Whitmer Kidnap Suspects' Lawyers: FBI 'Controlled' All Aspects of Plot Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 30 December 2021 03:23 PM
Defense attorneys for the five men charged in a plot to kidnap Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer say their defendants "had no desire whatsoever to kidnap anyone" and that they have proof that the FBI and its confidential informants "conceived and controlled every aspect" of the plot.
The defense motions, filed on Christmas Day and on Wednesday, say that the five men, who are members of the Three Percenters and the Wolverine Watchmen anti-government militia groups, were entrapped in a plan by the government agents, reports the Washington Examiner. The attorneys have also asked that the cases be dismissed.
The filings come after prosecutors confirmed earlier this month that they wouldn't seek testimony from the three FBI agents closely linked to the investigation over allegations of professional and personal misconduct. Further, an undercover informant in the case was charged with fraud in an unrelated Wisconsin case.
The plot involved kidnapping Whitmer and blowing up a bridge near her home, and the defense team maintains that the plans wouldn't have been made without entrapment taking place.
"The government wouldn't drop the idea, and the CHSs [Confidential Human Sources] continued to broach plans, despite official government admonitions barring the suggestion of such plans," the defense wrote in its motion. "The CHSs' handlers pulled the puppet strings the entire time."
The evidence in the new filings includes communications between the FBI agents and their confidential, embedded sources. Federal prosecutors, however, deny the five suspects were entrapped.
The trial is to begin on March 8. However, the prosecution has already dropped FBI agent Jayson Chambers after BuzzFeed News reported he owned a private investigative firm the FBI didn't know about. In it, he was trying to use his law enforcement experience to attract multi-million contracts.
Another handler, Henrik Impola, was dropped after defense attorneys said he'd committed perjury in an unrelated case. The prosecutors denied that claim but said on Dec. 17 they would not be calling on him.
Meanwhile, the FBI fired now-former FBI agent Richard Trask after he was charged with beating his wife and after he posted items on social media against former President Donald Trump.
In the defense attorneys' Christmas Day filings, they said the idea to kidnap Whitmer started with the government informants in meetings with the militia in June 2020.
If convicted, the five men are facing life in prison. A sixth defendant, Ty Garbin, has already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Adam Fox, who has been called the scheme's mastermind, insists the idea to kidnap the governor was "planted" in his head by the FBI informants.