Last Updated on September 1, 2023
Sworn FBI testimony in the trial of the men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer has revealed alarming details about the Bureau’s involvement in the alleged plot. According to FBI agent Henrick Impola’s sworn testimony, an undercover FBI informant actually trained the men to carry out the kidnapping.
The ongoing trial involves three men, along with eleven others, who are accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer. It was less than a month before the 2020 Presidential Election that the alleged plot was foiled, catching the attention of the media and sparking attempts to link it to the Trump campaign and the America First movement.
Buzzfeed News reported in 2021 that FBI informant Dan Chappel had driven members of the “Wolverine Watchmen” militia group to Cambria, Wisconsin, for a training exercise. Additionally, Chappel provided them with 6,000 rounds of ammunition. The training exercise was organized by another FBI informant named Stephen Robeson. What’s even more surprising is that Chappel used FBI funds to rent a suburban vehicle and pay for gas, food, and lodging for the men during the trip.
Early on, it became evident that the FBI played a significant role in orchestrating the alleged plot. However, it wasn’t until recently that the full extent of the Bureau’s involvement came to light. During the trial, FBI agent Henrick Impola initially denied his informant’s involvement in training the individuals accused of the Whitmer kidnapping plot. However, he was eventually forced to admit that the training was organized by his own confidential informant.
Defense attorneys in the case questioned Impola’s actions, asking why he allowed his informant, whose role was supposed to be a listening post, to train the accused men for an illegal purpose. Impola defended his decision, claiming that he instructed his informant to ensure nobody got hurt and no accidental discharges occurred during the training. He wanted to avoid local law enforcement getting involved prematurely, as it may have jeopardized the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the alleged kidnapping plot.
Remarkably, it is not illegal for FBI informants to engage in criminal activities while working on behalf of the Bureau. Their actions are classified as “Otherwise Illegal Activities (OWA),” meaning they would be considered illegal for an ordinary citizen but not for someone working for federal law enforcement.
The shocking revelations raised by the sworn FBI testimony have sparked concerns about the Bureau’s tactics and the potentially blurred lines between law enforcement’s obligations and the actions of their informants. Critics argue that the FBI’s involvement in training individuals for an alleged crime taints the legitimacy of the case and raises questions about entrapment.
The trial of the accused men involved in the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer continues, with the revelation of the FBI’s role likely to have a profound impact on the outcome. As the case progresses, it remains crucial to examine the boundaries within which law enforcement can operate and to ensure that justice is served without compromising ethical standards.