- FBI Payed informant over $50,000 to begin devising the plot
- FBI wanted to incriminate “As Many Guys As Possible”
- FBI Bought and payed for meals and hotel rooms to incentivize defendants to go along
- 1st and 2nd in command of kidnapping group were FBI Informants
FBI informants were involved in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor Whitmer, starting with its inception. At least 12 FBI informants and undercover FBI agents were involved with gathering information against the anti-government militia members who allegedly planned to kidnap Whitmer.
The months-long investigation eventually led to the arrest of 14 individuals in connection to the plot to kidnap Whitmer, and 13 of them have pleaded not guilty.
The defendants claimed that the FBI-connected individuals often encouraged militia members to engage in the planning process and other criminal activities, and facilitated some of these interactions, according to Buzzfeed. From the defendants’ perspective, the informants and undercover agents were crucial pieces to the alleged plot. The defense further argued claimed that without the FBI’s influence, there may have never been a conspiracy to allegedly kidnap the governor, according to BuzzFeed.
One of these informants, a man from Wisconsin, reportedly planned meet-ups for the anti-government militia members, even paying for hotel rooms and food to incentivize some of these militia members. The earliest versions of the plan to take Whitmer hostage began at those meetings.
Another informant, a veteran of the Iraq War named “Dan,” infiltrated a militia group based out of Michigan so successfully that he became second-in-command.
Dan, who then worked at a post office outside Flint, became an informant for the FBI after he joined a Facebook group called the Wolverine Watchmen. At the time, Dan, 33, was searching for a community of individuals who loved the Second Amendment and guns as much as he does. The Watchmen described themselves as “a group of Patriots,” looking to “recruit like-minded individuals,” according to court documents. Before Dan was able to enter the group, he had to answer a series of screening questions, BuzzFeed reported.
A message on the group’s Facebook page encouraged Dan to download an encrypted messaging app called Wire, court documents show. After he joined the app, there were another series of questions regarding his political views. He told the group he was a libertarian, believed in small government and had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, according to court documents, and was given access to the Wolverine Watchmen’s main chat on Wire. below are some of the messages and photos sent by both the FBI and the defendants in the chats.
Dan was shocked at the extremism of some members; he told a friend, who was a local police officer, about the group. A few days after alerting his police officer friend, Dan received a text from FBI Special Agent Jayson Chambers, who invited him to come to the FBI’s office in Flint, court documents read.
Chambers and his partner Henrik Impola were both members of the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit. They asked Dan to go undercover as an informant, according to BuzzFeed. Dan warily agreed to become an FBI informant because he felt law enforcement was in serious danger. While their initial discussion did not discuss payment, Dan was eventually given $24,000 and a new car from the FBI, court documents said.
Dan eventually rose in the militia’s chain of command, and allegedly directed his militia members to coordinate with other persons of interest, and paid for some of the transportation costs to and from meetings, according to BuzzFeed. Dan allegedly encouraged the mastermind behind Whitmer’s kidnapping to keep the plan moving forward, only to help authorities spring the trap that would lead to several of the alleged conspirators’ arrests, BuzzFeed reported.
For six months, Dan wore a wire and gathered hundreds of hours of recordings for the FBI, according to BuzzFeed.
“Everybody down with what’s going on?” Dan said as a group of the militia members took part in a recon mission around Birch Lake near Whitmers’ vacation cottage, according to court documents.
As one of the militia’s leaders, Dan was reportedly able to bring in another Wolverine Watchmen member, an undercover FBI Agent by the name “Red,” court documents claimed. Red was a supposed explosives expert that could help the group get the explosives they needed to blow up a bridge near Birch Lake that would inhibit law enforcement’s ability to respond to the kidnapping, and give them enough time to escape with the governor, court documents showed. Red claimed that $4,000 worth of C-4 would be enough to destroy the Elk River bridge. The men agreed to raise enough funds to purchase the explosives.
Another FBI informant, who went by the name Mark, was also able to infiltrate the group. Mark joined through 37-year-old Adam Fox, one of the men indicted in the alleged conspiracy, after a woman posing as Mark’s girlfriend told Fox’s then-fiancé they were looking to join the militia group, court documents show. Mark was among those present during the recon mission at Birch Lake.
The alleged plan, months in the making, would be foiled by the FBI just three weeks later, BuzzFeed reported. On Oct. 7, 2020, Dan picked up four other militiamen on the way to meet with Red to purchase the explosives. The men were far short of the $4,000 Red said was needed to purchase th.e C-4, but upon arriving to the rendezvous, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team was waiting to arrest the men
A number of other alleged co-conspirators were arrested in Michigan, South Carolina and New Jersey, BuzzFeed’s report said.
Eight members of the Wolverine Watchmen have been charged by the state of Michigan in the alleged kidnapping attempt. Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Michael Null, 38, William Null, 38, Pete Musico, 42, Joseph Morrison, 26, and Brian Higgins, 51, face a variety of charges, ranging from firearm to terrorism-related charges, according to CNN.
Six individuals, Fox, Ty Garbin, 24, Kaleb Franks, 26, Daniel Harris, 23, Brandon Caserta, 32, and Barry Croft, 44, have been charged by the federal government for conspiring to kidnap Whitmer, CNN reported.
Prosecutors say the thousands of social media posts, 400,000 text messages, and over 1,300 hours of recordings prove that those arrested and charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer were not just expressing anti-government sentiments. They say that the defendants took concrete steps to accomplish their alleged mission, according to BuzzFeed.
Defendants counterclaim they were targeted for their political views. The communications that prosecutors believe prove there was a criminal conspiracy to kidnap the governor, they argue, are actually constitutionally protected forms of speech, BuzzFeed reported.
Some of the defendantsallege the investigation was a premeditated campaign from the government to undermine their movement. One defendant has even gone so far as to formally accuse the government of entrapment based on the actions of the FBI’s undercover agents and informants. Other defendants said they will pursue similar actions in court as the defendants’ various cases in federal and state courts are set to begin as early as October, according to BuzzFeed.
Below is texts between the FBI showing they were trying to expand and get as many involved as possible.
Below is a response from the defendants showing the FBI trying to set up as many people as possible.
Now one of the FBI agents involved in the case has recently been charged with assaulting his wife
An FBI agent who testified about an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing an assault charge, according to court records.
Richard Trask appeared in a Kalamazoo court Monday and was released. Online records show the alleged offense occurred Sunday.
The court file doesn’t list a defense attorney yet, according to the clerk’s office.
“In accordance with FBI policy, the incident is subject to internal review, and I cannot comment further at this time,” Detroit FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider said.
“It’s the last thing you want for a major case like this,” said Andy Arena, former head of the FBI office in Detroit. “Any time you give the defense any ammunition it’s not good.”
Trask can’t carry a gun while he’s out on bond, The Detroit News reported.
“If you can’t carry a weapon, then you’re not going to work as a street agent,” Arena told the newspaper. “He’s going to be suspended or put on restricted duty.”
Officials with the Indianapolis FBI office violated agency procedures, made false statements and exhibited “extremely poor judgment” in the handling of 2015 sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, according to a new report.
The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice also found that the Los Angeles FBI office failed to take steps to prevent Nassar from harming others.
In a written response issued after the report was released, the FBI said: “As the Inspector General made clear in today’s report, this should not have happened. The FBI will never lose sight of the harm that Nassar’s abuse caused.”
The inspector general’s investigation began in 2018, following an internal FBI review of the delay before agents opened a formal investigation into the complaints raised in June 2015 by elite-level gymnasts, including Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols.
Nassar was ultimately charged and convicted of child sexual abuse in Michigan state court. He also pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges that spun out of the investigation by police at Michigan State University.
Nassar’s sexual abuse was first publicly exposed in September 2016 by an IndyStar investigation
In 2015, the FBI was too busy spying on a Presidential candidate and trying to influence a US election, all under the direction of James Comey. They didn’t have time to deal with Nassar apparently.
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), who were briefed by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the report Wednesday, are now pushing for Congressional hearings on the details shared in the report. They questioned why criminal charges were not pursued against FBI agents, including those in Indianapolis, who made false statements during the Inspector General investigation.
“The Department of Justice now needs to decide whether it’s going to be yet another institution that fails survivors, or if it’s going to enforce some measure of accountability,” Blumenthal said during a press conference. “On its own, Congress has to make sure that there is accountability, and that’s why I believe that next steps have to include a Congressional hearing.”
He called the report “absolutely chilling.”
“(It’s) truly a gut punch to anyone who cares about effective law enforcement,” Blumenthal said. “There has to be some measure of accountability enforced for the failure to properly pursue the investigation by the FBI and indeed the possible cover up that may have occurred.”
Meanwhile the FBI is being trusted to spy on and investigate American’s for being suspected Trump supporters.
Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) hoped to put him “in jail” over his investigation of President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter Biden.
On Wednesday, Giuliani’s New York City apartment was raided by federal agents serving a search warrant for his electronic devices. The warrant had been issued more than two years earlier but the DOJ was blocked from executing it during the Trump administration.
During an appearance on the Thursday edition of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Giuliani insisted that the Biden administration hoped to imprison him over hard drives he possessed that had allegedly been owned by Hunter Biden, although agents refused to take the drives during the raid. Watch Below:
“When they had taken about, I’d say, seven or eight electronic items of mine… they weren’t taking the three hard drives,” Giuliani told Carlson after being asked about the raid. “I said those are Hunter Biden’s hard drives. And they said no, no, no, no! … Hunter Biden’s hard drives fall within the scope of the subpoena. The subpoena required them to take all electronics, but they decided to leave that behind.”
“Thirty years of the Biden crime family violating our laws—that is what is on the hard drive that they have censored,” he added. “And that’s why they want to put me in jail.”
Giuliani claimed that the hard drives that purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden contain proof of multiple illegal activities by the president’s son, including failure to register as a foreign agent—something that has been alleged about Giuliani as well.
The warrant was issued in 2019 amid an investigation into alleged ties between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials. Giuliani told Carlson that he had “never ever represented a foreign national,” saying that he has “a refusal to do it” written into his contracts. The majority of the interview was focused on Hunter Biden to such an extent that Giuliani referred to Carlson as “Hunter” at one point.
On Wednesday, Giuliani’s attorney Robert J. Costello also maintained in a statement that the raid was about “the Biden Crime family,” adding that by refusing to take the drives that allegedly belonged to Biden “the FBI left behind the only electronics that contain evidence of crimes.”
In multiple interviews promoting the release of his memoir earlier this month, Hunter Biden said that he was unsure that Giuliani’s hard drives had belonged to him. Biden described the issue as a “red herring” during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying that he was “within my rights to question anything that comes from the desk of Rudy Giuliani.”