Prosecutors provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state’s governor, a federal judge ruled Friday in Grand Rapids.
A two-day preliminary hearing this week featured testimony by one of the FBI agents who ran the investigation, relying on confidential informants and undercover agents to thwart the purported scheme to abduct Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home.
Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others were charged in state court under Michigan’s anti-terrorism laws for allegedly targeting police and seeking a “civil war.”
Governor Ralph Northam joined 10 other Democratic governors issuing a joint statement on Wednesday defending American democracy, vowing that every valid ballot will be counted in the election.
The statement comes after a contentious debate where President Trump expressed skepticism of mail voting. Trump also called on his backers to scrutinize voting procedures at the polls, which critics said could cross into voter intimidation. Without mentioning Trump by name, the governors noted his refusal last week to commit to a peaceful transition of power.
A pair of lawsuits filed against top-ranking state executives in Michigan seek to challenge the recent policies the two Democrats have put in place as part of their efforts to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak there.
The suits, filed by the Thomas More Society on behalf of several Michigan plaintiffs, argue that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have, respectively, suppressed political speech and unlawfully altered the state’s absentee voting system, according to a press release from the Thomas More Society.
A judge blocked an Education Secretary Betsy DeVos policy on Wednesday that transfers COVID-19 relief funds from public school districts to private schools, Politico reported.
U.S. District Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs, order Thursday, blocking release of additional relief funding to private schools.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend to meet with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s first known in-person session with a potential running mate as he nears a decision.
Whitmer visited Biden Sunday, according to two high-ranking Michigan Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The first-term governor of the battleground state has long been on his short list of possible running mates.