Judge finds cases against 5 in Whitmer plot can move forward

Additional suspects charged in kidnapping plot against Gov. Whitmer

A sixth man, DE resident Barry Croft, was separately ordered to be transferred to MI earlier this week.

An alleged leader in a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer waived his right to a bail hearing on Friday and will remain in custody until his trial before a grand jury in federal court. That is required for them to face trial.

The preliminary hearing began Tuesday and featured hours of testimony by a lead Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on the MI case, revealing new detail about investigators' use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to thwart the purported scheme.

The preliminary hearing began Tuesday and wrapped up Friday. Investigators say Higgins helped in the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer from her vacation home.

In one clip a group of men dressed in military gear get out of a auto and fire rounds from assault rifles into the distance.

She disagreed with defense attorneys who tried to argue that the plot amounted to just "loose talk".

Higgins participated "in a plan of domestic terrorism that included storming the Michigan Capitol building and harming government officials, "the attorney general's office said".

Higgins, like his seven co-defendants charged in state court, has been charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, Nessel said. "And again, the point is: What has been done to show you that there was an actual agreement?"

The video formed part of the evidence submitted by federal prosecutors during a two day court hearing in the state.

"This should be a moment for national unity where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on", she said.

Berens agreed, saying prosecutors didn't have to show the men "signed on a dotted line" at this stage of their case. Berens found that the information presented in testimony and in court documents showed the men had a unified objective - to kidnap Whitmer - allowing the case to move forward.

The latest suspect in the alleged conspiracy, Brian Higgins, 51, was arrested on Thursday in his home state of Wisconsin, where he now faces extradition proceedings, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a press statement.

"The fact that (the plan) was likely to be unsuccessful or hard to accomplish" isn't relevant to decide whether there is probable cause that they made a plan, she said.



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