Man accused in plot to kidnap governor ‘posted Donald Trump threat online’

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Croft made threatening online comments about President Donald Trump, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and other prominent political figures, © AP/Press Association Images
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By John Flesher, Associated Press

A man charged in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap Michigan’s governor also made threatening comments online about Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, an FBI agent said.

Barry Croft, a Delaware resident, is one of six purported members of an extremist paramilitary group accused of scheming to kidnap Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer because of her shutdown orders to control the coronavirus.

He rallied against numerous present and former elected leaders in private Facebook posts, special agent Kristopher Long said in a court filing.


Mr Long described the posts in an affidavit supporting a request for a warrant to search an account that Croft allegedly created on September 2 and closed three weeks later.

The court filing said one Facebook post in May showed an image of Mr Trump with a caption reading: “True colors shining through, wanna hang this mf’er too!!!%”

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Another post the next day said: “I say we hang everything currently governing us, they’re all guilty!!% And what a deterrent, Rope!!!%”

Other profanity-laced posts spoke of hanging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “for war crimes against humanity”, the affidavit said.

Another asked, “Which Governor is going to end up dragged off, and hung for treason first?”


Governor Gretchen Whitmer was subject of a kidnap plot (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

An exchange between Croft and an unidentified person referred to protests and “potential acts of violence” in South Carolina.

“I’ll be in Columbia, SC on Friday,” Croft allegedly wrote on May 4. “They say they want their Governor in custody. … I want to grab them all, and hold trial.”

A photograph of a noose carried a caption calling for hanging Mr Obama, “both Clinton’s, Democrats, Liberals, Muslims” and others including “Ihan Omar” and “A.O.C.,” apparent references to Democratic US Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the document said.

Eight men said to be members or associates of a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen and are charged in state court with counts including providing material support for terrorist acts.

Some are accused of taking part in the alleged scheme against Mrs Whitmer.

Defence lawyers have described the suspects as “big talkers” who never intended to follow through with action.

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