In the 2020 case against 14 Wolverine Watchmen, who allegedly tried to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), the FBI got their wit and cracked down. However, there is a small twist in the plot.
In September, a group of Wolverine Watchmen kidnapped the governor from her vacation cottage at Birch Lake, 255 miles northwest of downtown Detroit. The armed men allegedly subdued her with a stun gun and even considered blowing up a bridge to hinder the police response. They were unhappy with Whitmer’s strict Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus lockdowns and restrictions, among other things.
However, federal investigators quickly ended the daring scheme after infiltrating the group with informants. In less than a month, the FBI had detained all 14 kidnapping suspects.
The Justice Department applauded the crackdown as a clear example of law enforcement agencies “working together to make sure violent extremists never succeed with their plans” in a statement.
However, the defendants revealed the whole operation was a setup. They accused the FBI of targeting them for holding conservative political views.
“Working in secret, they [the informants] did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects,” BuzzFeed News reported. “Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception.”
BL understands at least 12 informants participated in the investigation. Among the 14 men indicted, five or more had worked for the FBI.
The publication reviewed court filings, transcripts, exhibits, audio recordings, interviews, and other documents. It discovered one of the male informants was in charge of organizing a series of meetings during the very early concept phase. He allegedly covered the cost of hotel and food expenses to encourage more people to attend.
The group’s second-in-command was reportedly another informant. He allegedly encouraged the plot’s mastermind to proceed with the scheme.
Attorneys of the defendants maintain the Wolverine Watchmen were only a remote threat.
“The FBI knew these people had some beliefs, and were egging them on and providing help and ammunition,” attorney Kareem Johnson said according to the New York Post. “They encouraged, helped instigate, and escalated the criminal conduct of those individuals.”
Johnson suggested both the FBI informants and group members should face punishment.
“At the end of the day, there were almost as many FBI agents leading the group as the other people in the group,” he said according to the paper.
Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Danny Coulson revealed “entrapment” is commonly used by defendants to avoid conviction, and does not believe operatives had any malignant agenda.
Coulson admitted he, and other former and current FBI agents, still have “very grave concerns” about the bureau’s more recent activities. He cited the FBI’s latest Twitter post that encourages Americans to monitor and report family members or peers for any signs of extremism.
“The bureau’s job is to collect evidence, not to develop informants,” he said. “That was inappropriate.”
An attorney for one defendant previously filed a request for text messages between the informant and his client. The attorney alleged the contents should be considered potential evidence of “entrapment.”
Different lawyers acting for other defendants are separately considering motions that accuse the government of deliberately concealing evidence of entrapment.