Skip to main content

Suspect in Whitmer kidnapping plot testifies after prosecution rests

Mar 31, 2022


After several defense witnesses refused to testify in the trial of four men accused in a kidnapping plot involving Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), one suspect did take the stand. When asked repeatedly Thursday if he agreed to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, Daniel Harris told jurors “absolutely not.”

Harris said he joined the “Wolverine Watchmen” militia so he could maintain his infantry skills. He, Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., and Brandon Caserta are facing conspiracy and weapons charges. They have been accused of planning the kidnapping in response to Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Testifying Thursday, Harris suggested that Fox, an alleged leader of the scheme, was a buffoon. Harris said he didn’t have Fox’s phone number and did not join Fox and Croft on an evening ride to Elk Rapids, Michigan, to scout Whitmer’s second home and a nearby bridge.

The Whitmer kidnapping plot suspect’s testimony came a day after the prosecution rested its case. Said case included nearly two weeks of secret recordings, violent, profanity-filled posts from social media and testimony from two men who have already pleaded guilty in the case. The defense’s case got off to a rough start Wednesday, with at least five witnesses saying they would assert their right to remain silent if called to testify.

Also Wednesday, the FBI’s Detroit office announced it had conducted a raid on a home in a Detroit suburb in an investigation into threats made to people involved in the trial. According to a report from The Detroit News, those people receiving threats are the judge, Robert Jonker, as well as defense lawyers Josh Blanchard and Christopher Gibbons.

“We do not anticipate there being any impact on the ongoing prosecution,” the office said. “We will continue to work with the district court’s security personnel and law enforcement agencies in & around Grand Rapids to ensure that anyone participating in that proceeding is safe.”


Shannon Longworth: One of the four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer took the stand in federal court Thursday.
Daniel Harris repeatedly denied agreeing to kidnap Whitmer.
He said he joined the accused militia to maintain his infantry skills following his time as a marine.
Harris’s testimony comes a day after the prosecution rested their case.
The defense’s case started off shaky, with at least five witnesses bowing out Wednesday…saying they would assert their right to remain silent if called to testify.
As the trial continues, so does the drama outside the courtroom.
On Wednesday, the FBI announced they had raided a home last week in connection with death threats made against the judge and two of the defense lawyers.