Columbia County man close to extradition to Michigan for involvement in Whitmer plot

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her DNC address, Aug. 17, 2020 | Julia Picket photo
    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her DNC address, Aug. 17, 2020 | Julia Picket photo

    A Wisconsin Dells man is in custody at the Columbia County Jail for his involvement in a plot to kidnap and execute Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The man is in the process of being extradited to Michigan to face a felony charge for providing material to support a terrorist act. 

    Brian P. Higgins, 52, appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court Wednesday for a hearing on the status of his extradition. Higgins is accused of providing night vision goggles to the plotters and surveilling Whitmer’s vacation home with a dashboard camera. 

    After Wednesday’s hearing, Higgins turned himself in to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Gov. Tony Evers has signed the extradition warrant to send Higgins to Michigan. 

    The plot was uncovered in October when 13 men were charged in state and federal court for planning to kidnap Whitmer from her Michigan vacation home and take her to Wisconsin to give her a “trial” and execute her for instituting measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. The plan involved blowing up bridges as a way to distract pursuing law enforcement officers. 

    Higgins is the 14th man charged for involvement in the plot but not the only Wisconsin tie. Court documents show that the group conducted training exercises at a residence outside Cambria. 

    New court filings, released this week, show that bringing Whitmer to Wisconsin wasn’t the plotters’ only idea. 

    The filings show that “Plan B” involved 200 combatants taking over the Michigan Capitol. They would then hold a weeklong series of televised executions of Whitmer and other public officials.

    The show trial scenario isn’t the only one that was discussed. “Plan C” was burning down the building and leaving no survivors.

    Higgins is next scheduled to appear in court for a motion hearing on Dec. 15. 

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    Susan Demas of the Michigan Advance contributed to this story

    Henry Redman
    Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.