“When you take a look at who was at that event, and you cross reference it with the names of the people that we’ve charged, you’ll see that many of them were in fact in attendance,” Dana Nessel said on Thursday in an interview on MSNBC.
She did not indicate which suspects attended were believed to have attended which rally, but there have been multiple demonstrations from armed militia groups at the state capitol to protest against Gov Whitmer’s coronavirus policies as well as to voice support for the Second Amendment.
The new information helps paint a picture of the six men from Wolverine Watchmen, a Michigan militia, who were charged with plotting to kidnap the governor and put her through a “treason” trial.
Attorney General Nessel also said that she’s concerned that some law enforcement officials in Michigan, especially local sheriffs, seemed to provide tacit or direct endorsement to members of these militia groups.
“I have a hard time as a law enforcement official seeing how any law enforcement officials could possibly support these types of groups, or want to intermingle with them, or want to participate in any of their events, but I’m telling you, that is what we’ve actually seen,” she said.
The militias are part of a network of highly commingled groups in the state that often support radical anti-government stances and white supremacy, Ms Nessel said.
Gov Whitmer had harsh words in a Thursday news conference for any government official who doesn’t condemn these groups—and for her that included the president.
“Just last week the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” she said, referring to Mr Trump’s remarks about the white supremacist group the Proud Boys during the first presidential debate.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Mr Trump said after being asked to denounce the group. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem.”