How Anti-Lockdown Protestors Led the FBI to Hartland Township

Guest host Russ McNamara speaks with WDET reporter Eli Newman on the raid that led to charges of domestic terrorism, and how an emboldened rightwing militia movement has become a feature of 2020.

Six people have been charged in federal court with plotting to kidnap Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and leave havoc in their wake. Attorney General Dana Nessel says seven more men – affiliated with the militia group ‘Wolverine Watchmen’ face state terrorism charges.   

But this isn’t the first sign of an emboldened rightwing militia movement in MIchigan. 

“Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan.” — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Screen Grab
Screen Grab

Law enforcement have said the accused operated under a rightwing ideology that surfaced earlier in the year at protests in Lansing that featured armed men inside the Capitol. Three men arrested on Wednesday as part of the domestic terror plot carried rifles into the senate chamber back in May.  

Speaking yesterday after news of the plots against her was revealed, Whitmer criticized President Trump for failing to denounce right-wing militia groups in last week’s presidential debate.  She says violent bigots will find no quarter in this state.  

“Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “If you break the law or conspire to commit heinous acts of violence against anyone, we will find you. We will hold you accountable and we will bring you to justice.”  

Listen: How the rightwing anti-lockdown protests led to a plot to overthrow the government and an FBI raid this week.


Russ McNamara is host of “All Things Considered” and guest host of Detroit Today. He has been reported on anti-lockdown protestors and gun violence in Michigan. 

WDET reporter Eli Newman visited the site of an FBI raid on Wednesday in Hartland Township in Livingston County. That property, above, later turned out to be linked to one of the men charged with conspiracy to kidnap the governor, Ty Garbin. Newman went to Garbin’s home yesterday and spoke with nearby residents.

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.
  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.