The accused conspirators who plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also discussed “taking” out Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam because of coronavirus lockdown orders, an FBI agent revealed Tuesday.
FBI Special Agent Richard Trask revealed that Northam was also being eyed for a possible kidnapping. The information came to light at a bond hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for three of the alleged conspirators.
Trask said the idea of kidnapping Northam and Whitmer was raised at a meeting the men attended in June with other members of anti-government groups.
“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders,” Trask testified.
Alena Yarmosky, Northam’s press secretary, said in a statement Tuesday that “The FBI alerted key members of the Governor’s security team throughout the course of their investigation.”
“At no time was the Governor or his family in imminent danger,” Yarmosky added. “Enhanced security measures have been in place for Governor Northam and his family for quite some time, and they will remain.”
Both Whitmer and Northam were criticized on Twitter earlier this year by President Trump for their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included restrictions on businesses and other non-essential services.
In April Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” in reference to Whitmer’s strict lockdown orders for the state to deal with COVID-19.
Whitmer argued that Trump was complicit in the alleged plot against her because of his rhetoric.
On Tuesday, Northam’s spokeswoman echoed that suggestion in her own statement.
“Here’s the reality: President Trump called upon his supporters to ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA’ in April — just like Michigan,” Yarmosky said.
“In fact, the President regularly encourages violence against those who disagree with him. The rhetoric coming out of this White House has serious and potentially deadly consequences. It must stop.”
Federal authorities in Michigan last week arrested 13 men in connection with the alleged scheme to kidnap Whitmer and related crimes.
Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta, Daniel Harris, Kaleb Franks and Ty Garbin are all facing a charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which is punishable by life in prison, for their role in the plot. https://t.co/fDfCrVOzjN
— CBS4Local (@CBS4Local) October 13, 2020
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