“Reject the political views of the defendants, reject their desire for a second civil war, reject the governor’s office and its title and everything you think about them,” – said Jonathan Roth, Assistant Attorney General for the Western District of Michigan. said in his opening remarks.
“You have that the accused agreed, planned, prepared and were ready in the middle of the night to break into the woman’s house, where she slept with her family, and with violence and under siege tied her up and took her from that house.”
“Lots of talk”
Lawyers allege that the alleged conspiracy was nothing more than “crazy talk” and “evil words” by men who were fed “large” amounts of marijuana, incited FBI “informers” and angered the government, which they said turned to tyranny.
“You’ll hear a lot of talk,” Fox’s lawyer, Christopher Gibbans, told the jury in his opening remarks, preparing them for an attack on secret recordings made by FBI informants and undercover agents.
But “there was no plan,” he said. “There was no conspiracy.”
Friends and family of the defendants held a public gallery Wednesday, including Fox’s mother, a couple who exchanged heads with Harris, and a woman who whispered “I love you” to Caserta as he left the courtroom but declined to speak to Bridge. . Michigan.
“Honestly, it’s all shocking to me because (Fox) has one of the biggest hearts of all my friends,” Woodman Bridge said. “That’s the only reason I’m here. I wouldn’t have left Virginia if he wasn’t such a guy.
Woodman, 38, said he grew up with Fox in the Potterville countryside in Ethan County. At school, they realized they lived in the same trailer park. Each had a “stony upbringing” and developed an outsider mentality that forced them to confront bullies who take other children, Woodman said.
In 2016, they quarreled over politics, Woodman recalled. He suspects that Fox was desperately looking for friends and found companionship in the militia movement.
“He just met the wrong guys at the right time,” Woodman said. “I felt partly responsible because I was one of his closest friends, and I kind of gave up on him when I saw that he was going for everything (Donald) Trump. He went to one side; I went second. “
Prosecutors say the four defendants planned to “capture, restrict, abduct, abduct and remove” Whitmer, a first-term Democrat, between June and October 2020. They signaled plans to present a mountain of evidence, including more than hundreds of audio recordings and dozens of online chat magazines.
While the prosecutor’s case was complicated by mistakes, including the arrest of a key FBI agent who attacked his wife they have reached a plea deal from two recognized conspirators who are expected to testify against their former colleagues.
Prosecutors may also call up to 48 witnesses, including additional FBI agents involved in the investigation, two undercover agents who they say infiltrated a militia group preparing the abduction, one or more confidential sources, and about a dozen civilian witnesses. who know about the conspiracy.
In an introductory argument Wednesday, Fox’s lawyer portrayed him as “unsuitable,” incapable of plotting a kidnapping – let alone a weapons training exercise – without the help of an FBI undercover informant known to him as “Big Dan.”
Fox was “mostly homeless” during the alleged conspiracy in 2020, Gibbons told a jury. Fox lived in the basement of a Wyoming vacuum store that lacked a bathroom and he had to do relief and wash at a nearby Mexican restaurant, the lawyer said.
“Every effort must be made to make Adam Fox look like a vile man and a major player in the militia movement,” Gibbons said, accusing the FBI of “salon tricks.”
But in testimony Wednesday, federal prosecutors and the FBI provided evidence that Fox was involved in the first discussions that eventually brought together Croft, a Delaware resident and leader of the National Three percent movement – with other defendants who were part of a group of Michigan militias called the Wolverine Watchmen.
Fox was also a “Boogaloo Boy,” they said, referring to the Marginal Militia movement, which experts say is focused on preparing for a second civil war.
In a video he shot at the Capitol of Michigan on April 30, 2020, Fox protested with a pistol tied over a Hawaiian shirt, an unofficial uniform The Boogaloo movement.
“Who else is ready for a bug?” Fox, holding a long pistol, told in a separate video shown to the jury.