Militia Busted Following Trump's 'Liberate Michigan' Order ... By Plotting To Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Back in April, Donald Trump went on a Twitter tear, tweeting for people to "liberate" a variety of states in response to FOX News's coverage of the protests against social distancing. This included the state of Michigan.
On Wednesday, more than 12 people were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in order to put her on trial for treason, and also maybe violently overthrow the Michigan government as well. An FBI affidavit detailing the alleged plot was filed on Thursday in federal court, following a raid on the home of 24-year-old Ty Garbin of Hartland Township, Michigan.
Garbin, who was one of those arrested, is mentioned by name in the affidavit, along with Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.
In early 2020, the FBI became aware of Fox and Croft, who were plotting online to "take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution." In June, the men held an in-person meeting in Dublin, Ohio, with 13 other men, one of whom turned out to be an FBI informant. Oh nuts!
According to the affidavit:
The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self sufficient. 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. Several members talked about murdering "tyrants" or "taking" a sitting governor. The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message. As part of that recruitment effort, FOX reached out to a Michigan based militia group (the "militia group.")
The FBI already knew about this as-yet-unnamed militia group because they had reportedly been trying to get the home addresses of law enforcement officers, probably so they could bake them cakes with the thin blue line flag on them.
Fox and Croft reached out to the militia group and ended up meeting with members on several occasions. One of those members was Ty Garbin, the guy whose house was raided.
Ty Garbin, Facebook
At a Second Amendment rally on June 18, an FBI informant recorded Fox telling Garbin that "he planned to attack the Capitol and asked them to combine forces."
As part of FOX's operational security, the attendees met in the basement of the shop, which was accessed through a trap door hidden under a rug on the main floor. FOX collected all of their cellular phones in a box and carried them upstairs to prevent any monitoring. CHS-2 [the informant] was wearing a recording device, however, and captured the audio from the meeting. The attendees discussed plans for assaulting the Michigan State Capitol, countering law enforcement first responders, and using "Molotov cocktails" to destroy police vehicles. The attendees also discussed plans for an additional meeting during the first weekend of July when they also would conduct firearms and tactical training.
Gee, I wonder why these people would be throwing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles. It's almost as if they were hoping the blame would fall on certain other groups of people!
I also wonder, far more legitimately, how someone can be the kind of paranoid wacko who tries to overthrow the state of Michigan, but also not be paranoid enough to check for a damn wire.
It wasn't until a few days later though that they allegedly started working Gov. Whitmer into their plans:
On June 25, 2020, FOX [the person, not the news channel] live-streamed a video to a private Facebook group that included CHS-2, in which he complained about the judicial system and the State of Michigan controlling the opening of gyms. FOX referred to Governor Whitmer as "this tyrant bitch," and stated, "I don't know, boys, we gotta do something. You guys link with me on our other location system, give me some ideas of what we can do." The video was preserved by the FBI.
A few days after that, after they all did their tactical training, Fox hosted another meeting in which he said those who were not willing to participate in an armed insurrection and kidnap politicians could leave right then.
And by the end of July, they were hashing out their plans to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.
FOX said their best opportunity to abduct Governor Whitmer would be when she was arriving at, or leaving, either her personal vacation home or the Governor's official summer residence. Both residences are located in the Western District of Michigan. FOX described it as a "Snatch and grab, man. Grab the fuckin' Governor. Just grab the bitch. Because at that point, we do that, dude — it's over." FOX said that after kidnapping the Governor, the group would remove her to a secure location in Wisconsin for "trial."
FOX suggested they get a realtor to help them find the exact location of the vacation home and collect information on the surrounding homes and structures. FOX discussed the importance of knowing the layout of the yard, homes, and security. FOX stated they needed to map out the surrounding property and gates, and they needed plumbers and electricians to help them read blueprints to refine their strategy. FOX also suggested recruiting an engineer or "IT [Information Technology] guy," a "demo guy," and other "operators."
So it was getting serious. So serious that they started conducting surveillance on her home.
During the surveillance operation, FOX stated, "She fucking goddamn loves the power she has right now" and that "she has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now." CROFT stated, "All good things must come to an end." FOX also remarked "I can see several states takin' their fuckin' tyrants. Everybody takes their tyrants." The group also discussed how many people should be involved in the kidnapping operation.
Yes, they definitely had some issues. What was gonna be next? Were they gonna blow up a building in Oklahoma City?
The Right constantly screams and cries about antifa, and they get so, so mad when people say that, factually, there is far more political violence coming from the Right. But antifa activists are not out there plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan. And maybe, when they are, we can talk. Until then, pass.
Trump can "LAW AND ORDER!" all he wants, but when he's also tweeting "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" and talking about Second Amendment solutions, he's not only encouraging people like this, he's handing them a "We were just following orders" defense.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse