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Prosecutor: 4 in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot full of ‘rage’

Kidnapping plot evidence
courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan
A training exercise involving the men accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer

A prosecutor urged jurors Friday to convict four men in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, saying they were anti-government extremists “filled with rage” and intent on touching off a civil war in the final weeks of the polarizing 2020 general election.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler summed up the evidence on the 15th day of trial, tracing the group’s secretly recorded words as well as testimony
from agents, an extraordinary informant and two star witnesses who pleaded guilty.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, panned the government’s case; one said the men were turned into “terrorists” by rogue agents.

Kessler started his closing remarks by saying there are boundaries when it comes to scorn for people in power.

“If you don’t like your elected representatives, you can vote them out at the ballot box. That’s what makes this country great,” Kessler told the jury. “What we can’t do is kidnap them, kill them or blow them up. That’s also what makes America great.”

The case now goes to the jury.

Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta are charged with conspiracy. Three of the men also face weapons-related charges.

The trial began March 8 in federal court in Grand Rapids.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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