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Jury Finds Two Men Guilty In Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


A jury has handed down a verdict in the case involving two of the men accused of devising a plot in the summer of 2020 to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

According to a local report, the jury found Adam Fox, 39, guilty of conspiracy to kidnap the Democratic governor as well as conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, the jury found Barry Croft Jr., 46, guilty of conspiracy to kidnap the governor, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

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Whitmer issued a statement following news of the guilty verdicts.

“I want to thank the prosecutors and law enforcement officers for their hard work, and my family, friends, and staff for their support. Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable. They will not succeed,” she said.

“But we must also take a hard look at the status of our politics. Plots against public officials and threats to the FBI are a disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism that festers in our nation, threatening the very foundation of our republic,” she added.

“I ran for office because I love my fellow Michiganders and my home state with all my heart. I always will. I cannot — I will not — let extremists get in the way of the work we do. They will never break my unwavering faith in the goodness and decency of our people. I will stay focused on getting things done for the people of Michigan.”

ClickOnDetroit added:

Prosecutors said some of the best evidence against Fox and Croft came from their own words, either written by them or secretly recorded by FBI agents and informants during weeks of surveillance in three states.

Defense lawyers, meanwhile, pounced on the FBI in their closing arguments, linking any scheme to rogue operatives, not a band of anti-government rebels.

Previously the federal government was unable to convict any of the men allegedly involved in the plot. In fact, earlier this month, the behavior of FBI informants was once again being scrutinized in the federal government’s botched case.

The bureau’s use of such sources was at the center of a second trial involving Fox and Croft, two men who were initially arrested in connection with the alleged plot, The Daily Wire reported.

In April, a jury hung on federal charges of a conspiracy involving defendants Adam Fox and Barry Croft while also acquitting two others in the case. Two additional men pleaded guilty to the allegation before the first trial started in March, the outlet continued.

The Daily Wire adds:

After the government failed to secure a conviction on a single charge in April, federal prosecutors chose to pursue the case against Fox and Croft again. The FBI arrested the two men in October 2020 after a seven-month investigation into a conspiracy to kidnap and potentially assassinate Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

While the men made violent statements against Whitmer and concocted plots, sometimes extravagant, against the governor over her COVID regulations and other actions, the defendants’ attorneys have argued that their clients were just venting. The attorneys further argued that the investigation, which involved dozens of FBI agents and informants, amounted to entrapment.

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Prosecutors have said that the defendants were part of a dangerous and radical group that took concrete steps to carry out kidnapping and potentially killing the governor. Those steps included several training camps and two trips to survey the governor’s vacation cottage.

As in the first trial, Fox’s and Croft’s legal defense primarily hinged on the behavior of the bureau’s confidential human sources.

During the trial, their attorneys honed in on relationships that two of the informants, Jenny Plunk and Steve Robeson, had with the defendants. Both of the CI’s (confidential informants) smoked pot — a federal crime — with Croft, while at another point, Plunk shared a hotel room with him, Yahoo News reported.

“Does the FBI have a policy about opposite-gender sources sleeping in the same room?” Croft attorney Joshua Blanchard asked FBI Special Agent Christopher Long, before going on to inquire as to whether the agent had ever been a part of a case involving an informant sleeping in the same room as a suspect.

Long said that he had not.

In addition, Long was about a text he had sent to Plunk at another point in the investigation after a group of militia members sought to put distance between them and Croft, with Long pushing Plunk to try and keep the group together.

“You just have to find common ground … Show them the good ideas Croft brought, and show them what’s workable and not. A compromise may be needed on both sides,” he said, FOX 17 reported.



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