Anti-Whitmer terrorist plot included weeklong series of televised executions of public officials

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her DNC address, Aug. 17, 2020 | Julia Picket photo

    The right-wing extremist conspiracy against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is often described as a “kidnapping plot,” but new details from court filings show there also were elaborate plans to execute her and other officials.

    Federal and state authorities have worked together on the case and 14 men were charged last month. Members of the so-called militia group the Wolverine Watchmen plotted against Whitmer because of her emergency actions aimed at stopping COVID-19 from spreading, which they claimed made her a “tyrant.” Several members of the alleged plot gathered at the Capitol and other anti-Whitmer events.

    New court filings, as reported by ABC-7 in Chicago, show that the “Plan B” was 200 combatants taking over the Michigan Capitol. They would then hold a weeklong series of televised executions of Whitmer and other public officials.

    The show trial scenario isn’t the only one that was discussed. The “Plan C” was burning down the building and leaving no survivors.

    Attorney General Dana Nessel, whose office has been working with federal officials on the cases, told the Advance last month that she’s been concerned about threats to the Capitol and public officials for a long time.

    “The thing is that I really feel as though it is really just a matter of time. Even these groups, these sort of larger, more organized efforts for these domestic terrorist groups, even if they do not settle on a plan to overtake the Capitol, all it takes is two or three of these guys with multiple [firearm] magazines,” she said. “And they can bring in whatever they want. I mean, you could take out an entire chamber of legislators in a minute. You really could. So it’s something that could happen at any time, and I don’t think it’s going to, now that the governor has buffed up her security [and] many other folks in government are being a lot more cautious than they’ve been in the past.”

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.