Breaking Down the Details of the Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

Tuesday marked Day 12 of the federal trial into the kidnapping plot of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The government was hoping to be able to wrap up their case by the end of the day and hand it over to the defense but that will most likely come Wednesday.

Over the first three weeks, the jury had learned a lot of the details going into the alleged plot to kidnap, and potentially kill, Governor Whitmer.Whitmer Plot Recap Pkg 3 29 2200 01 06 24still001

Throughout the trial jurors have heard recorded conversations between the defendants and testimony from those on the inside on what the plan was.

Many ideas were thrown out but eventually the group seemed to settle on kidnapping her at one of three targets, the state capitol in Lansing, her lakefront cottage near Elk Rapids or the Governor’s Summer Residence on Mackinac Island.

Ultimately the group settled on option #2, the lake house in Elk Rapids.

The first steps toward the plot were two separate recon missions to scope it out, one in the day and one at night. Evidence showed Adam Fox and others went to a boat launch on the north side of Birch Lake to get eyes on the governor’s lake house. Originally the plan was to steal a boat and approach the cottage from the water but that idea sank.

Instead, they would attack the house from the road on a side-by-side off road vehicle. They planned to take out her security detail and storm the home to take Whitmer hostage. Then the plan would be to take her out of the home, by the UTV, away from the inland lake and out to a private beach access on Lake Michigan.

That’s where a boat, or maybe two, would be waiting to take her away by water.

To slow down police response, they would blow up the US-31 bridge in Elk Rapids, creating a distraction and cutting off the main road from town to the cottage.

Back to the beach, once in the water, they would either leave her stranded in the middle of the lake or take her across to Wisconsin for a ‘kangaroo court’ and then be hanged for treason.

That part isn’t clear. Where they’d get the boats wasn’t clear. How they’d know when Whitmer was at the lake house was not clear. Or if she has even gone at all since taking office, not clear.

Those questions have actually been a point of defense, how can you be charged with plotting to kidnap someone without having a feasible plot? Josh Blanchard, the attorney for Croft, pushed that idea after one of the court days last week.

“I think there was a two boat system, a three boat system, a two helicopter system, maybe a three helicopter system?” said Blanchard, “I think they deescalated down to a Kiowa helicopter? Not really clear and then a UTV showed up? I think crazy talk is crazy talk.”

As the defense begins their case some time this week, there seems to be two strategies. One being the FBI actors pushed this plan on the defendants and that’s entrapment. Or that this “plan” was so wild and fantastical that it could never have worked and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

It’s a very fine line to walk and one the defense attorneys will have to balance through the close of the trial.