Two men were convicted of conspiring to kidnap the Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, in 2020, by a jury on Tuesday. Prosecutors had described the entire plot as a rallying cry for a US civil war by anti-government extremists which was broken up by the FBI. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. had appeared for their second trial as a jury in April had failed to reach a verdict. However, two other men were acquitted in the same trial.

The result is being touted as a big victory for the US Justice Department. Fox and Croft were convicted of two counts of conspiracy related to the kidnapping scheme and attempts to obtain a weapon of mass destruction, Associated Press reported. The two were also planning to blow up a bridge to disrupt police if the abduction had swiftly went through at Whitmer’s vacation home.

Croft is a 46-year-old trucker and was also convicted of another explosives charge. 

Assistant US attorney Nils Kessler told jurors that the kidnapping was not the defendants’ ultimate goal. “They wanted to set off a second American civil war, a second American Revolution, something that they call the boogaloo. And they wanted to do it for a long time before they settled on Governor Whitmer,” he said.

Kessler urged jurors to focus on what Fox and Croft had done. “These defendants were outside a woman’s house in the middle of the night with night-vision goggles and guns and a plan to kidnap her and they made a real bomb. That’s far enough, isn’t it?” Kessler said.

Meanwhile, Fox’s attorney Christopher Gibbons called the verdict disappointing. “We were hoping for a different outcome,” he told reporters.

The entire episode began when Army veteran Dan Chappel heard talk of killing police after joining a paramilitary group. He then became an FBI informant and got close to Fox and others, recording their conversations. Two more informants and two undercover agents were placed in the group by FBI over a period of time. The group was reportedly unhappy with the COVID-19 restrictions placed by Whitmer.

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