Gretchen Whitmer: Three men cleared of plotting to kidnap governor

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A jury in the US state of Michigan has acquitted three men of involvement in a plot to kidnap the state’s governor.

William Null, Michael Null and Eric Molitor were found not guilty of providing support for a terrorist act and a weapons charge.

They were among 14 accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her holiday home in 2020.

Nine men have been convicted, and two others were previously acquitted.

Prosecutors say the plot was motivated by rumours that the 2020 presidential election would be stolen and opposition to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by Ms Whitmer’s administration.

The group, which included members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia, planned to put the governor on trial for treason.

Ringleaders Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr were convicted of kidnapping conspiracy last year.

Prosecutors said the Nulls – who are twin brothers – and Mr Molitor participated in military-style drills and travelled to see Whitmer’s holiday home in northern Michigan.

But the jury acquitted the three men, who were the last to stand trial in connection with the case, after a three-week trial.

During closing arguments on Wednesday, prosecutor William Rollstin said the men “hated their government.”

“All the defendants here hated police officers and were willing to go to war,” he said.

But the defence argued that the trio were scared off when talk turned to violence and did not support the plot.

“No material support. No crime,” defence attorney Damian Nunzio said during closing arguments.

Undercover FBI agents had monitored the group for months before arrests were made in October 2020, a month before that year’s presidential election.

The plot was never carried out, and Ms Whitmer was not harmed.

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