A representative purportedly from the group "Guardians of the Free Republics, De Jure Grand Juries" contacted the Nevada Appeal on Thursday, confirming that governors in all U.S. states have been asked to resign as part of the group's "Restore America Plan."
The Capitol was locked down after a letter to Gov. Jim Gibbons was intercepted Tuesday stating that governors who refused to resign would have their offices "commandeered." Metal detectors were installed to screen people and packages entering the building.
Similar letters were reportedly sent to all 50 U.S. governors.
An individual identifying himself as D. Merlin Campbell contacted the Nevada Appeal and denied that the Restore America Plan has any intention of violence.
Campbell described the letter as "a declaration from a lawful Grand Jury of 26 people in each state which is endeavoring to re-establish the true Republic in a peaceful and lawful manner."
"It does not represent a 'threat' from an 'extremist' (as is commonly associated with 'terrorist' in the media today) group but instead it is a real, legally binding document which is presented by a Grand Jury of regular people which declares that the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller and treasurer all must have lawful oaths of office in order operate in their respective positions."
A comment posted on the Appeal's Web site, purportedly from someone with the Guardians organization, accuses the government and media in the U.S. of treason, "Material support of terrorism through US Media for Political or monetary gain," and violations of the Patriot Act and Rico (anti-organized crime) Act.
It describes their plan as "a bold achievable strategy for behind-the-scenes peaceful reconstruction of the de jure institutions of government without controversy, violence or civil war."
"De jure" is Latin, in this context, for "lawful."
The letters sent to the governors are apparently from an organization allied with the "sovereign citizens" movement, which the Anti-Defamation League identifies as a collection of anti-government, anarchist groups whose followers believe every level of government in the country is illegitimate. One of that ideology's adherents was Terry Nichols, accomplice of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
"While there does not appear to be a credible or immediate threat of violence attached to the letters, we're working with state and local authorities to continue to assess the matter," said FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey of Las Vegas.
He said the letters are from a "sovereign citizen extremist group" and that those groups "reject all forms of government authority."
Dickey said those groups don't believe they have to pay taxes or obey federal, state or local laws.
He also confirmed that similar letters were sent to governors across the nation.
Gibbons' Deputy Chief of Staff Lynn Hettrick said the enhanced security was out of caution to ensure the safety of the staffs of the five constitutional officers located in the Capitol.
Not only were six of the seven doors into the building locked down, a grounds crew used heavy equipment to place large boulders at the ungated entrances to the Capitol grounds.