None of the four men on trial for the alleged conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 were found guilty in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday.
Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted of all charges.
"I think what the FBI did is unconscionable," Caserta's attorney, Michael Hills said. "And I think the jury just sent them a message loud and clear that these tactics — we're not going to condone what they've done here."
U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker also declared a mistrial for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. as the jury could not agree on a verdict for them.
"We'll be ready for another trial," Fox's Attorney, Christopher Gibbons said. "We'll eventually get what we wanted out of this, which is the truth and the justice I think Adam is entitled to."
U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said they are "disappointed with the outcome" and they "are awaiting trial" and will "get back to work on that."
"Today, Michiganders and Americans—especially our children—are living through the normalization of political violence," Whitmer's chief of staff JoAnne Huls said in a statement after the verdict. "There must be accountability and consequences for those who commit heinous crimes. Without accountability, extremists will be emboldened."
The case featured 13 days of testimony, including two men who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer.
The Associated Press reports how the case was argued in court:
Ty Garbin, who pleaded guilty and is serving a six-year prison sentence, said the plan was to get Whitmer and cause enough chaos to trigger a civil war before the election, keeping Joe Biden from winning the presidency.
Garbin and Kaleb Franks, who also pleaded guilty and testified for the government, were among the six who were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of raising $4,000 for an explosive to blow up a bridge and stymie any police response to a kidnapping, according to trial testimony.
Prosecutors said the group was steeped in anti-government extremism and furious over Whitmer's pandemic restrictions. There was evidence of a crudely built "shoot house" to practice going in and out of her vacation home, and a night ride by Croft, Fox and covert operatives to check the property.
But defense lawyers portrayed the men as credulous weekend warriors, often stoned on marijuana and prone to big, wild talk. They said FBI agents and informants tricked and cajoled the men into targeting the governor.
Gigantic L for the FBI.
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