GRAND REPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) – Testimony continues in a federal trial of four men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gitten Whitmer because of her fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
09:40 An FBI agent says he was involved in setting up video cameras at the poles in Luther and Munit, where the suspects were trained. The cameras on the pole were always on, could watch and allowed the FBI to watch live. In Luther, the FBI also installed a separate “license plate reader,” a camera set low to photograph vehicles and allow agents to obtain numbers. He says federal services also used planes and drones to help with surveillance.
This is one of the tools the FBI used in this investigation. They also included recorders in keychains.
09:25 An FBI agent testified during a cross-examination about how the Big Dan, an FBI informant, was a member of the Wolverine Watchers militia group. Big Dan rose to the ranks of Wolverine guards, becoming the XO, or second on the team.
8:55: Christopher Gibbons, Adam Fox’s lawyer, begins cross-examination of an FBI agent who helped work the case.
8:50 a.m .: An FBI agent said they completed an investigation in October 2020 after learning the group was trying to get ingredients for a bomb, possibly from someone other than an undercover FBI agent who pretended to be the creator of the bomb. “There was a real concern that they might get explosives in real life,” the agent said.
The federal prosecutor’s office continues this morning to testify to an FBI agent who plays video and audio of alleged conspiracy leaders Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr.
Fox complains about the closure of gyms.
They also show video of training in Cumbria, Wisconsin, in July 2020, including what the federations describe as a “shooting house”.
“It’s training to penetrate and clean a home or building,” the agent said.
Introductory statements were made on Wednesday in court are Brendan Caserta, Barry Croft Jr., Adam Fox and Daniel Harris. After the lawyers outlined the points they intended to express, the testimony began with a focus on various Facebook posts.
Defenders, as expected, claimed the men were trapped. They said there was no plan and the government was behind the conspiracy. The defense pointed out that Stephen Robson, a key FBI informant, was allowed to continue working undercover despite breaking the rules, including providing marijuana to the group. They say the marijuana he gave caused much of the conversation.
“Robson provided these guys with drugs,” said Joshua Blanchard, Croft’s attorney, including during a militia meeting in Dublin, Ohio. “Virtually everyone was stoned, absolutely insane, not stoned.”
Blanchard also suggested that the FBI targeted him because in 2017 he wrote about the FBI as “sneaky stuff”.
The prosecutor’s office opposed the fraud. Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Roth said it all started with “Croft’s call to action in April 2020” and that Adam Fox “accepted” the call and began plotting to kidnap the governor.
“They were going to break into the governor’s house and kidnap her under fire. They tied her up and took her away. It’s not just conversation; their actions were louder and just as disturbing as their words, ”Roth said.
The prosecutor’s office began its case by submitting several Facebook posts from the men. In one of them, Croft published “these governors need to be arrested.”
The all-white jury – 12 jurors and six of their deputies, 11 women and seven men – also looked at videos on Facebook, including videos from Fox to members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia group.
“They took away our livelihood, they took away our daily lives,” Fox said in June 2020. “Who is ready to take politicians and sue them?”
The trial on Thursday will begin at 8:30 a.m. and last for about 2 p.m. The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.
Stay tuned to get the latest during the trial period.