FBI agent: Militia member in Whitmer kidnap plot said 'shooting cops was a good idea'

Preliminary hearings continued for five members of a militia group accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday.

FOX 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton said the hearing revealed the defense strategy for the alleged Wolverine Watchmen members, as their defense got to cross-examine the lead FBI agent, Henrik Impola.

The defense spent the day minimizing the threat the defendants posed, saying they didn't know where Whitmer lived and that they were not the ringleaders. 

Adam Fox and Barry Croft were found guilty on very similar charges recently as the group's leaders in federal court.

Impola was questioned about an August, 2022 field training exercise in Luther, Michigan.

"I don't think that by just being present, they did anything illegal," said the lead agent.

Defense attorney: "Now in cross-examination, you're telling us you really don't know the route, correct?"

"I don't know the specific route, that's correct," Impola said.

More coverage: FBI testimony: Militia members had plan to shoot Whitmer in head

Defense attorney: "Any wire chats in this case was Mr. (Brian) Higgins on?"

"Not to my knowledge," Impola said.

Defense attorney: "So on August 26, 2020, Mr. Higgins wasn't there?"

"That's correct."

William Null, Michael Null, Eric Molitor, Brian Higgins and Shawn Fix are facing charges in relation to the plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Watch: Day 2 testimony Wolverine Watchmen preliminary exam

The defense also brought up the location of the court hearings - Antrim County, which is not where the alleged field training in Luther is located. It is, however where Gov. Whitmer's vacation cottage is.

Defense: "And Luther is not in Antrim County, correct?"

"To my knowledge, it is not," the agent said.

But the defense didn't score all the points.

Defense: "What specific details do you know personally about Bill Null?"

"So I know he agreed that terrorizing people and burning people and shooting cops was a good idea," Impola testified.

Impola is the first witness for the prosecution and there will be at least one more. There are attorneys for each of the suspects, so the hearings could stretch on for days with separate cross-examinations.

FBI lead agent Henrik Impola

FBI lead agent Henrik Impola