The FBI Plan In the Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping


“This story of the FBI planning political violence is an even more explosive story than its left-wing authors [The Intercept’s Trevor Aaronson, Eric L. VanDussen] are willing to admit,” wrote Mollie Hemingway on X.


The so-called Gretchen Whitmer plot ‘happened’ to occur at the same time as alleged far-right political violence in America.
“The FBI realized they had a big problem. A key informant in the case, a career snitch with a long rap sheet, had helped to orchestrate the kidnapping plot. During the undercover sting, the FBI ignored crimes that the informant, Stephen Robeson, appeared to have committed, including fraud and illegal possession of a sniper rifle.”

This is similar to the stings targeting Muslims in the post-9/11 aftermath.

Were those real? Was any of this real?

The FBI has some bad habits that The Intercept investigated.

  • Thousand of pages of internal FBI reports and hundreds of hours of undercover recordings obtained by The Intercept offer an extraordinary view into the alleged conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
  • The Intercept exclusively obtained a five-hour recording of the FBI’s interrogation of Stephen Robeson, a paid informant central to the alleged kidnapping plot.
  • The reports and recordings reveal how the FBI has adapted abusive war-on-terror sting tactics to target perceived domestic extremists and raise questions about whether the FBI pursued a larger effort to encourage political violence ahead of the 2020 election.
  • Federal agents running the Whitmer kidnapping investigation put the public in danger to avoid undermining their operation, the files show.
  • When FBI agents feared their informant might reveal the investigation’s flaws, they sought to coerce him into silence, at one point telling him: “A saying we have in my office is, ‘Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story,’ right?”

The FBI documents and recordings reveal that federal agents at times put Americans in danger as the Whitmer plot metastasized. In one instance, the FBI knew that Wolverine Watchmen militia members would enter the Michigan Capitol with firearms — and agents suspected that one man might even have had a live grenade — but did not stop them. (The grenade turned out to be nonfunctional.) Another time, federal agents intervened when local police officers in Michigan were about to confiscate firearms from two of the FBI’s targets, who were on a terrorist watchlist. Local law enforcement had received reports from concerned citizens who saw the men loading their guns before entering a hardware store.

The files also raise questions about whether the FBI pursued a larger, secret effort to encourage political violence in the run-up to the 2020 election. At least one undercover FBI agent and two informants in the Michigan case were also involved in stings centering on plots to assassinate the governor of Virginia and the attorney general of Colorado.

Read more about the shady FBI operations here.

Booking photo of Stephen Robeson


The Whitmer kidnapping plot has yielded five acquittals, five convictions, and four guilty pleas in federal and state courts. Robeson didn’t testify in any of the trials.

The recording of Robeson’s December 2020 meeting with the FBI reveals that the “double agent” ploy was a carefully planned strategy. When Robeson was called into that Wisconsin FBI office, agents described three possible scenarios for him.

The first was that all the defendants would take plea deals, in which case “your name is not on the witness list,” Impola said. The second was that Robeson could be a government witness or, in the third option, a witness for the defendants whose testimony could support their claims of entrapment.

At the time, the agents assumed that option one was the likeliest. “I am fairly confident that when anybody looks at that witness list, they’re not going to trial now because they know the ramifications,” said lead investigator Special Agent ‘Hank’ Impola.

The FBI didn’t intend to give him the second and third option. There was a fourth option – they’d jam him up with firearms charges for crimes committed while working undercover for the FBI.

That is what happened. They indicted him for possession of a firearm. He was working for the FBI at the time.

At his plea hearing, Robeson claimed he’d bought the gun to bolster his FBI cover. “I did this trying to keep my undercover position where I was at and kind of make me look a little more aggressive in the organization,” Robeson said in court.

He ended up with probation even though, as a felon, he would have typically faced ten years.

With that threat, FBI agents stopped the facts from getting in the way of their “good story” about the Whitmer kidnapping plot. In their zeal to protect a career-making case, those federal agents also poured jet fuel on conspiracy theories about the “deep state” and the January 6 Capitol riot that will be central to this year’s presidential election.

The Intercept needs to do J6 next, and the FBI needs to be broken up.

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