One of the men accused of hatching a plot to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attended a Black Lives Matter rally this summer.
“One of the alleged plotters, 23-year-old Daniel Harris, attended a Black Lives Matter protest in June, telling the Oakland County Times he was upset about the killing of George Floyd and police violence,” the Washington Post reported.
Harris told the Oakland County Times that Floyd’s death was a “shame” and made comments critical of law enforcement officials.
“It is a shame what happened with George Floyd and instances where law enforcement officers murder an unarmed man/woman who isn’t resisting arrest, was complying with the orders is wrong and need to be stopped. You look at photos and videos of news teams and protesters being beaten by riot police when they are there peacefully, you see people losing their eyes because of an officer shoots them with a ‘non-lethal’ round like pepper balls, or rubber bullets,” he said at the time. “I’ve gone through that sort of training and I can promise you weapons like that they can turn into a lethal round.”
“We went to the BLM protest yesterday in Lake Orion to show our support that everyone’s voice should be heard, no matter the color on your skin. Protesting is important to me because it gives us all a voice to be heard,” he added.
Harris is a former Marine who was living in his parents’ home and working as a construction worker. He was arrested last week for and charged federally with conspiring to kidnap the Democratic governor ahead of the election next month.
“He served in the Marines from 18 to 22 years old and just got out a year ago June,” Harris’s lawyer Parker Douglas told the media.
A total of six men have been charged federally in the plot. Seven additional men associated with the group “Wolverine Watchmen” were charged in state court for planning to storm the Michigan capitol building and inciting a “civil war.”
Whitmer accused President Trump of issuing a “rallying cry” that helped motivate the men to hatch the plot to kidnap her and overthrow the state government.
“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. ‘Stand back and stand by,’ he told them. ‘Stand back and stand by.’ Hate groups heard the president’s words, not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” Whitmer said.
“When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit,” she said.
Trump fired back that he does not “tolerate any extreme violence.”
“Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job,” the president tweeted Thursday. “She looked down her state for everyone, except for her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan.”
“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters, and Mobs that burn down Democrat-run cities,” he continued.
“I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence,” Trump said. “Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!”