FBI agents who had infiltrated the organization that plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reportedly played a more active role than previously believed.
The story: There were at least 12 FBI informants who were part of the investigation to thwart the alleged scheme to kidnap the governor. The informants infiltrated the militia group known as the “Wolverine Watchmen” which resulted in the arrest of 14 members of the group.
However, a new BuzzFeed News report revealed that the informants played a far greater role in the plot than had been previously reported, raising the question of whether there would have ever been a conspiracy without their actions as part of the group.
In detail: BuzzFeed News reviewed dozens of interviews, evidence, and court filings that reportedly showed the informants took an active part in nearly every aspect of the scheme, including its inception.
One informant from Wisconsin allegedly helped organize several cross-country meetings with extremists that laid the groundwork for the plot. That informant even paid for hotel rooms and food as incentive to get people to attend the meetings, Buzzfeed News reported.
Another undercover agent allegedly helped the group with the details of a plan to blow up a bridge, which would have made it easier for them to escape. This agent promised to provide the group with explosives.
An FBI informant, who is an Iraq War veteran, advised and urged the group to collaborate with other suspects. The informant also encouraged the alleged mastermind of the plot to move forward with the plan. This particular informant was so deeply involved with the group that he eventually rose to become second in command, according to BuzzFeed News.
Lawyers for the men accused of plotting to kidnap Whitmer say that the informants spurred their anger at Whitmer, encouraged them to carry out the plot, andled military-style trainings for the plot. They claim that the undercover agents even went as far as to steer the conversation away from other topics to the kidnapping plan.
The defendants claimed that the plan to kidnap Whitmer was just talk and that they never intended to harm the governor.
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