Another Governor Was Possible Kidnapping Target

FBI agent says Virginia's Ralph Northam was discussed by paramilitary groups
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2020 12:05 PM CDT
Another Governor Was Possible Kidnapping Target
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, shown answering a reporter's question in Richmond last September, was not told of a possible plot against him, an official said.   (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP, File)

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing in Michigan. Special Agent Richard Trask was part of the investigation that led to six men being arrested and charged last week with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Seven other men face state terrorism charges. Trask did not name Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, during his testimony in a federal courtroom in Grand Rapids, the AP reports. He said members of anti-government groups from multiple states attended the meeting. "They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders," Trask said. Both governors are Democrats.

He said people at the meeting were unhappy with the governors’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic. The FBI did not brief Northam on any potential threat, said a Virginia official. The June meeting was part of the FBI's investigation of various anti-government groups, leading to last week's announcement that six men had been arrested in an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer. Tuesday's court hearing was to review investigators' evidence against Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta, and to determine whether they should be detained before trial. A sixth man, Barry Croft, was being held in Delaware. Seven others linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were charged in state court, accused of seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol. (The idea to kidnap Whitmer may have started in a Facebook post.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.