As political tension are ramping up approaching the November presidential election, multiple people seeking to harm political figures have been arrested, their threats of violence under investigation by the FBI.

On Tuesday, a hearing was held to review evidence of abduction plot against Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Investigators were able to find evidence against conspirators Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, all of whom are from Michigan, alongside Barry Croft, from Delaware.

The six men had been arrested and charged on a federal level a week before for similarly plotting to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). They had planned to storm Whitmer’s vacation home, blow up a nearby bridge to slow the police response, kidnap the governor and take her out of state to hold a kangaroo court trial for treason. Seven other men were also charged in Michigan for providing material support for a terrorist act and felony firearms.

Seven associates of militia group Wolverine Watchmen were also arrested last week for similar reasons. Paul Bellar, Shawn Fix, Eric Molitor, Michael Null, William Null, Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison face 19 state felony charges after targeting law enforcement officers homes, threatening to instigate a civil war, and planning and training to attack the state capitol and officials, again including Governor Whitmer.

All three plots were apparently discussed at several June meetings in Ohio and Michigan, where members of anti-government groups from various states discussed their issues with the Michigan and Virginia governors’ responses to the pandemic. Apparently, meeting attendees believed that coronavirus-related policies showed that state governments held too much power. The meetings were open only to people willing to engage in abductions and violence against government officials, and included combat training and the construction of bombs.

Northam’s spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky attributes the numerous plans to President Donald Trump‘s rhetoric.

“Here’s the reality: President Trump called upon his supporters to “LIBERATE VIRGINIA” in April — just like Michigan,” Yarmosky said in a press release. “In fact, the President regularly encourages violence against those who disagree with him. The rhetoric coming out of this White House has serious and potentially deadly consequences. It must stop.”

Yarmosky was likely referring to the below tweet.

“Not everything we do is agreeable to all Virginians but when language is used such as “LIBERATE VIRGINIA” people find meaning in those words and thus these things happen and that’s regrettable,” added Northam himself.

Virginia House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, who has previously spoken out against Northam’s approach to the pandemic, issued a statement on the matter.

“We’re glad to know that these idiots were picked up by law enforcement before they could hurt anyone,” Gilbert said.

Defense attorneys for the six men charged on a federal level have said that they didn’t truly intend to follow through with their actions despite their planning, training, purchasing of firearms and construction of explosives. Federal attorneys have said that the groups’ violent plots pose a public safety risk regardless. The defendants face up to life in prison if convicted.

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