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Michigan AG says governor, family were moved while tracking militia groups

Michigan AG says governor, family were moved while tracking militia groups
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Michigan’s attorney general on Friday said that Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Democrats condemn Trump's rhetoric against Michigan governor as allies defend rally MORE (D-Mich.) was aware for months that authorities were tracking a group of men allegedly plotting to kidnap her, with the governor and her family being forced to “move around” in order to maintain her protection. 

“We had been consistently updating the governor as events occurred over the course of the last couple of months, so she was aware of things that were happening,” Dana Nessel said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.” 

“At times, she and her family had been moved around as a result of activities that law enforcement was aware of,” the attorney general added. 

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On Thursday, the FBI announced that it had foiled a plot by men linked to the militia group Wolverine Watchmen to kidnap the governor and raid the state capitol building in Lansing. 

The attorney general had announced at a press conference on Thursday that the men “made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse.” 

The Detroit Free Press reported that felony domestic terrorism charges had been filed against the group's organizers. Six also face federal kidnapping charges, with at least seven others charged with state crimes. 

State police said that the members of the Wolverine Watchmen and others had trained together and planned “various acts of violence,” according to The Associated Press

FBI surveillance took place in August and September, according to a federal affidavit, and four of the men had planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear.”

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“We thought it was time to move in before anybody lost their lives,” Nessel said in Friday’s interview. 

In a livestream address following the FBI’s announcement Thursday, Whitmer said President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE’s refusal to denounce extremist groups during the first presidential debate acted as a "rallying cry" to the militia groups allegedly involved in the kidnapping plot. 

Trump responded to Whitmer’s remarks in a tweet Thursday evening, claiming that she “has done a terrible job” in her handling of the coronavirus pandemic and “locked down her state for everyone.” The governor instituted some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S., which conflicted with Trump’s calls for states to reopen across the country. 

“I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President!” Trump tweeted.