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Douglas Andrews / August 26, 2021

Whitmer Plotter Pleads to Six Years in Prison

The first of those who plotted to kidnap the Michigan governor has been sentenced. But is Lady Justice really being served?

If there’s a lesson to be learned from the non-kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, it’s that the First Amendment doesn’t protect excessively stupid or dangerous speech. Another lesson is that the FBI will go to great lengths to entrap you if you become overly concerned about the liberty-sapping power of those elected to govern us — especially if, for example, that concern manifests itself in fantasies of kidnapping a despotic Democrat governor.

Wednesday, a 25-year-old Michigan man was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last year. The sentencing comes after the man, Ty Gerard Garbin, copped a plea and agreed to turn state’s evidence against his fellow plotters.

Garbin is the first of the plotters to be sentenced. State guidelines called for 14 to 17 years behind bars, but his lawyer bargained for a more lenient sentence, arguing that his client’s cooperation signaled an “extraordinary acceptance of his responsibility for his actions.”

Garbin had a clean criminal record until he apparently started buying into an undercover FBI agent’s outlandish designs. Last month, the Washington Examiner and other outlets reported that members of the group, which called themselves the Wolverine Watchmen, say they were set up by more than a dozen FBI agents who’d infiltrated the group and played a much bigger role in the plot than had been previously reported.

One of the FBI’s informants, they claim, was so deeply involved in the group that he rose to become its second in command. Another agent, Richard Trask, who’s actually at the center of the entire plot, was arraigned recently on a charge of intent to do great bodily harm less than murder to his wife. Class act, he.

Yet the case goes on, and with little apparent concern about the FBI’s alleged overzealousness.

In an excessively wordy, preachy, and self-aggrandizing “victim impact statement,” Governor Whitmer said, in part:

The last 18 months have taken a toll on me. But this is bigger than me. It has taken a toll on my family, the community, the state, the nation, and democracy itself. No one has been untouched by the crisis that has plagued us.

The plots and threats against me, no matter how disturbing, could not deter me from doing everything I could to save as many lives as possible by listening to medical and health experts. To me it is very simple: this had to be the priority.

The details of the plot against me are terrifying enough that if I could have, I would have shielded my family and friends from them. My gratitude for the brave law enforcement officers of the Michigan State Police and the FBI is enormous. But even now we have not reached the far shore. Threats continue. I have looked out my windows and seen large groups of heavily armed people within thirty yards of my home. I have seen myself hung in effigy. Days ago at a demonstration there was a sign that called for ‘burning the witch.’ For me, things will never be the same.

The damage this will do to us is hard to predict, but I am certain that there must be consequences for those who try to take us down this dark path. The rise in violent extremism in America is one of the gravest threats we face. The violent insurrection we witnessed on January 6 is not an anomaly, it is our future if we do not work to address how we got here. … Lies, radicalization and violent extremism are an existential threat to what we value. Now, more than ever, it threatens our future and the future we envisioned for our children.

Whitmer went on to say that we’re “a nation of laws,” but she failed to acknowledge how unevenly those laws are being enforced these days. For example, if you’re the son of a prominent Democrat, you can peddle influence with foreign governments and you can lie on federal gun forms with absolute impunity. And if you’re a former Democrat secretary of state, you can skirt our nation’s federal record-keeping laws and destroy evidence under subpoena without a care in the world. And if you’re a Democrat member of Congress, you can be found to have fraudulently married your brother in order to skirt our nation’s immigration laws and not have to worry about the FBI. And you can riot and loot and destroy property on behalf of an approved leftist cause without a care in the world. Heck, prominent Democrats like Kamala Harris might even contribute funds to bail you out.

But if you’re a no-name schlub on the Right, and you think the 2020 election was rife with fraud and not properly adjudicated, well, as they say in the Corps, Stand the f— by.

“I think we all share, to some extent, a concern about where America is in 2021,” said Garbin’s lawyer, Mark Satawa, outside the courthouse. “We can’t even agree to disagree.”

On these points we agree, but it appears that only those who disagree with Democrats and their policies are getting the attention of federal authorities.

A third lesson from this sorry story, then, is that you’re perfectly free to fantasize about assaulting, maiming, or killing a Republican president like Donald Trump, but don’t you dare even dream of kidnapping a Democrat governor like Gretchen Whitmer.

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