The federal government has charged six people with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, per newly unsealed court records.


The 13 men charged Thursday in a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used Facebook and secure messaging apps to connect and plot their attack.

The group’s use of Facebook spans almost a full year. Members began to use the social media platform as a recruitment tool in November 2019, according to an affidavit filed by Brian Russell, a detective sergeant with the Michigan State Police.

“Once recruited, members communicated via a secure, encrypted messaging platform,” Russell wrote.

The group of 13 men, members or associates of the militia group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, used Facebook and at least two encrypted messaging platforms to plan their attack and to share videos, photos and posts, according to the criminal complaint on file in the U.S. District Court