Suspects in Whitmer kidnap plot discussed attacking Ohio governor, prosecutors say

Suspects in Whitmer kidnap plot discussed attacking Ohio governor, prosecutors say
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The suspects accused of plotting to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan orders 'all-hands-on-deck' response to water crisis Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Michigan leaves majority-Black city with lead-contaminated taps for three years Whitmer vetoes bill on bird feeding over deer fears MORE (D) over her coronavirus pandemic restrictions also discussed attacking Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineMinnesota to offer 0 gift cards, scholarships as vaccine incentives to kids Republican candidates tack toward right on abortion Anti-Trump Republicans on the line in 2022 too MORE (R), prosecutors revealed Monday.

Officials wrote in a court filing on Monday that two of the accused men, Adam Fox and Barry Croft, met with “militia” activists in June 2020 and “proposed attacking the governors of Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia.”

Croft showed the group an improvised explosive device that “he had constructed for the purpose,” authorities wrote. 

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“Croft referred to himself as a ‘terrorist' who was going to ‘burn motherf---ing houses down, blow s--- up," prosecutors wrote. 

The filing is the first time authorities said the men plotted to kidnap DeWine.

Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for DeWine, told The Hill in a statement that the governor “learned of these latest developments through news coverage of Monday’s court filings.”

“The alleged threats against state leaders are despicable and have no place in the American political system,” Tierney said.

Fourteen men have been charged either by the state of Michigan or in federal court with the plot to kidnap and kill Whitmer. 

An FBI agent testified in October that the men had also discussed attacking Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders,” special agent Richard Trask reportedly said.

"The understanding at the time was to potentially kidnap a sitting governor and remove them from office," he added.

The men accused of plotting to kill Whitmer allege, however, that they were set up by the FBI, BuzzFeed News reported late last month. At least one defendant has officially accused the agents of entrapment.

In Monday’s filing, prosecutors were responding to an attempt by the defendants to produce information related to the FBI informants who investigated the case. Prosecutors said that most of the information being asked for is not subject to production.