Tim Pawlenty is among more than 30 governors who’ve received letters from a “sovereign citizens’ extremist group” identified by the FBI as the Guardians of the Free Republics urging him to resign within three days or be removed. Pawlenty confirmed he received the letter, but says he’s unconcerned.
The group’s website outlines the thinking behind its aim to “restore Biblical law to a devoutly secular population.” It seeks to accomplish its goals “BEHIND THE SCENES, lawfully, peacefully, without violence and without risking civil war.” FBI officials have told governors they have no specific knowledge of plans to use violence but are cautioning police to be alert in case other individuals interpret the letters “as a justification for violence or other criminal actions.”
Its members believe the group’s plan can act as a “vehicle for relieving corporate tyranny. In due time, the higher goal of salvaging the souls of mankind can be addressed.”
The Anti-Defamation League defines a “sovereign citizens” group as:
a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who have adopted a right-wing anarchist ideology originating in the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s. Its adherents believe that virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate and they seek to “restore” an idealized, minimalist government that never actually existed. To this end, sovereign citizens wage war against the government and other forms of authority using “paper terrorism” harassment and intimidation tactics, and occasionally resorting to violence.