Jury Convicts Men of Supporting Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor

Oct 26, 2022 · 59 comments
Look Ahead (WA)
Interesting to read the bios of the characters involved in this plot: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gretchen_Whitmer_kidnapping_plot#Prior_concerns_about_militia_and_far-right_groups Most appear to be angry, lost souls, some without homes, several with criminal and violent backgrounds. Less dangerous on their own, they become far more so by being drawn into a conspiracy to murder a Governor, especially when they hear words of encouragement from TFG. The attorney’s argument about “talk the talk” ignores the “conspiracy” involved in this case.
Steve (SW Mich)
You can fantasize internally all you want about taking out who you percieve to be a tyrant, but when you get together with a like minded individual to plan and execute an assasination, that is crossing the proverbial red line. What party is it that is constantly harping about law and order? Give them a stiff sentence.
mary therese lemanek (michigan)
And well they should have been convicted.
Bumble Bee (In my Bee Hive)
I am so happy that she is still alive. Her mother named her Gretchen and watched her chasing butterflies and building snowmen. Her prom, her graduations, her becoming Governor.
RB (West Palm Beach, FL)
Conspiring to kidnap a Governor whose Covid 19 restrictions are considered tyrannical is a classical example of the nonsense being peddled about the deep states and other conspiracy theories that are bordering on lunacy.
Joe (NJ)
"Come on. We were just kidding around!"
C Lee Roo (Durham NC)
Textbook example of unrepentant danger to society. Deep dark hole and throw away the key.
Mark Keller (Portland, Oregon)
MAGA Republicans running all over the country -- and roughly half of all Republican candidates, depending what level of servitude towards Donald Trump makes them qualify -- are engaging in extremist rhetoric that makes future plots like this much more likely throughout the land... Elected Republicans who are serving now, and who overwhelmingly know better, have taken the coward's route for political expediency and are putting the future of our democracy at risk to gain power in the mid-terms. When will they realize they have sold their souls? Too late, I fear.
LT (NY)
So they thought that a jury made up of folks from a conservative area would be their saviors. Just like Trump thought all those judges that he appointed would believe his election lies. Nope. Guilty on all counts. Democracy just might have a chance, at least in some areas.
operadog (fb)
Seems to me that, when the police effectively stop a crime, the planners of the crime, if proven guilty of criminal conspiracy, cannot just walk, or else why bother with prevention?
Ibn Battuta (At Large)
Intimidation and threatening to kill and kidnap are not just talk. They are meant to inspire terror, and criminal just for that reason.
Just Me (California)
We are constantly reading about people on the right getting indicted and convicted of crimes. Yet they're the one's always all over the media pointing to Democrat states and districts saying that all of the crime is in those areas. And that democrats are soft on crime. We can clearly see the ones who are behind the crimes. It is them. Every accusation is a confession from the lying evangelical conservative party.
Emily (Midwest)
Violent threats against elected officials, public health officials, scientists, teachers, school boards, medical professionals and on and on it's goes. Republicans court this violence for votes and inflame it with their rhetoric. This is what autocrats do.
Kim (Kansas)
People need to realize that not all speech is free speech. THere are restrictions on speech and you just can't say anything you want and your speech can have consequences.
J. M. Sorrell (Northampton, MA)
A validation of sorts. Still, why wouldn't they be in prison for life without parole? A woman who kills her abuser in self-defense is likely to get a longer sentence. We have a LONG way to go in our justice system.
Elizabeth (New England)
The GOP politicians promote violence with their gun-toting propaganda social media posts and campaign ads. Eric Greitens was the worst during the primary...but there was also a video post of Greitens and Don the Con Jr. at a shooting range, shooting at human shaped targets, saying "Liberals, beware." It's this sort of irresponsible, hate addled rhetoric the GOP is deliberately using to validate and focus their voters' rage. The voters are addicted to the hatred, and even though they know thr GOP is lying, cheating and stealing, even promoting authoritarian goverment, they still will support the GOP, because the hate is addictive.
Scott (Detroit)
At the center of this terrorist plot are entitlements regarding ‘freedom vs. responsibility’. Freedom (of speech/ planning violence) vs. responsibility to democracy. Our laws are built for democracy - or try to be. When will authoritarian thugs understand that?!
Mfmatusky (Everett, WA)
Conspirators conspire in a fantasy world. They move their plots forward. Then they get to the point where fantasy turns to reality with enough momentum to go over the edge. The fantasies are not OK. They deserve punishment just for the big talk.
A. Xak (Los Angeles)
The higher up the food chain, the less time they serve.
Belzoni (Los Angeles)
For those keeping score at home: 1. Storming the Capitol with the intent to overthrow our democracy = 2-5 years 2. Planning to kidnap and possibly kill a governor = max 20 years 3. Three nonviolent drug possession charges = life in prison
Lefthalfbach (Philadelphia)
Sentence them to the Max.
Lefthalfbach (Philadelphia)
@Lefthalfbach On every count, to be served consecutively. And these are State charges, so Trump cannot pardon them.
GOPsux (Midwest)
Who knew domestic terrorist would become a GOP platform? I did. Putin too.
Dresser (Chicago)
Your honor, my clients are clearly too stupid to realize what they were doing and should not be found guilty.
Plant Lover (Iowa)
The Michigan governor, or any other politician should not have to deal with this level of violence. It is not acceptable. Now armed terrorists in Arizona are taking photos and license numbers of voters at drop boxes. Where are the charges for this unlawful behavior towards Americans who vote? The Republican party supports violence and hate and continues to support Donald Trump. The Republican Party is no longer the party of your father or grandfather but one that supports an insurrection, lies, and hate. We have our own homegrown terrorists we no longer have to worry about foreign attacks.
KatMon (Piedmont, VA)
@Plant Lover I hope voters are taking photos (or videos) of the vigilantes harassing them? And their trucks. Better yet, some tough Democratic men to be there. I do not say this lightly. But if the local police do not take the problem seriously, and quickly, the terrorists will win.
Enuf (CA)
@Plant Lover ... and giving someone a bottle of water is a punishable crime.
Belzoni (Los Angeles)
I hope they get the full 20 years. What I do not understand, is why Jan 6th terrorists are not facing similar sentences. Many of those facing charges went in armed, with the intent to overthrow the government, as well as abduct, harm, and even kill members of Congress. Why aren't they seeing serious jail time as well?
third mate (Florida)
@Belzoni 'cause many of the judges were appointed/supported by Moscow Mitch or 45.
Bobby (Dallas)
@Belzoni Maybe the easy treatment of the J6 aggressors is the same as trump is enjoying now, as he always has and probably will.
Daylight (RI)
The defendant's lawyer said “But you only get convicted if you walk the walk.” Does that mean you can be prosecuted after you kidnap and/or kill your victim, but if you're just talking about it, or planning it, then you're ok? That's how these right wing groups are trying to get away with "murder". They say things like "Jews will not replace us" as part of free speech but they hope that people will get all riled up and start violent insurrections. They're looking for that straw that brakes the camel's back and hope for that domino effect. We need to prosecute these evil folks before it gets too far. Guantanamo sounds like a good place for them.
Rick Motown (Kihei Maui, Hawaii)
@Daylight , the law allows prosecution of conspirators that talk the talk and then make a move towards walking the walk. A person or persons can talk about bombing a building, but the crime of conspiracy is charged when any one of them goes and buys the bomb. From an FBI agent usually.
Pete Fisher (Southwest)
Make an example of these guys and throw the book at them!
lilla victoria (Grosse Pointe, MI)
Good. This needed to happen.
Bob (Los Angeles)
These folks are the small fry - the lowly privates. What about the guys who provoked them - the generals who really stood to profit from the murder and mayhem? Real justice demands that the immunity of the masterminds (and this is not a guessing game) comes to an end. Now! Prospects are that many will be elected or re-elected to positions of power in the next few days. What then? I am less interested in the jailing of a few morons and numbskulls and more concerned about the fate of their diabolical leadership.
Roberto (Florida)
Free speech is a real thing, but the Constitution is not a suicide pact. The fact that the plan did not succeed does not make it lawful, otherwise attempted robbery would not be a crime.
Ed The Rabbit (Baltimore, MD)
I fear this will be too little too late for the rule of law.
Tom (Miami)
As a Michigander, this gives me hope that we may have retaken control of the asylum.
Beeeb (Reading)
Prior to this court case, I wonder how many of these defendants commented to a single person or believed within themselves even once in their entire life that they "talk the talk" without intending to "walk the walk." *crickets*
Satyaban (Baltimore, Md)
I don't know how many convictions there are related to this crime, but it has not been enough. The lawyer said you can talk the talk but not act as a defense, but how many persons have been convicted of conspiracy to sell drugs just by talking on the phone, why not these people and all involved. I have been to court a couple of times and sat and listened to many, but those I have seen resulted on sentencing and jail the same day. Why doesn't this happen across the board. These crimes are not election pranks but very serious crimes and people like Bannon should be serving their sentences while appealing. This country has lost its way. I asked myself as a younger man what could bring this country down and did not see a possible way but now I know, we all know because we are watching. I find some relief that I am old and won't see its complete ruin with white supremacists running for office, attempted kidnapping our lawmakers, and Republicans with no self respect, oops this is happening now.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
I don’t see a difference between the men planning to kidnap and murder Governor Whitmer and those standing masked, armed and wearing body armor in front of ballot boxes in AZ with their vehicle plates covered. They all fantasize themselves as protecting the country when their specific actions weaken our rights, our safety and our access to participate.
Kathy (SF)
@Deirdre I don't believe they fantasize they're protecting the country. They simply want to bully and intimidate people. They're defective men, usually, who have failed to work and study hard enough to compete with the rest of us, and instead of acting responsibly they're acting out like the underdeveloped sad sacks they are.
George Kafantaris (Warren, Ohio)
A guilty verdict against the men who tried to kidnap Michigan’s Governor is all we needed to indict Trump. Now, it’s full speed ahead.
Garloo (CA)
You're allowed to think whatever you want but not to conspire to put them into action. These folks love to embrace conspiracy theories but fail to see how they themselves are conspiratorial.
PhillySub (USA)
The First Amendment does guarantee freedom of speech but that freedom isn't unfettered. Certainly deliberately planning to kidnap in a feasible way any official crosses the line. I'm glad that the defendants were found guilty. I'm hoping that the sentence matches the seriousness of the crime. Far too many of the 1/6 defendants have gotten away with a minor judicial equivalent to a slap on the wrist when serious jail time should have been given. We in the US are willing to kill foreign terrorists but inexplicably turn a blind eye to domestic terrorists. The 1/6 coup attempt wasn't "peaceful political discourse" and this attempt to kill the governor is a terrorist act.
Mary (Michigan)
Thank the good Lord! A small ray of hope in an otherwise sad and horrible fiasco.
ck (ny)
Republicans in this year's race have everybody talking about crime, crime, crime. (Ironic since they seem to think it's okay for anyone to carry a weapon at any time). Well, I truly believe that the multiple crimes committed by he-who-shall-not-be named and his gang of cheating wealthy thugs are the cause of criminals witnessing that there is no accountability. Michigan experienced some accountability today.
Cassandra (Lalaland)
No matter what your beliefs or party affiliation, wouldn’t you want people who are involved in an organized plot to kill you sent to prison? I know I would!
Kazoosue (Kalamazoo)
Tudor Dixon has mocked these kidnapping attempts and made jokes about them. Let's make sure Big Gretch is back in office so these insurrectionists don't obtain a pardon from Mrs. Dixon.
RFM (San Diego)
A jury of Michigan peers, a state court, convictions on all counts.... a ray of hope for American democracy! And maybe for the elections coming up.
Tyrol Tourist (New York, New York)
@RFM Your lips to God's ears as my late, beloved Irish-American grandmother used to say. If only...
MotownMom (Michigan)
As a Michigan resident and voter, this guilty verdict is appropriate. I stood outside precincts in 2020 and saw cars with trump flags drive the parking lots at polling places. Thankfully that was the worst I saw. America's democracy depends on elected officials like Governor Whitmer and AG Nessel to remain in place. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOLUNTEER. VOLUNTEER. VOLUNTEER. DONATE.DONATE. DONATE
Mary (Michigan)
@MotownMom So true!
Ernest Wolfe (Lowville, NY)
@MotownMom If they ransacked our capital building with murderous intent on January 6th, they won't hesitate to intimidate and harass at the polls. Guns?
Elmira (NYC)
Good! Hopefully next time people’s instinct tells them to give full force to their insanity, they will pause and use their brains first. It’s outrageous that people in a nation of laws think they have the right to do whatever they want to. This is why I think Trump should be convicted and publicly shamed. It would set a necessary example.
Tat (VA)
20 years works for me.
Mary (Michigan)
@Tat At least!
True North (NWT)
@Tat These were armed thugs, trying to overthrow the Government. It is time to get serious. Nation of LAWS!?!
Yodagirl (AZ)
@Tat Better would be 20 years for each offense served consecutively. They need to be kept locked up for life.
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