Crime, Violent Crime, State Courts, State Governments, Government And Politics, Courts, Judiciary, National Courts, National Governments, Kidnapping, Gretchen Whitmer, Ralph Northam, Michigan State Government, Michigan, North

Crime, Violent Crime

Judge finds cases against 5 in Whitmer plot can move forward

A federal judge says prosecutors have enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

10/18/2020 4:08:00 PM

JUST IN: Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells GStephanopoulos Trump’s rhetoric at Michigan rally was “irresponsible.” “The president has to realize that words of the president of the United States weigh a ton … the biggest antidote to his poison is the vote.”

A federal judge says prosecutors have enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated PressGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Prosecutors provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state’s governor because of her measures to control spread of the coronavirus and they will all remain held without bond, a federal judge ruled Friday.

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A two-day preliminary hearing in Grand Rapids 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.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens said the five men's cases can go to a grand jury, which will determine whether to issue indictments. That is required for them to face trial.Berens also ruled following a Friday bond hearing that Ty Garbin will remain in custody along with Adam Fox, who waived his right to a hearing. Berens on Tuesday denied bond for the three other Michigan residents charged in the case: Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta.

A sixth man, Barry Croft, was separately ordered on Tuesday to be transferred to Michigan from his home state of Delaware.Authorities allege members of two anti-government paramilitary groups took part in plotting the kidnapping of Whitmer. Six men, led by Fox of the “Michigan III%ers,” are charged in federal court. Eight others are believed to be members or associates of a group called the Wolverine Watchmen and are charged in state court with counts including providing material support for terrorist acts.

The federal preliminary hearing began Tuesday and wrapped up Friday. Agent Richard Trask testified that members of anti-government paramilitary groups from several states discussed abducting Whitmer or Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam during a June meeting in Ohio.

Fox and Croft were among those who attended that session, according to testimony and court documents. But it was not clear if talk of targeting Northam went beyond that meeting, and nothing from the complaint or Trask’s testimony indicated that anyone had been charged with a plot involving Northam.

The men could get up to life in prison if convicted.Several of their defense attorneys implied during questioning that their clients were “big talkers” who did not intend to follow through with action.“It’s loose talk,” Scott Graham, an attorney for Franks, said. “And again, the point is: What has been done to show you that there was an actual agreement?”

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler, though, argued that the group demonstrated their discussions were serious by taking steps to keep them secret, including using encrypted chat tools. Authorities found conversations among group members in which they were worried that federal authorities had infiltrated their planning sessions, he said.

Some of them also participated in surveillance of Whitmer’s northern Michigan home, Kessler said, rejecting defense attorneys’ implication that the men participated in paramilitary group exercises without a specific plan for using those techniques.“You’re crossing a pretty serious line when you go in the middle of the night in multiple cars and stage up at a gas station and ... you go to the house of the sitting governor of the state to go surveil their house at night,” Kessler said.

Berens agreed, saying prosecutors didn’t have to show the men “signed on a dotted line" at this stage of their case.A preliminary hearing is sometimes described as a mini-trial but requires a lower standard of proof — probable cause — than a criminal trial. Berens found that the information presented showed the men had a unified purpose — to kidnap Whitmer — allowing the case to move forward.

“The fact that (the plan) was likely to be unsuccessful or difficult to accomplish” isn’t relevant, she said.Douglas Parker, the attorney for Harris, said outside the courthouse that he disagreed with the judge’s decision.“There were a bunch of questions that are still unknown by the hearing, and we’re going to have to see where the evidence goes," Parker said."All I’d say is: Keep an open mind.”

Whitmer, who is nearly halfway through a four-year term, has been widely praised for her response to the coronavirus but also criticized by some conservatives. The state Capitol has been the site of many rallies, some with gun-toting protesters demanding her ouster.

Michigan — particularly the Detroit area — was hit hard early during the pandemic, leading Whitmer to restrict personal movement and the economy. Many of the limits have since been lifted.Some of the Wolverine Watchmen are accused of planning and training for other violent crimes such as storming the Michigan Capitol building and attacking law enforcement officers.

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CNN's Erin Burnett discusses President Trump holding rallies with thousands of supports packed together with few masks despite the coronavirus pandemic and the herd immunity proposal Trump is touting.

GStephanopoulos READ!!!APPARENTLY UNDERSTANDING IS THE PROBLEM!!! GStephanopoulos Lying Nancy Have Some Ice Cream out of Your New Freezers You Bought with Americans Hard Earned Money :(( GStephanopoulos Well, at least thats cleated up... GStephanopoulos JoeBiden OregonGovBrown President is going to do what he does best.. Actions of a tyrant. He wants mayhem on voting day. Less votes for Biden. If you see a person with an exposed gun capture it with your cell phone and call 911.

GStephanopoulos DumbAssNancy NervousNancy CrazyNancy AllTalkNoActionDemocrats DumbAss DummyRats aka Democrats GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos Nancy Pelosi should be impeached GStephanopoulos God she’s horrible GStephanopoulos Cover that thing..... yeesh GStephanopoulos Or tear up the state of the union address! Nothing brings a country together like that, right Nancy? What a hypocrite!

TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos Every time I see your face I cringe 😡 GStephanopoulos Shut up SpeakerPelosi GStephanopoulos Unfortunately she’s not wrong GStephanopoulos Does Biden’s underhand deals weigh a ton? Really skelator listen to yourself you and your lies. GStephanopoulos Governor Whitmer Nervous like Nancy? All those Nursing Home Deaths are coming back to haunt her irresponsibility for Mass Murder? Wonder if there is correspondence within the DNC party of criminals?🤔

GStephanopoulos Republican House Nov.3rd MAGA TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos Trump lives and loves to promote National and Racial division and hate. He promotes home grown terror groups and will not come out against them as the terrorist and racist people love him . It is a fact

GStephanopoulos But the women march yesterday was okay? Thousands and thousands of people together but nope... nothing. I guess COVID knows the difference between a Trump rally and the women’s March. GStephanopoulos Esta señora ya es hora q se recoja en su casa a vivir de la pensión . GStephanopoulos But the people doing the riots or the protest in the streets are not irresponsible right ? 🙄

TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos 🇺🇸GOP Reckless disregard to households during COVID-19 (ongoing) global pandemic is inhumane. GOP allowed the CARES Act to expire— after Fed’s ⚠️🚨 STIMULUS👇🏾 “79 days since Congress let $600/week federal unemployment benefit lapse for +20 million.” GStephanopoulos Did Pelosi have a word with VP Biden? His son was getting pretty millions just for introducing VP Biden to Chinese investers.

GStephanopoulos Nancy said this?!!!!!! What did she say about being 100% maskless, and visiting a Closed California Hair Salon for a couple of hours? Please pass along her comments on that, George “Huuuuuuuge Dem” Snuffleuffagus!! Thank you. GStephanopoulos Nancy get out of your 10million dollar home and let’s get a stemulas bill passed before I lose my home ! WAKE UP

GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos It's much worse than that SpeakerPelosi. TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos Fox News reported that Joe Biden was identified as a FINANCIAL BENEFICIARY in a deal worked out between Hunter and a Chinese energy company tied to the communist government. And Joe Biden hasn’t denied it.

GStephanopoulos Miss Gourmet Ice Cream has spoken GStephanopoulos Exactly. The best cure for this poison is to vote Nancy out of the house!!! She is a complete and utter disgrace to this country!! GStephanopoulos Way to not hold republicans accountable... disgusting display of complacency George. What are you doing?

GStephanopoulos Nancy Pelosi’s rhetoric is irresponsible GStephanopoulos WHO WILL SPEAK UP? Miles Kwok, multi-billionaire, known associate of the Chinese Communist Party China’s Antifa movement has targeted several human/religious rights advocates to be executed, listing a pastor named Bob Fu at the top of the list, who is currently in the U.S.

GStephanopoulos Of course abc does not challenge her and will never let the president have a defense to her BS GStephanopoulos Irresponsible is an understatement,damn right evil. Blood on his hands. GStephanopoulos Nancy should do what Feinstein did and hug it out, one major reason we are in this situation

GStephanopoulos SF is no free speech zone controlled by ANTIFA GStephanopoulos Probably because her son is doing the same thing as HB. TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos I respect the office but not the ridiculous man. I'm losing faith in the other offices for not taking trump down for crime against humanity in the face of the world watching. Maybe WHO will have too do something.

GStephanopoulos George and Nancy when will you report about Hunter’s emails and stop protecting your corrupt candidate! Hunter’s emails are the big story here!! Corruption!! GStephanopoulos Impeach again ifuaskmee GStephanopoulos Charles Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people, including Sharon Tate. The prosecution contended that, while Manson never directly ordered the murders, his ideology constituted an overt act of conspiracy.

GStephanopoulos Biased crap media news - you should be embarrassed TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos So now telling the TRUTH is an Issue? If Trump wins you guys are gonna be out of business... GStephanopoulos Hey Nancy .. after 4 years in office you'd think you have a better understanding that he's not gonna follow any rules. Wake your ass up ..

GStephanopoulos Did she do a handstand to wake herself up? TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos Nancy said it so it must be true... You should be fired George.. You have no business working at a 'News' Channel... TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos Lower that damn bill you need to compromise you witch GStephanopoulos What about the FBI not investigating Hunter Biden’s laptop which has pedo shit on it? Doing blow off a hookers azz? Proof of pay to play scam, selling of access, text that he gives 50% of his “salary” to his dad vp Joe Biden “News”, I don’t think you know what that word means.

GStephanopoulos Hey woman stop hating against white people and I don’t care how rich you are - what are you about 110 years old - somebody needs to fire you . You just hate white people TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos Nanc by far is worst! A pure evil woman who needs to resign. She is full of hate and distain of the people's President!!! She needs to move on.

GStephanopoulos Just wondering if Biden is on China’s payroll what about Nancy maybe we should check her finances? GStephanopoulos Nancy Escariate is irrelevant, end of story. Ian Kelso GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos The Queen of horrific rhetoric complaining about rhetoric is peak 2020. I’m old enough to remember when NP called her opponents “domestic enemies”. TERM LIMITS NOW!!!!!

GStephanopoulos Speaking of IRRESPONSIBLE! You refuse to report on the JoeBiden & Hunter Biden & their Pay to Play SCANDAL! There is illegality all over the place as well as PROOF that Joe Biden LIED about knowing the Ukraine prosecutor was going after Hunter! FAKENEWS GStephanopoulos Please stop the politics already and pass a plan so I can feed my kids!!!

GStephanopoulos Who Is George Stephanopoulos? He began his career in Washington, D.C., as an aide to an Ohio congressman and later helped with Bill Clinton's 1991 presidential campaign, becoming a trusted advisor post-election. Stephanopoulos eventually joined the staff of ABC GStephanopoulos Vote RED and take California BACK! Recall Newsom! Vote Pelosi out! Open California❤🇺🇸❤🇺🇸❤🇺🇸

GStephanopoulos New York Post wrote: “Morning, noon and night, Trump is in Pelosi’s thoughts and on her lips. She brings him up spontaneously in interviews. She talks about his “manhood” and his “fitness” and once called him a “big Humma-Humma.” She quivers at the sound of his name.” TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos take medicine 💊! She must be a patient with mania!

TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos And vote we shall... TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos But what about Biden getting money from China and Ukraine? Isn’t that weighty too GStephanopoulos Ask about the Biden sell out ? GStephanopoulos 'Good Morning....It's Sunday Morning.' TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos Says the woman who has her hair blown out in the pandemic and $12,000 refrigerator filled with icecream and refuses to negotiate because she does not know how, walks away from press, etc..yeah okay GStephanopoulos you are really weak. You play politics

GStephanopoulos Democrats rhetoric on collusion by President is what’s irresponsible since Dems own desired special investigator proved it false. Need to question collusion between some Democrats with Russia & other foreign companies & Governments. George, what happened to truth in journalism? GStephanopoulos Polling shows she’s down -16.2 points with 53.4% of those polled oppose her re-election In “liberal California”, she’s done.

TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos Hierarchy of controlling coronavirus GStephanopoulos I agree with you Nancy. Pretty quick we will have people saying false things and irresponsible rheteric about a sitting president.. can you imagine if a president was impeached for rheteric and false inuendo made up by an oposing candidate

TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos 2 hacks GStephanopoulos SpeakerPelosi TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos This coming from the woman who gets privileged treatment at a spa while not wearing a mask and the state on lockdown. TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos GStephanopoulos Adam Schiff is at it again! He’s not trying to get to the truth of the Hunter Biden laptop, he’s trying to cover it up! That Hunter Biden has not denied the laptop or the information on it means he’s GUILTY! The Biden family has made millions from favors to China and Russia!

GStephanopoulos Give upon trying to use logic, decency, or shame on Trump...none of it will work. He is truly demented. GStephanopoulos Ridiculous at this point TeamPelosi GStephanopoulos nagging Navy P is the one that is irresponsible the way she is treating the American people of all colors and rases vote her out

GStephanopoulos When is this wing nut going to retire? So tired of her lies. They need a new wing nut. GStephanopoulos I have an idea Madame Speaker, as each child is born and register, the Federal Government. Opens an account for them. Tax credits and such are deposited to the child's account. When they reach 25, they get the money. Parents can never access the account!

GStephanopoulos 🤥🤔? What was that GStephanopoulos I truly fear this is leading to people getting killed by his rabid followers who have lost themselves to the Cult. We must all keep our eyes open. GStephanopoulos Don't forget Covid is racist! And also, there were no newsworthy emails from Hunter Biden discovered. Your news is trash. GStephanopoulos is trash. Proving you are the enemy of the people by not covering stories that would hurt YOUR ORGINAZTION'S preferred candidate

GStephanopoulos What about the free speech rally in San Francisco that was violently attacked by a mob of antifa who were clearly incited by the rhetoric they're hearing from Democrats and their media? GStephanopoulos So... Goldman Sachs would hire a person with Trumps resume to lead their multi-trillion $ hedge fund? Of course not... so why would Americans elect a President who has bankrupt his own businesses 6x, to dodge creditors, taxes... doesn’t make sense.

GStephanopoulos MADAME. OR MADAMO,PELOSI.. HORROR,RADIKAL COMUNIST,BILIONAIRE,FALSE/ FAKE. DEMOCRATIC..- ASINA COMUNISTA,RAGLIANTE.. GStephanopoulos Trump is over, the worst president ever. GStephanopoulos I guess 5 years of the dems and the media calling our President a Nazi, a Russian asset, a national security threat, etc.... is somehow not responsible for people trying to shoot up republicans at a softball game and sending ricin to the president, though, right?

GStephanopoulos Instead of talking about it maybe hold him accountable for inciting violence against an elected official. GStephanopoulos JUST IN: Verified emails show Joe Biden corruption in international business dealings with his son while VP GStephanopoulos All Democrats have to offer with Biden is 'we are not Trump.' That's not good enough. I'll be sitting out. Trump and Biden are doppelgangers.

GStephanopoulos SpeakerPelosi is 3rd in line to the nuke codes and should follow her own advice. She has treated the President of the United States horribly with her rhetoric for 4yrs now. We need term limits- Nancy must go! GStephanopoulos MAGA cultists, you will not be allowed to assist your dear ones when they will die alone of COVID-19 in the hospital, but, it is what it is.

GStephanopoulos It didn't take long for the Russians to spread their Propaganda on this comment section.... GStephanopoulos Where is the story about Hunter Biden? GStephanopoulos Dear willcain please GET UR FACTS STRAIGHT = MI is ACTUALLY in GOP side in EARLY VOTING realDonaldTrump 41% JoeBiden 39% = AND THAT IS FACT JedediahBila PeteHegseth it is RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION 😂😂 FoxNews CNN FBI get the INFO 2 THE PUBLIC GStephanopoulos DanScavino

GStephanopoulos When will people realize it’s not ‘rhetoric’? It’s a promise. GStephanopoulos It didn't take long for the Russians to spread their Propaganda on this comment section....

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Federal judge rules five men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan's governor will stand trialA federal magistrate has ruled that five men will stand trial in connection with the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Macron: You may be a secular country but people need to respect other people's religion! Don't bring caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to class! We are NOT terrorists: we do not put up with disrespect and this unfortunate killing! WHY you close your eyes!!!More than 10 civilians killed, around 40 are wounded. Rescue operations continue. Armenia's policy of state terror must be stopped.‼️‼️‼️ StopArmenianTerrorism StopArmenianAggression Ganja PrayForGanja If true, throw the book at them.