On Thursday, October 8, federal prosecutors revealed in a press conference that they had uncovered a plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The FBI arrested six suspects who allegedly held multiple secret meetings, staked out the Michigan capitol building in Lansing, performed recognizance on the Governor's vacation home, and bought firearms for their scheme, all while preparing to "snatch" the Governor and put her on "trial" for treason.
Seven additional men were arrested on state charges and are suspected of tracking down the addresses of law enforcement officers and threatening to "instigate a civil war."
Following the FBI's announcement, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe connected the crime directly to President Donald Trump's dangerous rhetoric.
Former @FBI Dep Dir Andrew McCabe during @CNN coverage of alleged #Michigan plot: “The person most responsible for… https://t.co/2JZJMcAhT2— PETER MAER (@PETER MAER) 1602180384.0
McCabe told CNN's Brianna Keilar:
"We know back in 2016, one of the Russians' objectives was to sow exactly this sort of sentiment: discord, chaos, distrust in each other and in our democratic process. We also know from what our intelligence folks have told us in the last few weeks that they are continuing that same campaign."
"But let's not be mistaken here. The person most responsible for fomenting this sort of unrest, this sort of division, this sort of violence in this country right now is the president of the United States."
McCabe went on to explain how "the Russians simply have to amplify the messages that President Trump is putting out on a daily basis," saying:
"It is exactly that sort of rhetoric that causes extremists to feel like now is the time to take action. It serves as a sort of trigger for folks who are already violent, maybe unstable, pointed in that direction."
Andrew McCabe: Trump is 'person most responsible' for Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plotyoutu.be
McCabe was doubtless referring to President Trump's many attacks on Whitmer's strict pandemic re-opening regulations.
The President went so far as to tweet "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" in all caps several weeks ago.
@TrueFactsStated On April 17th 2020, Trump tweeted, 2 weeks later... https://t.co/7MzEOKInJn https://t.co/FrnbofPRli— Patricia B.L. (@Patricia B.L.) 1602182829.0
@TrueFactsStated @HawaiiShira Words have consequences. https://t.co/J2Z2F1ZpDD— stonecircle (@stonecircle) 1602187757.0
The President may not have been directly calling for violent action to be taken against Whitmer, but it was heard as such by several unstable individuals who were ready to create a national crisis.
@RawStory "The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire," Trump wrote on Friday. "These are… https://t.co/JWLXIcx0x6— Jack Burton (@Jack Burton) 1602181392.0
@RawStory McCabe is 100% Right in his Accusation.— Liana Alexakis 🇺🇸🆘 🌊🌊🌊 (@Liana Alexakis 🇺🇸🆘 🌊🌊🌊) 1602212977.0
Just last week during the first Presidential Debate, the President failed to denounce White Supremacist groups, asking the infamous "Proud Boys" to "stand back and stand by."
During his time in office, President Trump has repeatedly made headlines through his reluctance to denounce violent extremist groups who support him.
@RawStory I assume Trump will try to pardon them.— Bill In San Diego (@Bill In San Diego) 1602181233.0
@TrueFactsStated @MiamiNice57 So of course trump won't condemn them.— sharon stein (@sharon stein) 1602183403.0
@TrueFactsStated @realDonaldTrump is the greatest threat to American Democracy that we have ever faced.— Jonathan Wilk (@Jonathan Wilk) 1602182760.0
President should be careful to minimize violence through their words, not encourage it.
Andrew McCabe just called out the president as being responsible for this type of militia behavior.… https://t.co/yomr3jaobK— “JIMCROWINASUITANDTIE FU” (@“JIMCROWINASUITANDTIE FU”) 1602178526.0
Notable that Bill Barr, who has repeatedly hyped the supposed threat of violence from Antifa, doesn’t have anything… https://t.co/kVcDuLGXqT— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller) 1602185288.0
Whitmer responded to the alleged kidnapping scheme in a statement, saying:
"When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions. And they are complicit."