DETROIT – Lawyers for defendants in the domestic terror plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer say their clients were all talk and never planned to intentionally carry out the plan.
Recently, the focus in the case has been on Hartland resident TY Garbin.
According to the FBI, he hosted the plotting group on his own property to allegedly continue to train and plan to kidnap the governor. Garbin’s lawyer argues those actions are protected by the constitution.
Since the plot to kidnap the governor hit like a bombshell last week, the Local 4 Defenders have been focused on Garbin and two other men from Metro Detroit who the FBI says are not just part of the group.
They say Daniel Harris of Lake Orion, Kaleb Franks of Waterford and Garbin were allegedly leaders of the group and wanted to kill the governor.
A hearing to see if the FBI has enough evidence on all the federally charged continued Friday.
Attorneys for Garbin and accused ringleader Adam Fox argued that talking about kidnapping the governor and storming the Capitol is protected free speech. The lawyers also argue that the meetings held on Garbin’s property are protected lawful assembly.
However, US Magistrate Judge Sally Berens blew the defense’s arguments out of the water.
Prosecutors say the men were amateurs with intentions to act.
The judge says a plan does not have to go into action to be guilty of conspiracy. She says the men relentlessly planned and trained.
Fox and Garbin were arrested Oct. 7 by the FBI. The judge says there is more than enough evidence to show the two were trying to buy parts for a bomb.
- Original story: FBI uncovers plan to kidnap Gov. Whitmer as hostage, overthrow Michigan government, feds say Friday update: Everything we knew about the case as of Friday (Oct. 9)
- Full plot timeline: Deep dive into the details of a scheme to kidnap Whitmer, hold her hostage
- Plot specifics: FBI: Group plotting to kidnap Whitmer wanted to take her to Wisconsin for ‘trial’ Leader of plot inspected bridge for where to plant explosives, FBI says
- Whitmer responds: Here’s what Whitmer said about group of Michiganders' plot to kidnap her
- Mugshots: View the mugshots for all 13 people officially charged in the case
- “Milita” vs. Domestic terrorism: Whitmer says, ‘They’re not militias. They’re domestic terrorists’
- Boogaloo connection: Kidnapping suspects linked to ‘boogaloo’ anti-government movement
- From first day in court (Oct. 13): FBI: Domestic terror group plotting against Whitmer also discussed kidnapping Virginia governor 3 men signed up, trained, plotted ways to kill Whitmer, according to FBI testimony Domestic terror plot leader wanted to leave Whitmer on boat in middle of Lake Michigan, FBI says How attorneys plan to defend men accused in kidnapping plot