Charlotte Tyler
September 16, 2023

Michigan jury acquits 3 men in Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy

On Friday, three men accused of plotting to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 were acquitted.

William Null, his identical twin brother Michael Null, and Eric Molitor were acquitted of providing support for a terrorist act and a weapons charge. Thursday saw the start of deliberations, as Fox News reported.

Judge Charles Hamlyn told the men they were allowed to leave. The three men are the last of 14 defendants to appear in state or federal court. Nine were convicted, and now five have been acquitted.

The Defendants

The Nulls and Molitor were accused of participating in military-style drills and traveling to Whitmer's vacation home in northern Michigan as part of a domestic terrorism conspiracy, as described by prosecutors.

Last year, key figures Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted of kidnapping conspiracy. Contention surrounded the convictions, as many were concerned federal agents contributed substantially to the plans.

Attorney General of Michigan Dana Nessel stated that the verdicts did not meet expectations.

Jury Members Thoughts

A juror reportedly approached Molitor outside the courthouse and expressed regret for everything he had endured, according to defense attorney William Barnett, as reported by The Associated Press: "The man shook his hand and gave him a hug."

"They went after three peoples’ lives and destroyed them for three years," Barnett said of the attorney general’s office.

"I’m just lost for words. This is an emotional moment," he added.

According to the authorities, the conspiracy against Whitmer began to develop in 2020 and was aided in its progression by the constraints imposed by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the conspiracy was discovered and foiled, Whitmer pointed the finger at then-President Donald Trump, claiming that Trump had provided "comfort to those who spread fear, hatred, and division."

In August of 2022, President Trump referred to the kidnapping plot as a "fake deal."

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