Man Sentenced for Plotting to Kidnap Mich. Gov.

Adam Fox, described by federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a militia member and leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Tuesday, the longest sentence yet for anyone involved in the high-profile domestic terrorism case.

Man Sentenced for Plotting to Kidnap Mich. Gov.
Image credit: The New York Times

Facts

  • Adam Fox, described by federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a militia member and leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Tuesday, the longest sentence yet for anyone involved in the high-profile domestic terrorism case.
  • After a hung jury in his first trial, Fox, 39, was convicted in August alongside Barry Croft Jr. on charges of kidnapping conspiracy and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Croft will be sentenced on Wednesday.
  • Fox's attorney, Christopher Gibbons, argued he "was an unemployed vacuum repairman who was venting his frustrations on social media," not the "false narrative of a terrifying paramilitary leader" the prosecution accused him of being.
  • Prosecutors also made the case that the 2020 plot included Fox conducting reconnaissance of Whitmer's summer home, blowing up a bridge near that home, and kidnapping her when he had the opportunity. They claimed that, ultimately, Fox wanted to start a second Civil War.
  • The defense, however, also argued entrapment, saying the FBI coerced the defendants into pursuing the plot through various undercover agents. They asked for a sentence of four to six years, aligned with the sentences of others who have pleaded guilty ahead of trial.
  • The sentence comes after three other co-defendants were convicted in October on charges of providing support for terrorist acts, for which they could receive between seven and 20 years. Five other men were charged in state court in another county and are awaiting trial.

Sources: New York Times, ABC, Daily Wire, Wall Street Journal, and CNN.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Chicago Sun-Times. Both the conviction and sentence of Adam Fox and his so-called co-conspirators have been blown way out of proportion. Given that two other suspects in the case have already been acquitted, coupled with the fact that undercover FBI agents encouraged, coordinated, assisted, and funded various parts of the scheme, it's clear that if it weren't for the Feds, this "kidnapping plot" would never have occurred.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Detroit Free Press. After a jury of Adam Fox's peers heard arguments and evidence from both sides, it rightfully decided to convict him of plotting a violent kidnapping attempt against the governor of Michigan. While on the surface, entrapment may seem to be a sound argument, the reality is that the FBI didn't plant the seed, and the prosecution proved that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.