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F.B.I. Says a Michigan Militia Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer | The New York Times

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F.B.I. Says a Michigan Militia Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer | The New York Times

Six men had been discussing taking Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, hostage since at least the summer, the F.B.I. said.

Nicholas Bogel-BurroughsShaila Dewan & Kathleen Gray, The New York Times

Six men motivated by anti-government views were charged with plotting with a militia group to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, hoping to carry out the kidnapping before the presidential election, the F.B.I. said on Thursday.

The six men had talked about taking Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, hostage since at least the summer, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court and unsealed on Thursday. They met over the summer for firearms training and combat drills and tried to make explosives; they also gathered several times to discuss the mission, including in the basement of a shop in Michigan that was accessible only through a “trap door” under a rug, the F.B.I. said.

The men had surveilled Ms. Whitmer’s vacation home in August and September, and they indicated that they wanted to take her hostage before the election in November, Richard J. Trask II, an F.B.I. special agent, said in the criminal complaint. In July, one of the men said the group should take Ms. Whitmer hostage and move her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin for a “trial,” Mr. Trask said.


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Gretchen Esther Whitmer (born August 23, 1971) is an American politician serving as the 49th governor of Michigan since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2001 to 2006 and in the Michigan Senate from 2006 to 2015.

Whitmer was born and raised in Michigan. She is a graduate of Forest Hills Central High School near Grand RapidsMichigan State University, and the Michigan State University College of Law. She ran unsuccessfully for the state house in the 1990s before being elected in 2000. In 2006, she became a state senator, a position she kept until term limits forced her to step down in 2015. She was the Senate’s first female Democratic leader from 2011 to 2015. In 2013, Whitmer gained national attention for a floor speech during a debate on abortion in which she shared her experience of being sexually assaulted. For six months in 2016, she was the county prosecutor for Ingham County.

Whitmer was elected governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election, defeating Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette. As governor, Whitmer has focused on healthcare and infrastructure. In February 2020, she was selected to give the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Address. On 8 October 2020, FBI raided Tay Garbin’s home at Heartland Township and arrested him and other six men, after an investigation on social media discussing the violent overthrow of several state governments and law enforcement.

Source – Gretchen Whitmer (Updated: 8 October 2020) Wikipedia. Available at, (Accessed: 08 October 2020)