GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An FBI agent who posed as an explosives expert testified Thursday in the retrial of the men still facing charges for the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
As the government winds down their case against Adam Fox and Barry Croft, they called one of their last witnesses: an FBI agent named Timothy Bates, known to the Wolverine Watchmen group only as 'Red'.
Bates was introduced to the group by undercover informant Dan Chappel, under the back story that the two knew each other from past military service.
Chappel is an Army Veteran who saw combat in Iraq.
As in the first trial, Bates testified in the retrial about a video he showed members of the group, including Fox and Croft, at one of their field training exercises.
The video shows a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt standing in front of a black Chevy Tahoe on fire.
A voice off camera, identified as another undercover FBI agent in court, is heard saying "I think it's going to burn for awhile... gonna have to let your boys know in Michigan."
Bates claimed Thursday in court that both Fox and Croft were "excited, and wanted to see" the video again.
Under direct exam, Bates said the purpose of introducing him to the group was so the FBI could have "someone who could procure explosives on their behalf, so we could take control of the timeline".
Bates also testified about taking a trip up near Elk Rapids later in the day, after showing the group the Chevy Tahoe video.
The government showed photos taken by Bates on that trip up north, showing Adam Fox underneath a bridge on US-31 near the governor's Elk Rapids home.
Bates claimed the purpose was to scope out the bridge as a possible location to place explosives. The government has said in court that the group wanted to take out a bridge near Governor Whitmer's cottage, to slow down law enforcement response once they put their alleged kidnapping plan into action.
Defense attorneys brought up a secret recording made prior to Bates going on a "reconnaissance" mission with Fox and Croft near Governor Whitmer's Elk Rapids cottage, where the undercover agent asks undercover informant Dan Chappel if the guys "even know what they're doing".