Gretchen Whitmer alleged kidnapping plot: Michigan defense attorneys question key FBI informant

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Defense lawyers for two men accused of planning a kidnapping Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer In 2020, other government officials aggressively questioned a key FBI informant who infiltrated their anti-government group.

Adam Fox, 39, and Barry Croft, Jr., 46, are on trial for a second time on conspiracy charges related to the alleged conspiracy. The jury Two other defendants were acquitted earlier this year, but could not reach a verdict on Fox and Croft.

Dan Chapel, an Army veteran, testified this week that he joined the paramilitary group, the Wolverine Watchmen, in early 2020 to maintain his gun skills, but said he turned to the FBI when members of the group began planning to recruit harm to government officials. .

Lawyers for Fox and Croft challenged Chappelle over his compensation From the FBIwhose value exceeded $50,000, as well as the ways in which he encouraged the men to continue their plots.

“I said it was going to look like a hunting accident,” Fox’s attorney Christopher Gibbons said Tuesday, noting that Chapel supported the shooting at Whitmer’s home and suggested ways to damage her front door.

This set of images is courtesy of the Kent County Jail, Michigan. Barry Croft Jr., left, and Adam Fox, right, show the two men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.
(Kent County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Chappell responded that he was just trying to fit in with the group and “didn’t expect anything” from the government.

“I wanted to stop people from doing bad things to good people,” Chapel testified.

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Chapel and other detectives lead Fox and Croft to Whitmer’s second home in northern Michigan They discussed placing explosives under a nearby bridge, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors played recordings of Fox and Croft actively discussing their plans to target Whitmer and others regarding COVID-19 restrictions.

“I’m going to strike soon,” Croft was heard saying in a June 2020 recording with other anti-government activists. “I’m going to terrorize the people. The right people. The people who have been terrorizing my people.”

FILE - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, on Monday, December 20, 2021, in Detroit.

FILE – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, on Monday, December 20, 2021, in Detroit.
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Lawyers for Fox and Croft did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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Democratic Gov. Whitmer has rarely spoken publicly about the alleged plot, but she told The Washington Post last month that she thought it was “appalling” to acquit two men and declare the Fox and Croft trial wrong.

“Should we expect this now? People are planning for it kidnapped and killed She told the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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