A Michigan gubernatorial candidate is demanding to know what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) played in her alleged kidnapping plot that he says was conceived by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“Michiganders deserve an answer,” candidate Garrett Soldano said in a press release. “As we all saw last week, the FBI conceived a plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer and preyed on Michiganders to push it along. These events had a direct impact on the 2020 election results in Michigan, one of the most important swing states in the country. Did Gretchen Whitmer play a role in these targeted efforts to influence the 2020 election? Was Gretchen Whitmer working with the FBI to fake her own kidnapping?”
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.
In the high profile case against alleged plotters of a kidnapping of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), the state plans to introduce evidence that defendants use encrypted chat applications in the planning stages of their scheme.
“The government disagrees, saying the defendants did more than talk, but took actions to carry out their plan: they cased Whitmer’s house twice; drew maps; bought night vision goggles; secretly communicated in encrypted chat rooms so as not to get caught; and held training exercises,” according to The Detroit Free Press.
A federal judge refused to dismiss charges against five men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said defendants who claim government entrapment “have a heavy burden to carry.”
The accused men must show that the government lured them into the plot and have a “patently clear absence of predisposition as a matter of law,” Jonker wrote. “Defendants fail to carry their burden because the evidence on both issues is decidedly disputed as it almost inevitably is at this stage of the case.”
When law enforcement touted foiling a months-long kidnapping plot of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October 2020 that spanned several states and included encrypted chats and explosives, many believed it was an open-and-shut case.
But more than a year later, critics say the arrest and convictions of the lead FBI agent and an FBI confidential informant blurred the line between extremist and confidential informant. Moreso, three planned witnesses have been accused of crimes and won’t be testifying in the March 8 trial in Grand Rapids as defense attorneys question the FBI’s credibility.
As questions mount about the government’s animating role in the Capitol protest on January 6, the criminal case against the men charged with conspiring to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 continues to collapse.
Defense attorneys in the Whitmer case are carefully compiling evidence that depicts an elaborate tale of FBI entrapment; at least a dozen FBI informants were involved in the failed plot—equaling one FBI asset per defendant. FBI agents handling the informants directed every move. They funded training and reconnaissance trips, and even organized a “national militia” conference in Ohio in June 2020 to lure potential accomplices.
As the first shoe related to the FBI’s involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol dropped—the New York Times last week reported at least two informants tied to the Proud Boys were working with the FBI before, during, and after January 6—another high-profile case continues to expose the bureau’s corrupt role in what the government also considers an act of domestic terrorism: a concocted plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage in October 2020.
In fact, Joe Biden’s Justice Department has tied the two events together in an attempt to convince the public that right-wing militiamen, ostensibly loyal to Donald Trump, pose a looming threat to the country. In a recent sentencing memorandum for one man who pleaded guilty in the Whitmer case, government prosecutors wrote, “as the Capitol riots demonstrated, an inchoate conspiracy can turn into a grave substantive offense on short notice.”
A key FBI informant for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wouldn’t see prison time under a plea deal despite pleading guilty to a 10-year gun crime during the plot.
The plea agreement for Wisconsin resident Stephen Robeson says that on Sept. 26, 2020, Robeson bought an Armalite .50 caliber rifle from a man he met at church. Months later, Robeson sold the gun to someone he met on Facebook Messenger. A federal judge must approve the plea deal.
After an investigation into Special Agent Richard Trask, accused of beating his wife after the pair attended swingers’ party in July, the FBI agent who once lead the investigation into the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has been fired.
“Trask was fired, according to a source familiar with his case, while awaiting trial on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and allegations he smashed his wife’s head against a nightstand and choked her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party in July,” The Detroit News reported.
Federal prosecutors now claim that the five men who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also discussed doing the same to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R).
“The DeWine connection to a high-profile federal criminal case involving alleged violent extremism has not been previously disclosed and reveals accused plotters discussed a broader, bipartisan attack on politicians from several states,” The Detroit News reported. “Prosecutors leveled the new allegation in a court filing Monday while fighting what has emerged as a central defense strategy that involves accusing the FBI of entrapment.”
The lead investigator in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case against more than a dozen men who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has legal troubles of his own, as reported by The Detroit News.
“An FBI agent at the center of the investigation into the plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is accused of smashing his wife’s head against a nightstand and choking her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party, according to court records,” that news outlet reported this week.
Militiamen arrested for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the government set them up.
Court documents obtained by Buzzfeed show government informants played a crucial role in the kidnapping plot. One informant posed as a demolition expert who advised members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia where to plant explosives and even offered to get them as much as they needed. The informant was vouched for by another informant, leaving unclear how many confidential informants existed compared to actual extremists.