This is America. What’s going on from sea to shining sea?
The startling story that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had been targeted as a kidnap victim by a group of 13 was amplified on Tuesday.
An FBI agent said that the team of domestic terrorists had also discussed “taking” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
This second potential victim reacted to the news by accusing President Trump of fueling extremism with reckless rhetoric.
Northam, like Whitmer, a Democrat, said that as a former Army doctor, he had faced threats from foreign enemies but never before from his own commander in chief.
“These threats and this rhetoric is not coming from another country,” Northam said. “It’s coming from Washington. And that I regret, and it needs to stop.”
The disturbing allegations about politically motivated violence surfaced during a day-long hearing over what law enforcement officials say was a plan to abduct Michigan’s highest elected official and either leave her on a boat in the middle of a lake or put her “on trial” before the self-styled militia.
During the hearing in Grand Rapids, to discuss the charges filed last week against members of a self-proclaimed militia accused of plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor, FBI Special Agent Richard Trask revealed that months ago, some of the suspects met in Dublin, Ohio, where Northam was also under discussion as a potential target.
“At this meeting they discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governors of Michigan and Virginia, based upon the lock-down order,” Trask told the court, referring to state-mandated restrictions implemented to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
The agent described in detail, how federal agents became concerned about the accused, particularly after a June meeting in Dublin, where more than a dozen self-styled militia members from four or five states gathered to discuss possible plans.
Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said that the FBI “alerted key members of the Governor’s security team throughout the course of their investigation, but that to keep tight control of information about such a sensitive matter, neither the governor nor other members of his staff were told.”
Yarmosky said at no time was the governor or his family in imminent danger, adding that extra security measures “have been in place for the Governor Northam and his family for quite some time, and they will remain.”