Guilty Verdict Reached for Two Men Who Conspired to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Guilty Verdict Reached for Two Men Who Conspired to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

They’re GUILTY – After Months Of FBI Rumors

( – Two men have been convicted of a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D). Media outlets are focusing on the danger of right-wing militias, but the case also raises serious questions about the role of the FBI. Did the Bureau pull off a clever piece of counterterrorism work, or did it use informers to set up a pair of dupes?

Plotting or Fantasy?

In early 2020, US Army veteran Dan Chappel joined the Wolverine Watchmen, a Michigan militia group, but quickly became worried about the extremism of some of its members. Militiamen were trying to find the addresses of police officers and talked about targeting and killing them. Chappel spoke to one of his friends, a local cop, and later agreed to become a confidential informant for the FBI.

Around April 2020, members of the Wolverines started discussing a plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer, who was attracting a lot of criticism for her draconian anti-COVID measures. Following a June 6 meeting in Dublin, Ohio, Adam Fox contacted the militia asking for help with a scheme to snatch Whitmer from her summer residence, and more serious planning started. Meanwhile, the FBI was infiltrating more informers into the Wolverines, both online and in person.

Untangling the Web

On October 7, 2020, the FBI arrested 13 members of the Wolverines and caught another the following week. They also seized weapons, ammunition, suppressors, and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) components, along with evidence that the plotters wanted to kill a long list of politicians, including two other governors, Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and President Trump.

Yet, since the arrests, the picture has become confused. Two men pleaded guilty and offered to testify for the prosecution. Two were acquitted, and the prosecution dismissed charges against several more. Defense attorneys have consistently claimed that the accused were “big talkers” who fantasized about overthrowing the government, while FBI informants, eager to entrap the Wolverines, did much of the real plotting. Attorneys claim at least 12 informants took part in the scheme; the Bureau has admitted to five of them, including Chappel, who became the Wolverines’ “Executive Officer,” or second in command, and two undercover Special Agents, Mark Schweers and Timothy Bates.

On August 22, a federal jury found two defendants, 46-year-old Delaware trucker Barry Croft, Jr and Adam Fox, 39, of Wyoming, Michigan, guilty of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction. An earlier prosecution of both men ended in a mistrial after the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. Now, they each face a potential life sentence.

Whitmer has attempted to blame Trump for causing tension that led to the plot, while Trump has pointed out that the FBI arrested the schemers under his administration (and also called the plan a “fake deal”). Still, without the involvement of so many government informers, would there ever have been a plot at all?

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