Adam Fox, 40, and Daniel Joseph Harris, 23, both of Michigan, and Delaware resident Barry Croft, 45, are also charged in a kidnapping conspiracy that was uncovered by state authorities and the FBI last year. The trio is part of more than a dozen men charged in connection to the case.
Federal prosecutors allege the three men plotted to use explosives during the attempted kidnapping.
“The superseding indictment further alleges that Fox, Croft and Harris intended to use the devices to destroy a nearby bridge, in effect, harming and hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers,” the Justice Department said.
Eight others face state charges associated with the “Wolverine Watchmen,” a militia group that engaged in tactical and firearms training. Three of those men have had terrorism charges against them recently dropped.
Federal prosecutors allege the suspects were angry at Whitmer because of her coronavirus-related lockdown measures. In a series of scenarios, the group allegedly discussed storming the Michigan Capitol in Lansing and televised executions of elected officials.
They eventually settled on a plan to abduct Whitmer, a Democrat, from her vacation home and put her on trial for treason, authorities said.
Part of the plan allegedly included detonating explosives on a bridge to delay police from responding. In September, Fox allegedly ordered $4,000 worth of explosives from an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a co-conspirator, authorities said.
Defense lawyers have portrayed their clients as “tough talkers” who were never serious about following through with their actions. Critics party blamed then-President Trump for inflaming tensions about Whitmer’s restriction to slow down COVID-19 infections across the state.
At one point, he tweeted: “Liberate Michigan,” which some took as a threat.
Five of the six defendants face up to life in prison on the kidnapping conspiracy charge. Ty Gabin pleaded guilty to the kidnap charged in December. He also faces life in prison and is awaiting sentencing.