Retrial in Whitmer kidnapping hoax heading to the jury

Source: Hot Air

The jury in Michigan will hear closing arguments today in the retrial of Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. who were accused of conspiring to abduct Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. If their deliberations go anything like the previous efforts by the prosecution we could be in for a long wait before a decision is reached and for good reason. All of the testimony that came out of the first trial indicated that there was a conspiracy taking place for sure, but Fox and Croft weren’t the ones organizing it. By their own families’ accounts, these two couldn’t organize a yard sale, to say nothing of a plot to kidnap a government official. But depending on how much juror-shopping the prosecution did during voir dire, it’s not a sure thing that they will once again fail to secure a conviction. (Associated Press)

Jurors will hear closing arguments Monday in the retrial of two men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. declined to testify Friday as defense lawyers rested their case in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The government has portrayed Fox and Croft as leaders of a wild plan to snatch Whitmer at her vacation home in Elk Rapids, Michigan, and trigger chaos across the U.S.

The other wildcard in this trial involves how the prosecution managed to obtain confessions from two other defendants. Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks both pleaded guilty initially and were sentenced to time behind bars. A portion of that deal obviously included persuading them to implicate the other defendants. Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were already found not guilty and released, but only after sitting in jail for 18 months. The jury was deadlocked on Fox and Croft.

Perhaps Garbin and Franks actually had gone along with the plot and had intended to carry it out. But based on all of the testimony we heard in the first trial, the rest of the crew did not. All of the men involved were definitely active online and they opposed the government lockdowns and vaccine mandates. But posting rhetoric on Facebook is speech. The real conspiracy was actually constructed by FBI agents and some of their paid informants. They recruited the men for a plan that clearly didn’t even seem to exist before they came along and looked for dissidents who might go along with it.

Back in January, Robby Soave provided one of the most coherent explanations of all of this at Reason, so if you’ve never read that you might want to take a look. What the FBI did during this operation has all the hallmarks of entrapment or, as Soave puts it, “Deep State nefariousness.”

The key driver in the push to recruit people and move the plot forward was a guy known as “Big Dan.” But Big Dan was an FBI informant who was being paid more than $50,000 to make all of this happen and build a case against the other men. Other members of the supposed “team” were either paid informants as well or undercover FBI agents. The men who wound up being arrested seemed like big talkers who opposed Whitmer’s policies, but they were mostly uninterested in taking any direct action against her.

If there was an actual plot to kidnap Whitmer taking shape before the FBI came along, they could have sussed that out fairly quickly, made some arrests, and never let it get to the point where people were in the vicinity of Whitmer’s vacation home with an explosive device. (And explosive that was provided by one of the FBI informants, by the way.) This entire saga strikes me as further proof that there is far too much corruption and politically motivated malfeasance inside the FBI and it was going on long before Merrick Garland was put in charge, though he obviously seems to be part of the problem as well.