by WorldTribune Staff, October 9, 2020
The suspects charged in the plot to kidnap Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are anarchists who in a series of videos professed hatred for police and referred to President Donald Trump as a “tyrant,” reports say.
U.S. attorneys have charged Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, the Detroit News reported on Thursday.
In all, 13 men were busted by the feds after allegedly planning to kidnap Whitmer and storm the Capitol building in Michigan in hopes of sparking a civil war. Seven of the defendants were linked to a militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen.
Authorities said the alleged kidnappers trained together with firearms and experimented with explosives, discussing plans to storm the state capitol building and attack police officers in their homes.[Update: One of alleged plotters, 23-year-old Daniel Harris, attended a Black Lives Matter protest in June, telling the Oakland County Times he was upset about the killing of George Floyd and police violence.]
In videos, posted on Facebook and YouTube, which have since been removed, Caserta is seen posing in front of an anarchist flag and referring to police as “a violent gang” and “enemies.” He also talks about the illegitimacy of government.
“Trump is not your friend, dude,” Caserta said in one video in which an anarchist flag is seen hanging above his shoulder. “And it amazes me that people actually, like, believe that when he’s shown over and over and over again that he’s a tyrant. Every single person that works for government is your enemy, dude.”
In another video from Caserta, the anarchist asserted, “[police] are oppressing you for a paycheck. If you’re still supporting law enforcement… you are supporting the people who are enforcing slavery on everyone else.”
Several leftist media outlets, including the New York Times, attempted to cast the individuals as “right-wing” and “Trump supporters.”
Documentary producer Robby Starbuck, who discovered Caserta’s videos, blasted the integrity of the corporate media, writing on Twitter: “Why did it take me to pull all these videos to give people access to the truth about the ideology these guys have? It says a lot about the state of journalism that a director/producer had to dig these clips up because we all know we can’t trust mainstream news to do their job.”
“Democrats and the media say President @realDonaldTrump inspired these idiots who plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” Starbuck added. “They’re lying. As this key member of the plot makes very clear, he hated Trump too. They’re government and police hating anarchists. Don’t fall for the lies!”
Both Whitmer and Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden accused Trump of inspiring the group that allegedly hatched the kidnapping plan.
“There is no place for hate in America. And both of us have been talking about this for some time, about how white supremacists and these militias are a genuine threat,” Biden said. “The president has to realize the words he utters matter.”
Since he began his campaign for president last year, Biden has often repeated the lie that Trump had called white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia “very fine people.”
Whitmer claimed the plot was somehow the result of Trump’s words about white supremacists during last week’s presidential debate.
“Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” Whitmer said. “When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight.”
The FBI said it had been investigating Caserta and his group since early this year, when the bureau learned through social media that individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of several state governments and law enforcement.
Trump tweeted in response to Whitmer’s accusations: “Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan.”
The president went on to mention the foiled plot to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home, adding, “Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities.”
According to an affidavit unsealed on Thursday, an FBI agent noted that the group of anarchists held a meeting in June in Dublin, Ohio, where “Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.”
“The attendees discussed attacking a Michigan State Police facility, and in a separate conversation after the meeting, GARBIN suggested shooting up the Governor’s vacation home, which is located in the Western District of Michigan” in Antrim County, according to the affidavit.
Several days after the meeting, the group proposed seizing Whitmer from the governor’s official summer residence.
“Snatch and grab, man. Grab the fuckin’ Governor. Just grab the bitch. Because at that point, we do that, dude — it’s over,” Fox allegedly said, according to the document.
From there, they proposed transporting Whitmer to Wisconsin to conduct a “trial.”
Fox, Croft, Garbin, Franks, Harris, and Caserta were charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
In several of the YouTube videos, Caserta talked about the illegitimacy of government.
“The Constitution is illegitimate,” he said in one posted on May 16, which was removed after Caserta’s YouTube account was terminated.
“Authority doesn’t exist, dude,” Caserta said, “and, like, the law doesn’t exist.”
In another video, Caserta walked around his apartment with a camera and wondered, “How do I really know if I suck?”
Breitbart News reported that it reviewed several videos on Caserta’s Facebook page prior to deletion in which the suspect criticized the police, calling them “obedient order-followers.”
“In none of the videos did Caserta express support for Trump explicitly or otherwise,” the Breitbart report said.
But the leftist media wasn’t interested in any of that. It had the petal to the metal in pushing the “white supremacist” and “pro-Trump” narrative.
“If the president read his intel briefings and understood the dogma of white nationalist groups,” wrote Politico’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, “he’d realize that language like ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ is read as tacit permission — if not explicit encouragement — for militias to take action.”
Evita Duffy wrote for The Federalist: “Democrats and the media haven’t only been disingenuous about this story. They have a history of not accurately representing Whitmer or her Michigan constituents. Alberta made another wild claim in an April Politico story. He wrote that in Lansing, ‘you cannot find anyone, Republican or Democrat, on the record or off, who does not admire the skills of the state’s 49th governor. Moreover, just about everyone likes her,’ he said. ‘She is genuine, secure, quick to give a hug or share a dirty joke.’ ”
This storyline “is incredibly ridiculous considering a massive effort to recall Whitmer has been underway for months now,” Duffy added. “Eleven approved recall petitions are currently in circulation. Whitmer was also rebuked by the Michigan Supreme Court for violating the law in her abuse of emergency powers.”