Judge orders new long prison sentence in Whitmer plot
Whitmer was not physically injured. The FBI was secretly integrated into the group and made 14 arrests.
Croft regularly wore a common tricorn hat during the American Revolution and had tattoos on his arms symbolizing the resistance – « Expect Us » – as he traveled to Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan to meet with like-minded extremists.
« Although he may not have had line control over all other participants, he coordinated and pushed the implementation of the conspiracy from its inception to its final stages, » the assistant U.S. attorney said. Nils Kessler in a court filing.
« The only step left was for the governor to show up at his cabin so they could kick off their plan, but luckily she was still out of their control, » the prosecutor said.
Another jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was unable to rule on the couple in the first trial last spring, but acquitted two other men.
« The Governor’s kidnapping was only meant to be the start of Croft’s reign of terror, » Kessler said. « He called for riots, ‘burning down’ government officials in their sleep and setting off a ‘domino’ effect of violence across the country. »
A key piece of evidence: Croft, Fox, and others traveled to see Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan, along with undercover agents and informants inside the cabal.
At one point, Croft told his allies, « I don’t like seeing anybody get killed either. But you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, you know what I mean?
Croft’s lawyer tried to soften his client’s role. In a court filing, Joshua Blanchard said the Bear, Delaware man had no real authority over others and often frustrated them because he « just talked ».
« Put simply, to the extent that the jury determined he was a participant, as they necessarily did, he was a participant to a lesser extent than the others, » insisted Blanchard.
Two men who pleaded guilty and testified against Fox and Croft have received substantial breaks: Ty Garbin is already free after serving a 2.5-year prison sentence, while Kaleb Franks was given a four-year sentence.
In state court, three men were recently sentenced to lengthy sentences for helping Fox in the early summer of 2020. Five others are awaiting trial in County Antrim, where Whitmer’s holiday home is located .
When the plot was extinguished, Whitmer blamed then-President Donald Trump, saying he had « comforted those who sow fear, hatred and division. » In August, 19 months after leaving office, Trump said the kidnapping plan was a « bogus deal. »