UPDATE 12:40 p.m., March 17 — A key figure in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to restrain the “tyrant” on a table then pose for a photo “like we just made the biggest drug bust,” according to a secret recording played for jurors Thursday.

The trial of four men resumed in federal court in Grand Rapids, after a three-day delay due to someone in the courtroom testing positive for COVID-19.

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Agent Mark Schweers told the jury that he was posing as someone with like-minded views from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when he met Adam Fox in the basement of a vacuum shop in suburban Grand Rapids, a hideaway accessed by a trap door.

Fox didn’t know that Schweers was wearing a recording device as he talked excitedly about attacking the Michigan Capitol, teaming up with a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen, and restoring a “constitutional republic.”

“We want her flex-cuffed on a table while we all pose and get our pictures taken like we just made the biggest drug bust in … history,” Fox said of Whitmer, laughing and using profanities.

“You give us that, we’ll be happy,” Fox said. “Then you lock her … up, even if we gotta go with her.”

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The trial of four men charged with planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will resume this week after a three-day break because of a COVID-19 case, a judge said Wednesday.

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The trial was suspended because the virus had struck a key participant in the case. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said testimony will pick up again Thursday as anticipated.

There have been “no further complications,” the judge said.

Jonker didn’t disclose the name of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 or their role. Masks are optional for everyone in court. Only one prosecutor and one juror wore a mask last week.

Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta are charged with conspiracy. Prosecutors say they turned their anger toward government in 2020 into a plot to kidnap Whitmer because of the restrictions she imposed during the early months of the pandemic.

Testimony in federal court in Grand Rapids began on March 9. The trial could last weeks.

Jurors listening to social media videos and secretly recorded conversations heard Fox and Croft talk about taking action against government. Defense lawyers claim informants and undercover agents improperly influenced the men.

Whitmer, a Democrat who is seeking reelection, rarely talks publicly about the case. 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. She has said Trump was complicit in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

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