Man in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot claims he lied after his arrest

On Friday, defense attorneys tried to discredit the testimony of a man who claimed he planned to kidnap the Michigan governor. 

Man in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot claims he lied after his arrest

Gretchen Whitmer was forced to confess that he had called the group a "bunch jokers" after his arrest.

However, Kaleb Friedrichs pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in February. He said that he was afraid of going to prison for his part, in a shocking scheme to seize Whitmer from her northern Michigan vacation home just before the 2020 National Election.

Franks stated that he hoped that "LARPing," which is live-action role play, would "explain firearms...all that was a component of the crime."

Assistant U.S. attorney Jonathan Roth asked, "If you were LARPing would you have pled guilty?"

Franks responded, "No."

On the 10th day, he testified for four men accused of conspiring kidnap Whitmer. They were Barry Croft Jr. and Daniel Harris, as well as Brandon Caserta. Franks was willing to cooperate with the prosecutors in order to get a lighter sentence for June.

Fox believed Whitmer's COVID-19 limitations were "tyrannical", and that the U.S. Constitution allowed the men to strike back. Ty Garbin, another man who pleaded guilty to the charges, stated that a kidnapping could spark a U.S. civil war. Ty Garbin, another man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping, said that he could spark a U.S. civil war with antigovernment groups. This could possibly stop Joe Biden's election.

Franks' main testimony took place Thursday in Grand Rapids federal court. Franks' a href="https://apnews.com/article/whitmer-kidnap-plot-trial-biden–covid–health–michigan-aff035ce3331139a029b052a77279962">main testimony took place Thursday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Franks stated, "I was going be an operator." Franks said, "I would be on the frontline, so to speak, using the gun."

He claimed he stayed with them because he was sad and hoped that he would die in a shootout.

Friday's defense attorneys tried to stop Franks by highlighting inconsistencies.

"Your testimony over the past couple of days was, 'These men were serious.' This is not what you told the FBI when arrested," Joshua Blanchard, Croft lawyer, said. "You described the entire group as a bunch jokers and that they were LARPing. ... We use this term to refer to people who dress up as Pokemon at comic con.

Franks admitted to telling investigators Fox was the leader. However, Fox was being egged on constantly by an FBI informant who secretly recorded conversations for months. This contradicted his earlier comments that Danchappel didn't attempt to lead the group.

Franks stated to the jury that he was lying because he was trying to avoid jail.

He also admitted to a heroin addiction and had illegally taken an opiate substitute during his time in custody.

The defense attorneys want to prove that there was no plot. They just talked a lot about Whitmer and other politicians who trampled their rights during the pandemic.

Friday's jury sent its home 50 minutes earlier than scheduled because a witness from the government hadn't yet arrived. Robert Jonker, U.S. District Judge, was not happy.

"This is what drives me crazy. ... He told prosecutors: "Please, don't allow this to happen again."

Whitmer, a Democrat rarely speaks publicly about the case. However, she did refer to "surprises” during her term that seemed like "something outof fiction" when filing for reelection.

She blames former President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting anger over coronavirus regulations and refusing condemn right-wing extremists such as those who were charged in this case. Whitmer claimed that Trump was complicit with the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.


 

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