Wisconsin man pleads guilty to role in Whitmer kidnap scheme
BELLAIRE, Mich. (AP) — A Wisconsin man accused of assisting the key figures in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor pleaded guilty Wednesday to a lesser charge and will cooperate with prosecutors.
Brian Higgins said he attempted to provide material support for terrorism, an offense that carries a maximum prison term of five years.
Higgins was among five men scheduled to face trial later this year in northern Michigan’s Antrim County, the location of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vacation home. They were not charged with the 2020 kidnapping conspiracy but were accused of providing key support.
Higgins, 54, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, admitted that he drove past Whitmer’s property during a night ride that summer while others waited across a lake for his signal. She was not there at the time.
A ragtag band of anti-government rebels was planning to kidnap the Democratic governor and trigger a civil war before the 2020 election, investigators said.
But informants and undercover FBI agents were inside the group for months, recording conversations and gathering evidence. The plot was broken up, and Whitmer was not physically harmed.
Fourteen people were charged in three different courts. The U.S. Justice Department secured convictions against four men in federal court, including leaders Barry Croft Jr. and Adam Fox, though two men were acquitted.
Three men charged with aiding Fox were found guilty in Jackson County in October and are serving long prison terms.
White reported from Detroit.