Michigan Jury Acquits Trio in Conspiracy to Kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Three men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 were acquitted on Friday. The verdict found William Null, his twin brother Michael Null, and Eric Molitor not guilty of charges related to supporting a terrorist act and a weapons charge. The jury's deliberations commenced on Thursday.

Judge Charles Hamlyn stated, "You gentlemen are free to leave."

These three individuals represent the final defendants among a group of 14 men who faced charges in either state or federal court in connection with the alleged kidnapping plot. Nine were convicted, and now, five have been cleared.

The Null brothers and Molitor were accused of participating in military-style drills and traveling to the vicinity of Whitmer's vacation home in northern Michigan, which prosecutors characterized as a homegrown terrorism plot. Key figures Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were each convicted of kidnapping conspiracy in the previous year.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel expressed disappointment, stating that the "verdicts are not what we hoped for."

Outside the courthouse, a juror approached Molitor and conveyed his apologies for the ordeal, as reported by defense attorney William Barnett. They shook hands, and the juror offered a hug.

Barnett criticized the attorney general's office, saying, "They went after three peoples’ lives and destroyed them for three years. I’m just lost for words. This is an emotional moment."

Authorities alleged that the conspiracy against Governor Whitmer evolved in 2020 and was fueled by government restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the foiled plot, Whitmer attributed blame to then-President Donald Trump, accusing him of providing "comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division." In August 2022, Trump dismissed the kidnapping plan as a "fake deal."