Appeals court skeptical of Whitmer kidnapping case prosecution

 May 2, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

At the height of COVID, a lot of government officials regularly imposed demands on Americans that could – and sometimes have been – argued in court as unconstitutional.

One of the leaders of that movement was Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and her agenda triggered many negative responses.

One was an alleged scheme to kidnap her, and part of the controversy was the many, many government agents sent to infiltrate, cooperate with, and if the evidence can be believed, encourage, that scheme.

Eventually, many of the defendants named were acquitted. But two were convicted and now their arguments have been heard by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ken Silva, at HeadlineUSA, monitored events and explained the judges weren't gentle to prosecutors.

The defendants are Barry Croft and Adam Cox, who were convicted at a later trial after the first resulted in a hung jury. Others tried with them were acquitted.

The report noted, "Croft’s attorney, Timothy Sweeney, argued that his client should get a retrial because he wasn’t allowed to introduce numerous text messages that showed improper conduct by the FBI."

HeadlineUSA explained those confirmed how "FBI informants were pressuring Fox and Croft to formulate a plan against Whitmer."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler claimed the FBI influences were irrelevant – because the defendants "already" wanted to commit terrorism.

"All the [FBI] statements identified by defense go to inducement. If the jury found they were predisposed [to kidnapping Whitmer], none of that matters," he instructed the court. "This court has held that entrapment can only happen if the government plants an idea in an innocent person’s head."

One justice, however, openly doubted that claim.

"They’re saying the jury didn’t see all the pressure, all the government informants pounding on them. Surely that’s relevant?" the judge said.

When Kessler claimed there weren't identified statements where FBI informers "actually put that kind of pressure," the court again doubted, with justices identifying several such statements.

For example, the report said, "FBI informant Steve Robeson said in August 2020: 'If we don’t talk about actually doing what the f--- we need to be doing, I’m done with meetings."

The court noted that appeared to be specific, "I’m reading this as ‘we need to make a plan,'" one justice said.

Hearing the case were Joan Larsen, Chad Readler, and Stephanie Davis and they did not make an immediate ruling.

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