It was nearly two years ago when federal and state law enforcement officials in Michigan announced charges in a stunning plot. According to the allegations, a group of radicals conspired to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, bring the Democrat to a “secure location,” and subject her to a faux treason “trial.”
As regular readers may recall, Donald Trump responded to the news by immediately going on the offensive — not against the threat of domestic terrorism, but rather, against the governor. In fact, just a few weeks before Election Day 2020, the then-president downplayed the seriousness of the plot, telling his followers, “I guess they say she was threatened.”
The Republican did not change his mind in the years that followed. On the contrary, earlier this month, Trump appeared at a far-right gathering and went further. “[T]his thing they did involving Gretchen Whitmer was fake,” the Republican said to applause. “Just like those who instigated January 6. It was a fake deal. Fake. It was a fake deal.”
Evidently, a jury disagreed. NBC News reported that jurors today convicted two men of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer.
The jury also found Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. guilty of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction, namely a bomb to blow up a bridge and stymie police if the kidnapping could be pulled off at Whitmer’s vacation home. Croft, 46, a trucker from Bear, Delaware, was also convicted of another explosives charge.
If this sounds at all familiar, it’s not your imagination: Fox and Croft were tried once before, but a jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict in the spring. Prosecutors tried again, and today they secured a conviction.
As for other defendants in the larger case, NBC News’ report added that two other men were acquitted and two more pleaded guilty and testified for prosecutors.
“You can’t just strap on an AR-15 and body armor and go snatch the governor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler told jurors.
“But that wasn’t the defendants’ ultimate goal,” Kessler added. “They wanted to set off a second American civil war, a second American Revolution, something that they call the boogaloo. And they wanted to do it for a long time before they settled on Gov. Whitmer.”
As for the former president, those waiting for Trump to revisit his recent comments about the plot being “fake” will probably be waiting for a very long time.