The Federal Bureau of Investigation may have played a much larger role in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) than originally believed.
In fact, the men who were arrested for hatching the plot allege that without coercion from FBI informants, the plot may never have materialized.
What is the background?
In October 2020, the FBI charged 13 men for allegedly plotting to kidnap Whitmer. Six of the alleged conspirators were arrested on federal crimes, while the other seven were booked on state charges.
The FBI, having informants among the conspirators, were well aware of the activities as the men allegedly hatched their plans, so there was never an imminent threat to Whitmer's safety, NBC News reported.
Whitmer, of course, blamed then-President Donald Trump for inciting the plot against her, even though it was quickly uncovered that the conspirators were not Trump supporters, but anarchists.
What happened now?
BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday that FBI agents used at least 12 confidential informants to capture the alleged conspirators, revealing the FBI's informants played a much more significant role in the plot than was originally known.
Now arising are questions of whether the plot would have ever materialized if it weren't for the informants encouraging the conspirators to advance the plans. In fact, according to BuzzFeed News, the informants "had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception."
More from BuzzFeed News:
A longtime government informant from Wisconsin, for example, helped organize a series of meetings around the country where many of the alleged plotters first met one another and the earliest notions of a plan took root, some of those people say. The Wisconsin informant even paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.
The Iraq War vet, for his part, became so deeply enmeshed in a Michigan militant group that he rose to become its second-in-command, encouraging members to collaborate with other potential suspects and paying for their transportation to meetings. He prodded the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping plot to advance his plan, then baited the trap that led to the arrest.
According to the report, some of the conspirators expressed reservations about moving forward with the plot, saying they had only joined the group for "training," but were essentially coerced by an informant to move forward against Whitmer.
Where does it go from here?
Such a defense may prove effective only if defense attorneys can prove the informants both introduced the crime and that their clients lacked predisposition to otherwise participate in the criminal activity.