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In more bad news for the federal government’s case in the alleged kidnap plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, two of the men accused of being a part of the alleged conspiracy were acquitted on Friday.
After five days of deliberations following weeks of testimony, jurors at a U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, MI acquitted 24-year-old Daniel Harris and 33-year-old Brandon Caserta who were both members of the Wolverine Watchmen, an anti-government group that was accused of scheming to kidnap the Michigan Democrat in 2020 as retaliation for her COVID policies, some of the harshest in the nation.
However, the Justice Department’s case has been plagued by evidence and testimony that the FBI’s big bust was, in reality, an entrapment scheme and that the suggestions that Whitmer should be abducted were just “stoned crazy talk,” from the defendants.
For one of the freed men, the verdict had special significance. “Best birthday gift ever,” Caserta told supporters as relatives yelled “Happy Birthday” inside the federal courtroom in downtown Grand Rapids,” according to the Detroit News.
In addition to Harris and Caserta being found not guilty of all charges, jurors were unable to reach a verdict against 38-year-old Adam Fox and 46-year-old Barry Croft whom prosecutors said were the ringleaders of the plot, deadlocking on charges in a humiliating defeat for the federal government as well as leftists who blamed it on former President Donald J. Trump.
One of those who did so was then-candidate Joe Biden who all but accused his election opponent of being behind it.
When Governor Whitmer worked to protect her state from a deadly pandemic, President Trump issued a call to "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"
That call was heard.
He's giving oxygen to the bigotry and hate we see on the march in our country — and we have to stop it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 9, 2020
The trial which lasted 20 days fell far short of expectations for Democrats, especially those in the media who were clearly disappointed.
Many took to Twitter to react to the verdict including Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene who called for accountability at the federal level.
“The FBI and DOJ need a complete and total cleansing. It must be one of our top priorities,” she wrote. “All the rot must be removed and these agencies must be restored.”
The FBI and DOJ need a complete and total cleansing.
It must be one of our top priorities.
All the rot must be removed and these agencies must be restored.
Setting up people, like in the Whitmer alleged kidnapping plot, doesn’t appear to be a solo event.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) April 8, 2022
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald who has long been an outspoken critic of the federal government’s entrapment schemes wrote, “The DOJ completely failed to convict anyone in the ‘Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot’ that the FBI concocted, paid for, directed and orchestrated.”
The DOJ completely failed to convict anyone in the "Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot" that the FBI concocted, paid for, directed and orchestrated.
There are many young Muslim Americans with long prison sentences for this kind of entrapment, but justice was served here: https://t.co/fn1j41wUHM
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2022
Other responses to the jury’s rebuke of the feds.
Huge blow to the FBI: Zero guilty verdicts in the case of the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan governor. Not guilty verdict for three, hung jury on the alleged ringleader, per @PeteWilliamsNBC
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) April 8, 2022
Turns out @gretchenwhitmer wasn’t kidnapped – she’s just been a terrible Governor.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 8, 2022
No guilty verdicts for the men who were supposedly planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in October 2020.
This was one of the key media talking points against Trump ahead of the 2020 election.
The media and FBI must be held accountable for this.
— Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) April 8, 2022
HUGE: The Whitmer kidnapping "plot" prosecution, which was used by the Left to smear Trump just before the election, imploded with a jury acquitting 2 and deadlocking on charges against 2 others. Jury obviously persuaded by evidence of FBI entrapment and corruption.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) April 8, 2022
Well there goes the “Whitmer kidnapping plot” hoax.
DOJ and FBI are epic f’ing messes.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) April 8, 2022
Remember when countless journalists, pundits, and politicians screeched with such righteous certitude about the Governor Whitmer kidnapping plot, as though it were established fact, when the only thing that’s now been established is that it was a botched FBI entrapment plot
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 8, 2022
Could not be more thrilled to watch the FBI lose the Whitmer kidnapping case. There was no plot, they made up the whole thing and paid an informant to entrap some morons.
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) April 8, 2022
Now that we've discovered what really happened with the "Whitmer Kidnapping Plot" maybe the FBI can take some time to find out who planted the pipe bombs around Washington, DC on Jan 5th, 2021.
— Daniel Bostic (@debostic) April 8, 2022
A jury just essentially ruled that the FBI led an operation to entrap the Michigan militia and that the Whitmer ‘kidnapping’ was a fed plot
This is *massive*
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 8, 2022
BREAKING: The corrupt FBI entrapped Michigan militia in the Whitmer fake kidnapping case. NOT GUILTY
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) April 8, 2022
Two years ago, if you suggested that the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot was potentially FBI entrapment, you were called a conspiracy theorist.
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) April 8, 2022
Despite the hysterical coverage by the media, the government’s case was highly suspect from the start and turned into a roaring dumpster fire after the FBI’s man who was spearheading the operation, Special Agent Richard Trask was fired following a bizarre chain of events. He was taken into custody by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office last year after a domestic abuse incident that stemmed from a quarrel when he and his wife had attended a “swingers party” which his spouse apparently did not enjoy.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 15, 2021
Trask choked her and “grabbed the side of her head and smashed it several times on the nightstand,” the altercation left her with “blood all over chest, clothing arms and hand,” according to court records, a perfect poster boy for the fed’s ill-fated case against the hapless braggarts who were lured into a spider’s web of skullduggery that ultimately failed to pass muster with a jury of their peers.
Whitmer’s Chief of Staff JoAnne Huls reacted to the jury’s decision, furiously lashing out in a press release.
“Today, Michiganders and Americans—especially our children—are living through the normalization of political violence. The plot to kidnap and kill a governor may seem like an anomaly. But we must be honest about what it really is: the result of violent, divisive rhetoric that is all too common across our country. Without accountability, extremists will be emboldened,” she wrote.
“The governor remains focused on her work on behalf of Michigan and all Michiganders. That includes addressing violence and threats to our democracy. We appreciate the prosecutors and law enforcement officers for their work on this case,” the statement read.
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