For months, the lawyer representing Kaleb Franks—one of six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020—has produced some of the most detailed and damning reports to make a case for FBI entrapment. Defense attorneys last year discovered that at least a dozen FBI agents and informants were intimately involved in the abduction plot, brought to a dramatic conclusion in October 2020 when the men were arrested after an FBI informant drove them to meet an undercover FBI agent to buy materials for explosives.
With the trial date just weeks away, the Justice Department’s case is imploding amid numerous scandals.
The timing could not be worse for the government, especially the FBI, which is now under scrutiny for its suspected role in fomenting the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. After all, the two events share many similarities, including plans to “storm” Michigan’s state Capitol building, the use of militia groups reportedly loyal to Donald Trump, and official designations that both represent “domestic terror” attacks.
A federal plea deal filed Monday says Kaleb Franks, 27, will plead guilty to the March 2020 plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Franks also will testify against four others in a March 8 trial.
Franks signed a plea deal that he was “not entrapped or induced to commit any crimes” by undercover agents or confidential informants, contrary to the defense’s claims.
Prosecutors provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state’s governor, a federal judge ruled Friday in Grand Rapids.
A two-day preliminary hearing this week featured testimony by one of the FBI agents who ran the investigation, relying on confidential informants and undercover agents to thwart the purported scheme to abduct Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing for a group of men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor.
Special Agent Richard Trask also revealed new details about investigators’ use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to arrest and charge six men last week in the plot aimed at Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.