COVID-19 Delays Federal Trial In Plot To Kidnap Governor Whitmer

The trial for four men accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer is postponed until at least Thursday because an essential participant tested positive for COVID-19.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker ordered the delay Sunday.

Undercover FBI agents, informants and two co-conspirators who pleaded guilty prior to trial were expected to testify in the coming weeks as prosecutors build their case against Brandon Caserta, Barry Croft, Adam Fox and Daniel Harris.

The trial could last more than a month.

In testimony last week, prosecutors sought to counter defense claims that the four were entrapped by the FBI into joining a kidnapping conspiracy that wouldn’t have occurred to them otherwise.

Prosecutors laid the groundwork of their case by calling FBI investigators to explain how they obtained covert recordings and social media posts.

They entered some of that key evidence.

On Thursday, jurors heard for the first time a recording of one of the defendants specifically talk about kidnapping the Democratic governor. Barry Croft Jr. could be heard saying there should be “a quick, precise grab” of Governor Whitmer.

Jurors heard him and defendant Adam Fox in social media postings and recordings ranting about purported government abuses and saying violence was a valid response. Prosecutors say Croft and Fox were plot ringleaders.

Prosecutors said authorities arrested Fox, Croft, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta in October 2020 to thwart the kidnapping and to ensure the men couldn’t follow through on bids to buy powerful explosives.