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Undercover Agent Next In Whitmer Kidnap Plot Trial

(AP) - Federal prosecutors plan to finish presenting evidence this week in the trial of four men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

An undercover FBI agent known as "Red" will appear when testimony resumes Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler said Friday.

Red joined key members of the group on a 2020 trip to Elk Rapids to take a look at Whitmer's vacation home and a nearby bridge that could be blown up to distract police during her kidnapping, according to evidence.

Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta are charged with conspiracy. Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, two other men who were also arrested in October 2020, have pleaded guilty and were critical witnesses for the government last week.

Authorities said the men were armed extremists who, after weeks of training, were trying to come up with $4,000 for an explosive. They practiced that summer in Wisconsin and Michigan by dashing in and out of crude structures built to resemble a house or office.

Garbin testified last week that Whitmer's kidnapping could ignite a U.S. civil war involving antigovernment groups and possibly prevent Joe Biden from winning the presidential election.

Fox talked about snatching the governor "every time I saw him," Franks said.

Defense attorneys deny there was an actual plan to get Whitmer, claiming the men were improperly influenced by undercover agents and informants, and exchanged wild talk while often smoking marijuana.

Whitmer, a Democrat, rarely talks publicly about the case, though she referred to "surprises" during her term that seem like "something out of fiction" when she filed for reelection on March 17.

She has blamed former President Donald Trump for fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists like those charged in the case. Whitmer has said Trump was complicit in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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