As I’m sure you know by now, gentle readers, the FBI and the Biden/Biden’s Handlers/Garland Department of Justice just lost a major, political trial. In time for the 2020 election, the valiant G-men uncovered a nefarious plot of white supremacist, racist, just plain icky millitias to kidnap, and perhaps murder, the stalwart Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. As with racism, the D/S/C demand for white supremacists far exceeds the supply, so it must be manufactured. The demand for white supremacist kidnappers of staunch D/S/C governors is even greater. Manufacturing items of that rarity requires the full resources of the federal government. We turn to Kim Hirsch at Victory Girls Blog for the basics:
The story sounded like the plot of a bad Hollywood movie: a group of men concocted a scheme to kidnap MI Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of her Covid lockdowns. But on Friday, a jury in Grand Rapids found two men not guilty in the kidnap case, while deadlocked on charges against two ringleaders. The judge also declared a mistrial.
The verdicts came as a shock.
To all but those grounded in common sense, sanity, and a lack of information about the politicization of the Justice Department and FBI.
Certainly the defendants were no choir boys. But at the same time, the real villains in the kidnap case were the FBI, who developed strategies to entrap the defendants.
Of the 18 people supposedly involved in the plot, 12 were FBI employees or informants. “Employees” because not everyone involved was likely an actual agent. The FBI employees non-law enforcement officers in a variety of roles, including surveillance, which was surely used here.
During the three-week trial, the prosecution trotted out its stable of FBI agents and experts to expose the nefarious plot to kidnap Whitmer. The lead informant, Dan Chappel, had been hired by the FBI in March, 2020, to infiltrate this ragtag group of ‘militia’ members. Posing as a militia member himself, Chappel testified that he created encrypted internet chat groups to communicate with the defendants. He also organized excursions for ‘field training,’ as well as observation of Whitmer’s cottage, where the kidnapping would take place.
This is only a small portion of the government’s extraordinary, and illegal, efforts to produce crimes where none existed.
So who is “Big Dan” Chappel, the lead witness? Rather than a highly-trained FBI agent, he’s a truck driver for a US Postal Service subcontractor. The FBI, for their part, paid him $60,000 in cash and in gifts, such as a new laptop and a smart watch. He also got new tires.
Informants are often paid small amounts of money, and are given money necessary to further an investigation, all of which must be strictly accounted for, but this is ridiculous and the jury obviously figured it out.
Two agents who handled Chappel were removed from the witness list due to accusations of unethical conduct. Plus, Stephen Robeson, an FBI informant and former felon, was fired for committing two crimes while working on the FBI’s case. Robeson also worked as a double agent, offering to finance attacks and use a drone to commit domestic terrorism.
One of those FBI agents involved was working on setting up a cybersecurity firm on the side. All law enforcement agencies have prohibitions about working multiple jobs. He planned to use a successful prosecution in this case to publicize his business, planning to resign from the FBI and rocket to profitability on the notoriety. This guy—the lead agent Richard Trask (below)—was fired from the FBI for beating his wife when she refused to demonstrate sufficient enthusiasm on the occasion of a swinger’s party.
Hirsh also notes:
Not only that, but it turns out that Trask the wife beater had posted anti-Trump statements on his Facebook page.
These guys were the four prosecuted. Do they, gentle readers, look like top tier, highly skilled operators to you?
Consider that Fox had been living in the cellar of a Grand Rapids vacuum repair shop, which had no toilet or running water. Chappel established a relationship with this forlorn outcast, texting him at least 1000 times. On at least five occasions, Chappel also offered him a $5000 credit card, which Fox refused.
Fox obviously had more integrity than Chappel or the FBI.
Thus, Chappel and others were able to manipulate these sorry individuals into plotting to kidnap Whitmer in retaliation for her Covid lockdowns. Their plans included posing as a pizza delivery man in order to assassinate Whitmer. They also considered tying her up and leaving her in a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan.
And they made bombs, too. One of the bombs consisted of a commercial-grade firework with pennies attached to work as shrapnel. They also blew up a homemade bomb during training in September of 2020.
But the jury didn’t approve of the FBI’s tactics. As Billy Binion, the associate editor at Reason.com tweeted:
Consider this from The Detroit News:
Chief U.S. District Robert Jonker declared a mistrial on kidnapping conspiracy charges against accused ringleaders Adam Fox, 38, of Potterville, and Barry Croft, 46, of Delaware. Accused plotters Daniel Harris, 24, of Lake Orion, and Brandon Caserta, 34, of Canton Township, were being freed Friday afternoon after nearly two years behind bars. [skip]
The trial lasted 20 days, including 13 days of testimony and approximately 38 hours of jury deliberations spanning five days. Jurors — six men, six women, all white — heard hours of closing arguments and instructions last week after testimony and a multimedia case from the government.
One thing is certain: if the government wants to indict you, they’re going to do it, and the deck is absolutely stacked against defendants in federal criminal cases.
The defendants were arrested in early October 2020 and accused of hatching the plot due to distrust of the government and anger over restrictions imposed during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two others, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, earlier pleaded guilty and testified during the trial, telling jurors the plot originated with the group and that they were not entrapped by FBI agents and informants.
Why would Garbin and Franks plead guilty? Because they, and whatever lawyers they were able to get—probably public defenders unfamiliar with the federal system—believed they wouldn’t have a chance, and if convicted, they’d be locked away forever. Plead now and do what the feds want for a lighter sentence, was probably the rationale.
Obviously, Gov. Whitmer was not pleased at the verdicts. JoAnne Huls, her chief of staff, issued this statement:
‘The plot to kidnap and kill a governor may seem like an anomaly. But we must be honest about what it really is: the result of violent, divisive rhetoric that is all too common across our country. There must be accountability and consequences for those who commit heinous crimes. Without accountability, extremists will be emboldened.’
When the arrests were announced, the usual suspects–including Whitmer–blamed Donald Trump, because of his “violent, divisive rhetoric.” Here’s Hirsh’s final comment:
The verdicts were a huge defeat for the Department of Justice and the FBI — rats’ nests, which have hatched plot after plot in order to bring down one political party and hide the crimes of another. Eliot Ness must be rolling in his grave.
Granted, none of the defendants was waiting for a letter from the Vatican announcing their canonization, nor were they expecting to hear from the Nobel Committee. What is interesting is I’ve seen virtually nothing about any prior criminal records. If they had them, and/or if they were significant, the media would surely have made sure that information was common knowledge. Perhaps I somehow missed that part of the narrative…?
Analysis: Most people have a faulty understanding of entrapment, informed by TV and movie cop shows laced with D/S/C narratives. It is entirely lawful for the police to use informants. It is entirely lawful for informants and the police to lie to criminals. It’s rather hard to catch fundamentally dishonest and awful people unless one plays their game—within the limits of the law. There are at least four fundamental problems in this case:
1) The prosecutions were politically motivated
2) The FBI agents involved were themselves unethical and/or criminal
3) The defendants were unlawfully entrapped
4) There may have been no predicate for the case
Political motivation: the timing of the case, when D/S/Cs needed all the ammunition they could get against Donald Trump, and when they were in full “domestic terrorist/white supremacist/vaccination is next to godliness” cry, goes far beyond coincidence. Whitmer, and D/S/C politicians local and national, made full use of the arrests, which fully buttressed cherished D/S/C narratives and arguably boosted Joe Biden’s chances. Think I’m exaggerating? Julie Kelly at American Greatness makes a convincing case.
FBI corruption: the bare facts are obvious. The FBI has always held itself up as the world’s premier law enforcement agency, its agents held to a standard of training, behavior and ethics above and beyond all others. They do not, as a matter of policy, record interrogations, the theory being if an FBI agent said someone confessed, they must have confessed, because FBI agent’s honesty was beyond reproach. That hasn’t been true for a long, long time. The honesty part, not the no recording interviews part.
Entrapment: entrapment occurs when law enforcement, or anyone acting on their behalf such as an informant, causes someone to commit a crime they would not otherwise be motivated to commit. An informant buying drugs from a known drug dealer does not commit entrapment, because the dealer is in that business; he regularly violates the law, and the informant didn’t have to talk him into anything. However, if an informant approaches someone like Fox, sends him a 1000 texts, pretends to be his friend, offers him money, actively encourages, plots and develops the crime, finances and arranges everything necessary to commit the crime, when there is no evidence Fox would have committed that crime absent the informant’s encouragement and support, that’s textbook entrapment.
Sure, the government had recordings of the defendants saying rough and stupid things, but absent intent to act on those things absent the encouragement and overwhelming assistance of the government, that’s just rough and stupid talk, which thankfully is not yet illegal in America.
The judge in this case at first refused to allow evidence of entrapment, but was forced to change his mind. It’s likely he didn’t allow all the evidence of entrapment in, but it was obviously sufficient.
Predicate: as always, gentle readers, please keep in mind I have no access to all the documents and evidence available in this case. I’m relying on media accounts. That said, it appears there was no legitimate predicate for this case, which also invokes entrapment. It appears to have been dreamed up by Chappel, and the FBI agents involved who apparently saw an opportunity to make a name for themselves, and to score political/promotion points. This would be the kind of case that could make an FBI career, and make the Bureau look competent.
LE Officers do not manufacture cases. They’re far too busy—every honest cop in America is overworked–and it’s unethical, even illegal to do otherwise. They begin investigations when there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed, or when there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime is being planned—that’s a conspiracy in legal terms—and is likely to be carried out. We don’t know exactly how this case got off the ground, but considering the apparent quality of the informants involved, it seems clear this was a political/promotion case. Capable FBI agents should have, early, realized the sad sack defendants would never advance behind the “running their mouths” stage on their own and dropped it. The mere fact 1000 texts were necessary to get and keep a single defendant on board should have been a major red flag.
The DOJ is making noises about retrying the two mistrial defendants. Honest prosecutors would take the hint and drop the charges. Even in Michigan, the jury knew what was up. Unfortunately, they are part of an entirely politicized organization dedicated to destroying its political enemies: these defendants among them, not that they’re of any actual significance to the government. They’re merely useful in maintaining a D/S/C narrative of violent, white supremacist, domestic terrorist, racists. And of course, they have unlimited funds to pursue another prosecution.
Is the FBI entirely corrupt? Many are suggesting the Bureau must be entirely abolished and something else stood up in its place. So corrupt is the agency, they argue, nothing less will restore public confidence.
I believe many, even most, line FBI agents are honorable people. That’s not the problem. Every professional cop in America knows bad will is cumulative. They know the public sees the uniform, or in the case of the FBI, the suit, not individuals. Their view of a given agency, or even all law enforcement, is heavily influenced by their personal interactions with law enforcement, or those of their friends and family. A wise Sergeant once told me to treat everyone as I would want any police officer to treat my wife or mother. Good and smart advice I passed on at every opportunity.
The few, or the one, can destroy the reputation of all.
Surely Americans, with few exceptions, have sufficient common sense to know there are bad apples in every profession, and one can’t judge others, or an entire organization, by the bad acts of the one or the few. That’s not the problem.
When an FBI agent comes to your door, how do you know you’re talking to one of the honest agents? How do you know they haven’t been illegally capturing your phone calls, texts, what you view on the Internet, and on and on? How do you know they’re not there because someone in power has decided you’re not sufficiently politically correct and they can use you to begin or maintain a narrative? How do you know you’re not about to become the next racist, white supremacist, domestic terrorist media sensation show trial? How do you know you can trust them to obey the law? How do you know they’ll tell the truth about what you say if you speak with them?
You can’t. Not anymore.
Years ago, sometime before Barack Obama obviously and blatantly politicized the DOJ and FBI, one could be reasonably assured those agents—they usually work in pairs—were more likely than not honest. No more, and it’s their own damned fault.
Americans know that now. D/S/Cs are delighted because the FBI has become the regime protection force attacking their political enemies. The jury knew it too. Justice, in this case and others, no longer has much to do with the Department of Justice.