13 Arrested as FBI Claims Plot Foiled to Kidnap Michigan’s Governor

Militia was to kidnap Whitmer, take her to Wisconsin for trial for treason

According to the FBI and the US Justice Department, plotting by a heretofore unknown group called the Wolverine Watchdogs was advancing on a scheme to kidnap Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, with an eye toward taking her from her vacation home in northern Michigan.

13 people were charged in the plot, six of them by the federal government for the plot, and seven others by the Michigan Attorney General for their own involvement. The FBI criminal complaint cites information gathered from at least two informants and two undercover FBI employees involved in the plot.

The FBI has been looking into the militia since early 2020, related to plotting to violently overthrow parts of the government. In early June the group met in Dublin, Ohio, talking up the idea of killing police to collapse the state government, or kidnap the governor outright.

There was also talk during a meeting in a Grand Rapids store’s basement, of getting 200 men to attack the Capitol building and capture Whitmer there, though it doesn’t appear the group ever had access to anywhere near that many. Most meetings had around 13 people, and at least four of them were informants or FBI plants.

By mid-July, the plot coalesced around the idea of kidnapping Whitmer from her vacation home, spiriting her to Wisconsin, and then trying her for treason, potentially executing her afterwards. The goal was to get this done ahead of the November election.

As with a lot of plots with deep FBI involvement, it’s not clear how functional it ever was, or if the FBI simply kept coaxing it along until it was enough to arrest people over. The FBI, naturally, is keen to present themselves as having foiled something real and serious.

And as with anything else that happens in 2020, this is already shaping up political dimensions, as Whitmer suggested President Trump’s comments on white supremacist groups may have spurring this group to act, and the Trump campaign condemned her for hating Trump so.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.