After the verdict came down in the trial of four men accused of a 2020 kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), her office warned that “extremists will be emboldened.”
On Friday, the jury acquitted two of the men and was hung — or couldn’t agree — in the case of two others.
“Americans—especially our children—are living through the normalization of political violence,” Whitmer’s chief of staff JoAnne Huls said in a statement reacting to the outcome.
She added that while a plot to kidnap a governor might “seem like an anomaly,” it actually is “the result of violent, divisive rhetoric that is all too common across our country.”
“There must be accountability and consequences for those who commit heinous crimes,” Whitmer’s office said. “Without accountability, extremists will be emboldened.”
During the trial, prosecutors said the men were motivated by anti-government extremism and angry at the COVID-19 restrictions Whitmer had put in place amid the pandemic.