Appeals Court Hammers Prosecution About FBI Conduct  In Whitmer Kidnap Plot
Appeals Court Hammers Prosecution About FBI Conduct In Whitmer Kidnap Plot

Authored by Ken Silva via Headline USA,

The much-anticipated appeal hearing was held Thursday for Barry Croft and Adam Fox, the alleged “ringleaders” of the 2020 militia conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Appeals Court Hammers Prosecution About FBI Conduct  In Whitmer Kidnap Plot
This combo of images provided by the Kent County, Mich., Jail shows Barry Croft Jr., left, and Adam Fox. / PHOTO: AP

Croft and Fox were convicted of plotting to kidnap Whitmer after their second trial in late 2022. At their first trial earlier that year, a jury acquitted two other men while failing to reach a verdict for Croft and Fox.

The two men appealed their convictions on multiple grounds. Thursday’s hearing focused largely on the conduct of FBI informants and their handling agents.

Croft’s attorney, Timothy Sweeney, argued that his client should get a retrial because he wasn’t allowed to introduce numerous text messages that showed improper conduct by the FBI.

Those text messages showed how FBI informants were pressuring Fox and Croft to formulate a plan against Whitmer. A list of the texts can be found in this document.

Representing the government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler argued that the FBI text messages were irrelevant because Fox and Croft were already predisposed to committing an act of terrorism.

All the [FBI] statements identified by defense go to inducement. If jury found they were predisposed [to kidnapping Whitmer], none of that matters,” Kessler said. “This court has held that entrapment can only happen if the government plants an idea in an innocent persons’ head.”

The appeals justices expressed skepticism about Kessler’s argument. One justice disagreed with the prosecutor’s reading of the law.

“They’re saying the jury didn’t see all the pressure, all the government informants pounding on them. Surely that’s relevant?” the justice asked Kessler, to which he responded: “Theoretically, yes, but they don’t identify any statements where an informant actually put that kind of pressure to go kidnap the governor.”

The justices then identified several statements where informants pressured the defendants to move forward with a plot against Whitmer. For example, FBI informant Steve Robeson said in August 2020: “If we don’t talk about actually doing what the fuck we need to be doing, I’m done with meetings.”

Kessler argued that Robeson was only pressuring the defendants to disclose their plan, but the appeals justice seemed to disagree. “I’m reading this as, ‘We need to make a plan,’” she said.

The appeals justices presiding over the case were Judge Joan Larsen, Judge Chad Readler, and Judge Stephanie Davis. Audio, but not video, of the hearing was streamed, making it difficult to identify which justices were speaking.

A recap of the hearing can be found here:

The court reserved its decision for a later date.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at

Tyler Durden
Sun, 05/05/2024 – 22:10

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