Jury convicts Adam Fox and Barry Croft

This combination of images provided by Kent County Jail, Michigan.  shows Adam Fox (left) and Barry Croft Jr.

GRAND RAPIDS — In an overhaul for the government, a federal jury on Tuesday convicted two men charged with plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer out of anger at his handling of the pandemic, ending a dramatic lawsuit that highlighted the growth of violent extremism in America.

The jury deliberated for approximately eight hours over two days before returning guilty verdicts to Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., who were found guilty on all counts and face life in prison for crimes which, according to them, were hatched by the FBI.

The verdicts drew praise from many in law enforcement and the legal community, particularly Whitmer, who prosecutors said was a target of extremists who wanted to settle their differences through violence.

The guilty verdicts came on Whitmer’s birthday.

Whitmer: “Disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism”

Michigan Gov.  Gretchen Whitmer at a recent event at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

“Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable. They won’t succeed,” Whitmer said in a statement, adding:

“But we also need to look closely at the status of our policy. Conspiracies against officials and threats against the FBI are a disturbing extension of the radicalized domestic terrorism simmering in our country, threatening the very foundation of our republic,” Whitmer said. “I can’t – I don’t want to – let extremists get in the way of the work we do. They will never break my unshakeable faith in the goodness and decency of our people.

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