A sitting Sheriff in Michigan who appeared on stage at an anti lockdown protest with one of the men arrested in the alleged foiled plot to kidnap Gov Gretchen Whitmer has said the plan may have been more of an “arrest”.
The FBI said on Thursday it had broken up a militia plot to kidnap Gov Whitmer and six men have since been charged federally in the alleged plot. Seven other people have been charged by the state, CNN reported.
Brothers Micheal and William Null, who had ties to militia groups, were charged with material support for terrorist acts and possessing firearms in commission of a felony, WWMT reported.
Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, who appeared on stage with William Null at a protest against Gov Whitmer’s stay at home order in May, spoke to Fox 17 about their arrest.
“I was shocked I did not see this coming for those guys but still we can’t convict them in the news media here they do have a right to a fair trial,” Sheriff Leaf told the broadcaster.
When asked if he had any regrets about being on stage with one of the men charged in the alleged plot, he did not express any remorse and went on to question whether the group were actually trying to carry out an “arrest”.
“It’s just a charge,” he said. “Are they trying to kidnap? Because a lot of people are angry with the governor and they want her arrested. So are they trying to arrest or was it a kidnap attempt?”
He outlined the states law on executing a felony arrest saying: “so I have to look at it from that angle and I’m hoping that's more what it is. In fact these guys are innocent until proven guilty so I’m not even sure if they had any part in it.”
The sheriff said he did not know of the alleged involvement in the plot, and also said he had hadn’t read everything up on it as he had “other duties to do”.