Closing arguments next in trial of men charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer

Closing arguments are expected Monday in the retrial of two men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan's governor in 2020. 

The prosecution rested its case last week in the trial of Barry Croft Jr. and Adam Fox, the two men whose case led to a hung jury in April after the U.S. failed to secure convictions against four men. 

Both men declined to testify in their case, which their defense rested on Friday. While the U.S. has painted the men as masterminds behind a plot to abduct Gretchen Whitmer during a volatile election season, their attorneys have said both men were entrapped by the government and instead were typically high when they discussed how they would carry out the plot.

Both men have been in jail since late-2020 when they were arrested along with several others. Two of the men who were charged in the plot have since pled guilty to federal charges, while two other men were acquitted at their trial.

Both Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, accomplices who took plea deals, have testified against Croft and Fox.

During the case, the jury heard secretly recorded conversations and read violent social media posts, some written before the FBI got involved. Two undercover agents and an informant testified for hours, explaining how the men trained in Wisconsin and Michigan and visited Elk Rapids to see Whitmer’s home.

Croft, 46, is from Bear, Delaware. Fox, 39, was living in the basement of a vacuum shop in the Grand Rapids area.

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Whitmer, a Democrat, has blamed then-President Donald Trump for stoking mistrust and fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn hate groups and right-wing extremists like those charged in the plot.

Barry Croft Jr. (left) and Adam Fox

She said Sunday that she hasn’t been following the retrial, but that she remains concerned about "violent rhetoric in this country."

"This is a dangerous trend that is happening. We cannot let it become normalized and I do hope that anyone that’s out there plotting to hurt their fellow Americans is held accountable," Whitmer said at the Michigan Democratic Party’s convention in Lansing.

Trump recently called the kidnapping plan a "fake deal."

The Associated Press contributed to this report