Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Governor, reacted to the conviction of two men, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr, who conspired to kidnap her in 2020. A jury also found them guilty of attempting to procure a weapon of mass destruction.
The 51-year-old Democrat, in a note on Twitter, said, ‘the verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics’. The two, accompanied by the government operatives, travelled to northern Michigan to see Whitmer’s vacation home at night and a bridge that could be destroyed. Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, too, were on that ride. They pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.
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A different jury just four months ago couldn’t reach unanimous decisions on Adam Fox or Barry Croft Jr. but acquitted two other men, a stunning conclusion that led to a second trial.
Fox and Croft were convicted Tuesday of two counts of conspiracy related to the kidnapping scheme and attempts to use a weapon of mass destruction. Prosecutors said they wanted to blow up a bridge to disrupt police if the abduction could be pulled off at Whitmer’s vacation home.
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“Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable. They will not succeed,” said Whitmer, a Democrat, who turned 51 years old on Tuesday.
“But we must also take a hard look at the status of our politics,” she added. “Plots against public officials and threats to the FBI are a disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism that festers in our nation, threatening the very foundation of our republic.”
The two face sentences of up to life in prison.
Whitmer in 2020 blamed Trump for stoking mistrust and fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn hate groups and right-wing extremists like those charged in Michigan.
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On Aug. 6, three days before jury selection, Trump told conservative activists that the kidnapping plan was a “fake deal.”
After the conviction, Whitmer said, “But we must also take a hard look at the status of our politics. Plots against public officials and threats to the FBI are a disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism that festers in our nation, threatening the very foundation of our republic. I ran for office because I love my fellow Michiganders and my home state with all my heart. I always will. I cannot–I will not -let extremists get in the way of the work we do. They will never break my unwavering faith in the goodness and decency of our people.”