Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Unravels: The FBI’s Tactics Under Scrutiny

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A Jury Acquits Three, Exposing Controversial FBI Informant Tactics in the Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Case

In a startling turn of events, a jury in the U.S. state of Michigan has acquitted three men of their alleged involvement in a plot to kidnap the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

William Null, Michael Null, and Eric Molitor walked free after being found not guilty of charges related to providing support for a terrorist act and weapons possession.

They were among the 14 individuals accused of conspiring to abduct Governor Whitmer from her holiday home in 2020.

Prosecutors contended that the Nulls, who happen to be twin brothers, and Mr. Molitor took part in military-style drills and traveled to Whitmer’s holiday home in northern Michigan.

However, the jury’s verdict delivered a huge blow to the prosecution’s narrative, as the three men were acquitted after a three-week trial in Antrim County, where Governor Whitmer’s vacation home is located.

Despite accusations that the trio had supported the leaders of the kidnapping plan by engaging in military exercises and scouting Whitmer’s property, the jury’s decision demonstrated that they did not endorse the plot.

This outcome has raised some serious questions about the FBI’s investigative methods and the credibility of its informants.

“The targeting is based on what people say and think and who they associate with rather than evidence of criminality,” warns Michael German, a former FBI special agent who infiltrated white nationalist organizations during the 1990s.

“It alters the focus of the investigation away from the individuals who are involved in criminal activity.”

The FBI had been monitoring the group for months before making arrests in October 2020, just one month before the presidential election.

Thankfully, the plot never materialized, and Governor Whitmer got the press she so desperately wanted.

However, the case stirred intense debate during the 2020 election, skyrocketing unfounded concerns over the threat posed by domestic extremist groups.

(From left) Michael Null, Eric Molitor and William Null
(From left) Michael Null, Eric Molitor and William Null

Governor Whitmer’s chief of staff, JoAnne Huls, expressed disappointment with the verdict, claiming that a not guilty verdict on a plot to kidnap and harm a sitting governor could embolden radical extremists who seek to sow discord and harm public officials or law enforcement.

This case has shed light on the FBI’s long-standing strategy, born from the powers granted to combat terrorism, of pursuing criminal investigations against hypothetical criminal acts that may never come to fruition.

Often, these investigations are based on evidence that amounts to little more than fringe political or ideological speech.

Critics argue that this approach shifts the focus of investigations away from individuals involved in actual criminal activity.

Michael German, a former FBI special agent who infiltrated white nationalist organizations during the 1990s, warns that targeting individuals based on their speech and associations can divert resources from genuine threats.

The acquittal of the three men involved in the plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer has brought the controversial FBI investigative methods under some much-needed scrutiny.

It has raised questions about the use of informants and the focus on individuals based on their speech and associations, rather than concrete evidence of criminal intent.

The case serves as a stark reminder of the challenges and complexities surrounding framing innocent civilians in domestic terrorism investigations in the United States.


Read the original story here:

BBC

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controversial tactics counterterrorism methods domestic terror extremist groups FBI FBI Informants kidnapping plot Michigan Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer whitmer

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