Saturday, April 9, 2022

Jurors Acquit or Hang On Whitmer Kidnapping Case

A pretty big development in the case of the crew of yahoos who were apparently talk into a plan to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, and "try" her for crimes against the people, mostly WuFlu restrictions. The judge allowed the defense to argue and present evidence that the defendants were entrapped by FBI agents who appear to have, for the most part, concocted, cajoled, and provided the apparent means for the plot. Apparently, the jury was persuaded, for at least two of the defendants, and split on two more, resulting in a hung jury. The DOJ has the option of retrying those defendants, but with their alleged co-conspirators acquitted, that seems a heavier lift. Since the redoubtable Julie Kelly at Am Great has been on the case from the beginning, we'll go there first, Two Acquitted in Whitmer Case, FBI Misconduct Central, "In a huge defeat for the U.S. Department of Justice, a jury today acquitted two men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the fall of 2020."

In a huge defeat for the U.S. Department of Justice, a jury today acquitted two men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the fall of 2020 and deadlocked on a verdict for two other defendants. The verdicts were announced at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building in Grand Rapids after more than four days of deliberations; jurors heard 13 days of testimony in a case the government considered one of its biggest domestic terrorism investigations ever.

Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta of Michigan were found not guilty of conspiring “to unlawfully seize, confine, kidnap, abduct and carry away, and hold for ransom and reward, or otherwise, the Governor of the State of Michigan.” Jurors could not reach a unanimous decision for Adam Fox, the alleged ringleader, and Barry Croft, Jr., resulting in a mistrial.

Harris was also found not guilty on charges of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction for allegedly attempting to build an explosive device to use in the abduction scheme and other firearms charges.

Jurors this morning notified Chief U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker that they had reached a verdict on several charges but were deadlocked on others. Jonker urged the jury of six men and six women to continue deliberating under a soft “Allen charge,” which instructs jurors to keep pushing for a unanimous verdict but they later notified Jonker the outcome was the same.

Defense attorneys had argued—successfully, it would appear—that their clients were entrapped by the FBI; at least a dozen FBI confidential human sources and undercover agents working out of numerous FBI field offices were deeply embedded in the plot.

Julie Kelly@julie_kelly2 "The FBI entrapped innocent men in 2020 in order to produce damaging headlines for Donald Trump while millions of Americans were voting for president. A crime bigger than Russiagate. Hi @JudiciaryGOP"

Fox, Michigan Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot: 2 men acquitted, jury deadlocked on 2 others. ABC, 2 men acquitted of conspiracy in foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer; jury deadlocks on 2 alleged ringleaders. The Peacock droops, No convictions for defendants in Michigan Gov. Whitmer kidnapping trial.  At JTN, Michigan jury acquits two men, deadlock on two others in trial for plot to kidnap Whitmer. Matt Vespa at Town Hall, How the FBI Got Whacked By Their Own Boomerang in the Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Case. Detroit News, Jury finds 2 men not guilty in Whitmer kidnap case; unable to reach verdicts on 2 others. Althouse read WaPoo, "A federal jury acquitted two men of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and deadlocked on the case against two others, apparently agreeing to some degree with defense claims that FBI agents entrapped the men..." . . . WaPo reports. 'Bonchie' at Red State calls it a Massive Blow to the FBI After Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Verdict Drops. Jazz Shaw at Haut Hair, Not one Whitman "kidnapper" is convicted. Ed Driscoll at Insty, EFREM ZIMBALIST JR. LEFT THE HOOVER BUILDING A LONG TIME AGO: Prosecutors Fail to Secure a Single Guilty Verdict in Alleged Whitmer Kidnapping Plot. "As Howie Carr wrote last fall: Abolish the FBI: You heard it here first." Sundance at CTH, Two Not Guilty Verdicts and Two Jury Deadlocked Outcomes in Trial of Four Men Accused of Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

While we have not followed the case as closely as some, the original framework of the federal case against men accused in the kidnapping plot of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer seemed seriously sketchy from the outset. When it was revealed that twelve FBI operatives were involved in the plot {LINK}, well, it looked like a classic entrapment case.

Six total suspects were arrested of the group of 18 total plotters. Twelve of the eighteen were feds. Two men took a plea deal for lesser charges leaving four men to stand trial.

After four weeks of testimony, the jury was given the ability to consider an entrapment defense. Four days of deliberations have resulted in a not guilty verdict for two of the suspects and a hung jury on two more.

I'll bet the two who pleaded to lesser charges are re-thinking that decision. Ace, Verdicts In In Gretchen Whitmer Fake "Kidnapping Plot" Trial: Two Defendants Found Not Guilty, Hung Jury On Other Two Defendants, "People are waking up from The Matrix."

This is a pretty big deal. It certainly has the appearance of an attempt to entrap the defendants for the purpose of greater glory to the FBI, strengthening the narrative that right-wing political violence is a major threat to the nation, and neatly smearing Donald Trump all in one action. It is of note that the FBI leader who directed this operation was moved to Washington DC as a reward after this operation, where he was in charge during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Revolver, Wray Shows True Colors By Rewarding FBI Agent Who Pushed “Whitmer Kidnapping Plot” With Plum Promotion. Did he employ similar tactics there? Most likely. FBI Director Chris Ray has a lot to answer for, and he won't be seriously challenged about it until Republicans take the house. 

On the Jan. 6 events, the redoubtable Julie Kelly details how Another January 6 Narrative Goes Boom "Capitol Police did, in fact, let the protesters in the building." We've known this for a long time, but now a judge took notice of it. 

How does a mob “illegally storm” the Capitol building when police let them in? That is the latest narrative-shifting question the media wants desperately to avoid after a federal judge on Wednesday found a January 6 defendant not guilty for his conduct during the protest at the Capitol that day.

Matthew Martin was arrested in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 22, 2021; he later was charged with the four most common misdemeanors related to the Justice Department’s prosecution of Capitol protesters: entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct, violent entry, and parading in the Capitol building.

Those petty offenses comprise the overwhelming majority of criminal charges against the nearly 800 or so January 6 defendants. More than 150 people have pleaded guilty to the “parading” charge—many have been sentenced to a few months in prison.

But those defendants might regret accepting the plea deal offered by the government after D.C. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden not only acquitted Martin on all counts but agreed with Martin’s assertion that he was “waved” in by Capitol Police officers. Martin, who opted for a bench trial before the Trump-appointed judge and testified in his own defense, entered the building around 3 p.m. through a set of doors on the east side. He walked through the Rotunda and stayed inside for about 10 minutes.

For that activity—a right protected under the Constitution up until January 6, 2021—Martin’s life, like that of every other American ensnared in this abusive prosecution, has been destroyed. Following his acquittal, Martin spoke to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. “I am very thankful for the judge’s verdict and hoping to get my life back together, get my job back,” said Martin, who was fired as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy after he was arrested a year ago.

At WaEx,  Jan. 6 defendant backs out of plea deal after judge acquits other accused rioter. I predict a sudden wave of dropped cases.

Kylee Zempel at Da Fed compares the J6 committee with the infamous John Doe investigation in Wisconsin.  Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 Committee Is Following The Same Pattern As The Evil John Doe Investigation. Read it to refresh your memory. Tristan Justice at Da Fed, House Votes To Seek Jail Time For Former Trump Officials Held In Contempt. WaPoo whines that the Justice Department faces fraught decision with contempt referrals pending, "Some say failing to bring charges would render subpoenas useless but analysts say it is complicated." I don't think Merrick Garland relishes the role of being the Democrat's enforcer. At the Cook Political Report, Amy Walters calls January 6th, Roe v. Wade  the Known Unknowns for 2022.

While the January 6th Commission has been busy at work, most of it has been behind closed doors. Later this spring, the public will get its first opportunity to hear about their investigation. GOP leaders have decried these hearings as part of a Pelosi-driven attempt to discredit former President Trump and the party. They argue that the public, already saturated with information about the attack on the Capitol, is ready to move on.

Democrats contend there is a lot more to learn about the attack on the Capitol. And there have plenty of leaks designed to make that very point. In recent days, we’ve learned about a 7-hour “gap” in Trump’s phone records on that day, text messages sent from conservative activist and spouse of Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas, to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows encouraging him to keep the president from conceding the election, and most recently the 5-hour long closed-door testimony to the committee by Ivanka Trump.

“Members of the committee envision hearings that they hope will prove too riveting to ignore,” NBC’s Peter Alexander wrote earlier this year. “They are banking on wall-to-wall coverage on cable news, headlines on news sites and a constant churn on social media. They’re preparing to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end stretched out over two to three weeks, complete with surprises and plot twists. Viewers will see live witnesses and video presentations suited to an audience that hasn’t breathlessly followed every detail of the January 6th saga, members said.”

I have yet to see any congressional committee that could be called riveting. 

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