Gov. Whitmer Speaks Up on Guilty Kidnapping Plot Verdict

“Violence and threats have no place in our politics”
Headshot of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer // Picture Courtesy of the State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a statement Aug. 23 regarding two men who were found guilty of plotting to kidnap her.

“Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable. They will not succeed,” she said. (Hour Detroit profiled Whitmer in our February 2021 issue; click here to read what she had to say about the kidnapping plot then.)

Barry Croft and Adam Fox, the two men convicted, now face up to life in prison for their role in the plot to kidnap the governor at her vacation home in 2020. The plot included plans to use explosives to distract police.

In her response, Whitmer framed the kidnapping plot as a symptom of a greater problem in contemporary American politics, alluding to other current events such as a gunman arrested outside an FBI building following a raid at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

“But we must also take a hard look at the status of our politics. Plots against public officials and threats to the FBI are a disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism that festers in our nation, threatening the very foundation of our republic,” she said.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist echoed those sentiments in his own prepared statement following the conviction of Croft and Fox.

“Violent extremists have tried to scare us and prevent us from doing our jobs, but they will not win. We will keep working hard, standing tall and standing tough, and living up to the oath we took,” he said.  “Our differences must never be settled through violence. We need to be honest and clear about what causes violence by extremists and do all we can to address the root cause of it. Elected officials, parents, teachers, faith leaders, all of us have a duty to stand up to these hateful actions and teach our kids that there is a better way.

Concluding her prepared statement, Whitmer, who is up for re-election this fall against Trump-endorsed Tudor Dixon, said, “I ran for office because I love my fellow Michiganders and my home state with all my heart. I always will. I cannot—I will not—let extremists get in the way of the work we do. They will never break my unwavering faith in the goodness and decency of our people.

“I will stay focused on getting things done for the people of Michigan.”