There was a governor

Governor castigates "Trump's battle cries"

Trump legitimized the acts of "internal terrorists" by refusing to clearly distinguish himself from white racists. “When our leaders speak, their words matter. When our leaders meet, cheer on, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and become accomplices. If they stir up hate speech and contribute to it, they become accomplices ”.

Whitmer referred explicitly to the presidential candidates' first TV debate, in which Trump had told the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys that they should hold back and be ready ("stand back and stand by"). Trump later said he didn't even know the Proud Boys. In the face of fierce criticism, Trump then distanced himself again: He "condemns all White Supremacists," said the President in Fox News.

No pity from Trump

However, the TV debate was not the first time that Trump played with or addressed codes from militant groups. Even after the FBI thwarted the plans, Trump showed no sympathy for Whitmer. "Instead of saying thank you (for the successful work of the FBI, note), she treats me like a white racist," he responded. In fact, he does not tolerate “any extremist violence” and is committed to protecting all US citizens.

13 suspects arrested

Several suspects are said to have planned a plot against the government in the US state of Michigan and the kidnapping of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The authorities announced a total of 13 arrests on Thursday.

Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden also drew a connection between Trump and the attempted coup. He pointed out that Trump had called for the "Liberation of Michigan" in a tweet in the spring. At that time, there were protests in Michigan's capital Lansing by militias, some of which were heavily armed, which were directed against the state's coronavirus measures. The situation escalated at the end of April when parliament was occupied. Investigators failed to establish a connection between the detainees' efforts and this incident.

Organized in social networks

The protests at that time were often organized on social media. In entries from private groups about the protests, the assassination of Governor Whitmer was widely propagated, and dozens of members called for her to be hanged. In the group “People of Michigan vs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ”read:“ We need a lynch mob that will drag the tyrant out of parliament and tie her up like our forefathers would have done, ”the newspaper“ Detroit Metro Times ”reported at the time.

The investigators are said to have tracked the traces of those arrested through social networks. Earlier this year, the FBI became aware on social media that a group of people had discussed the "violent overthrow of certain elements of the government and law enforcement agencies." A total of 13 people were arrested on Wednesday. Six were displayed at the federal level, and seven more at the state level.

Militias watched the holiday home

The FBI is accusing the six men between 23 and 44 of having discussed the kidnapping of the Democratic governor prior to the November 3rd US election at least since the summer, according to a published court document. For this, Whitmer's holiday home was observed. With the help of informants, undercover agents and secret recordings of conversations, these were uncovered, said prosecutor Andrew Birge. He described the suspects as "violent extremists". If convicted, they face life imprisonment.

Justice Secretary Nessel said the seven men against whom state charges were filed are believed to have links with the Wolverine Watchmen militia. They are accused of trying to find out addresses of police officers in order to attack them and start a civil war. In addition, they were involved in planning and training for the attack on the Capitol in Lansing, said Nessel. The plans would have put the lives of police officers, government officials and the general public at risk.