed kidnapping the governor and bringing her to Wisconsin to "stand 'trial' for treason" before the 2020 presidential election, and the plot "involved reaching out to members of a Michigan militia," The Detroit News reported. An FBI investigation into the individuals reportedly began in early 2020.

"Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," an FBI agent reportedly said in the affidavit. "The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message."

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Six men have been charged in connection with the alleged plot, The Associated Press reports. They allegedly conducted surveillance at Whitmer's vacation home twice, reports The Detroit News.

"The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient," the affidavit reportedly said. "They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions. At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. As part of that recruitment effort, [Adam] Fox reached out to a Michigan-based militia group."

According to AP, the FBI says four of the men planned to meet on Wednesday to "make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear," and the complaint alleges that "the men gathered over the summer for firearms training, combat drills, and tried to make explosives," The New York Times writes. The men were reportedly each charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.