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Feds: Men hoped to kidnap Whitmer, spark uprising

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A federal prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that two anti-government extremists sought to spark a "second American revolution" by kidnapping Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. are on trial for a second time, four months after a jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on them and acquitted two other men. The jury heard competing themes during opening statements Wednesday. Prosecutors will present angry, profanity-laced conversations, text messages and social media posts to show that a band of homegrown rebels was serious about snatching the Democratic governor. Defense attorneys, however, attacked the motivations of undercover FBI agents and informants who had infiltrated the group and built the investigation. The retrial's first witness Wednesday was an FBI agent, and Associated Press writer Ed White says the prosecution's questioning was telling. "The government was trying to get the jury to focus their attention on this: That Fox and Croft were disgusted, angry, mad at government long before the FBI put undercover agents and informants in this pack of rebels," White said. Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were found not guilty in April. Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks pleaded guilty and will testify again for prosecutors. Whitmer, who will not be called as a trial witness, disclosed Monday night that she tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time and was experiencing mild symptoms. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, the governor said she believes she was the target of an "assassination plot," not just a kidnapping.

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