So, a Michigan civil war was averted.
This wasn’t just about typical trolling and macho threats by right-wing groups on Facebook. This was a well-planned plot to use military tactics and weapons and homemade bombs and IEDs to kidnap the governor, throwing state government into chaos and spark widespread violence.
If not for all the crises and craziness going on in the country, this might be the craziest, scariest U.S. news story of 2020.
The 13 militia members charged today by federal and state authorities with planning domestic terrorism were planning and training for a 200-man operation to attack the Capitol building, target law enforcement officers with Molotov cocktails to promote chaos, and target Gov. Whitmer for a “trial” they would hold in a remote location, according to court documents.
If found guilty of “treason,” who knows what her punishment would entail. All of this because of the governor’s tough restrictions – masks, social distancing, no public gatherings – aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
These far-right instigators met to plan their attacks at the Grand Rapids business of Adam Fox, the gang leader (pictured above), where they congregated in the basement via a trap door entrance located under a rug on the main floor.
As their kidnapping plot evolved, according to the charging documents, they decided to track Whitmer to her vacation home near Elk Rapids, blow up an adjacent bridge to distract state troopers who guard her, and then escape by boat with the “snatched” governor.
Needless to say, the national media coverage of this averted atrocity has boiled down to this: What in the world is going on in Michigan?
Yet, on Facebook and other social media outlets countless commentators have sided with the wannabe soldiers who claim they are freedom fighters. Even one of President Trump’s top aides, Jason Miller, hopped on the bandwagon. On Fox News tonight he said this: “If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart for President Trump.”
Translation? She asked for it.
While far less devastating – or quite possibly lethal – another event today in Michigan politics should also be noted. Nationally known dirty tricksters Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl were arraigned in court on charges of voter intimidation and election law violations related to disinformation robocalls targeting minorities in Detroit.
These high-profile conservatives concocted robocalls designed to scare Detroiters away from voting in the upcoming November election. The calls warned that mail-in voting would amount to “giving your private information to ‘the man.’”
According to the state attorney general’s office, the calls claimed that those who rely on absentee voting would have their personal information stored in a special database used by police to track down old warrants and by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts. The calls also falsely asserted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will use the information to target people for mandatory vaccines.
When Burkman and Wohl showed up in court, they were well prepared to make bail. They arrived with stacks of $100 bills.