2 Men Were Just Found Guilty of Plotting to Kidnap Michigan’s Governor

The men were part of a far-right anti-government group known as the Wolverine Watchmen. 
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Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, speaks on a panel during the SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, US, on Monday, June 27, 2022.(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A jury on Tuesday found two men guilty of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, after a hung jury in the first trial earlier this year

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Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were also convicted of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to obtain a bomb to blow up a bridge in the prospective kidnapping attempt, according to the Associated Press. 

Fox and Croft were two of the 13 men arrested in October 2020 and charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer at her summer vacation home and enter the state Capitol building in Lansing with hundreds of armed men. The men were part of a far-right anti-government group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, and expressed anger at Whitmer for, among other things, her executive orders on COVID-19.

Defense attorneys had attempted to argue that the FBI had entrapped the men and that they were “big talkers” and stoners who weren’t serious about following through with the plan, but the presiding judge rejected that argument during the first trial, in March. 

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Four men alleged to be complicit in the plot were eventually brought to trial in April; two were acquitted, but a jury deadlocked on Croft and Fox’s charges. Two men, Kaleb Franks and Ty Garbin, also pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.  

In addition to the conspiracy charges, Croft was convicted Tuesday of a separate explosives charge, according to the AP. 

Whitmer, a Democrat, is currently running for re-election to a second term as governor. 

“Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics, and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable,” Whitmer said in a statement in response to the verdict. “They will not succeed... I cannot—I will not—let extremists get in the way of the work we do. They will never break my unwavering faith in the goodness and decency of our people.” 

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