News & Politics

Lawyer for Men Who Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Whitmer: It Was Just 'Big Talk Between Crackpots'

Michigan Office of the Governor via AP

There has always been something “off” about the conspiracy to kidnap the governor of Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reports that the plotters wanted to take her to Wisconsin. Other reports say they wanted to take her out into the middle of Lake Michigan and leave her.

Meanwhile, the media has blown this “plot” up into the crime of the century. Their ever more hysterical reporting on the plotters will eventually make Donald Trump the mastermind.

I am not excusing the crimes committed by these men. It’s against the law to threaten the life and safety of public officials like the governor of Michigan — even in jest or when there’s no way on earth the plotters could seriously expect to succeed. In this case, it doesn’t appear the plotters got much beyond the fantasy stage.

These were a bunch of guys sitting around grousing about the lockdowns. If you stuck a microphone in a lot of small taverns in Michigan, you’d probably pick up similar chatter.

Defense lawyers for the men appear to be trying to portray the plotters as a bunch of yahoos with guns, “talking big” with other wannabe militia-types.

All five defendants appeared in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, where the government disclosed shocking new allegations in the case, including: Fox wanted to take Whitmer out on a boat and leave her in Lake Michigan; the group talked about also kidnapping Virginia’s governor; and one suspect — a decorated Marine — allegedly asked his cohorts if they were interested in killing a cop in Maine for one of his friends.

Defense lawyers, meanwhile, argued that the government has only produced snippets of conversations in the case and that there is no evidence that the accused had any real plan to kidnap Whitmer. They said that it remains to be seen what roles the undercover informants and FBI agents played in the case, and whether they pushed the others into carrying out the plan, which in the end was foiled when FBI agents arrested five men during a setup on Oct. 7.

But the government claims that the men’s talk became increasingly violent and that the FBI agreed to sell them explosives. One of the plotters allegedly asked some of the other accused to help him murder a cop in Maine for money.

But in the end, we’re stuck with the simple fact that they didn’t have a chance in hell of succeeding. Kidnap the governor of Michigan? In what universe (except the fantasy universe of paranoid liberals) could such a plot succeed? They also talked of kidnapping the governor of Virginia Ralph Northam. The government claims the plots were part of an effort to “incite” a rebellion.

John Brown had a better chance of inciting a slave revolt by taking over the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry than these losers had of encouraging an uprising. Not even Antifa is that stupid.

So we’re back to the question of how anyone can take these guys seriously.

There was no real plan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, but only “military wannabes” who engaged in “big talk” and played with guns in the woods, defense lawyers argued in federal court Tuesday.

As one defense lawyer suggested, the case appears to be one of “big talk between crackpots,” or “people who talk a lot … but are never going to do anything.”

“Have you ever dealt with big talkers?” defense attorney Scott Graham asked an FBI agent on cross-examination, adding: “There’s kind of a military-wanna-be theme that runs between the militias.”

That may be true, but it’s also a fact that they broke the law and need to pay for it.

That said, the way this case is playing out in the media is, at times, laughable. If these guys were serious, how were they going to get past security? How were they going to drive halfway across the state and bring Whitmer to Wisconsin with every police officer, state policeman, federal agent, and private citizen on the lookout for them?

The Beer Hall Putsch was a sophisticated conspiracy compared to this “plot.”

“Big talk”? No doubt. So why make this comical plot into something it isn’t  — evidence that right-wing extremists are a big law enforcement problem and they should all be designated as “domestic terrorists.

Domestic idiots, yes. “Terrorist” is a stretch that the media has tried to make — with comical results.