Prosecutors in the trial of four men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday played covertly recorded audio for jurors in which one of the men specifically discusses a plan to abduct the Democrat.
In the recording, made by a government informant during a meeting in mid-July 2020 in Wisconsin, Barry Croft Jr. describes the possibility of using explosives to “rain down” fire on law enforcement “with a team standing by” to abduct Whitmer.
He adds without providing details that it should be “a quick precise grab” of the governor.
In another recording made by the same informant, jurors heard the sound of an explosives test Croft was conducting. He’s later heard speaking almost giddily about the damage he could cause, saying it would be “devastating.”
Prosecutors say the men — Croft, Adam Fox, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta — planned to snatch Whitmer from her Michigan vacation home because they were angry about pandemic restrictions she imposed. They also planned to blow up a nearby bridge to slow the police response.
The audio played in the federal courtroom in Grand Rapids, Michigan, marked the first time the jury heard a defendant talking specifically about abducting Whitmer. In other recordings played, Croft and Fox mentioned Whitmer and spoke excitedly about taking action that would terrorize people.
“I’m gonna hit soon,” Croft is heard saying during what prosecutors say was a crucial June 6, 2020, meeting of antigovernment activists in Ohio. “ I’m going to terrorize people. The right people. The people who have been terrorizing my people.”