Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel blamed “right-leaning” jurors for the various acquittals returned in criminal trials over the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).
On Friday, A Michigan jury found three men not guilty in the alleged kidnapping plot, bringing the total number of acquittals to five out of the ten cases that went to trial.
As Breitbart News reported:
The jury found Eric Molitor and twin brothers Willian and Michael Null not guilty of providing material support to a terrorist act and possessing a firearm in the process. The jury reached their verdict on Friday after starting deliberations the previous morning, following 14 days of testimony.
Molitor and the Null brothers were the last of 14 defendants to be prosecuted for the alleged plot to kidnap the Michigan governor. Prosecutors argued the men planned to kidnap Whitmer because they felt the governor was infringing on their freedoms while Michigan dealt with the coronavirus’s impact.
However, The FBI became involved in the alleged kidnapping plot after a former member of the group became disgruntled with their message of violence.
Nessel emphasized the trial was held in a “very right-leaning county” when speaking to the Democrat group Protectors of Equality in Government, the Detroit News reported.
Nessel then suggested the jurors were “not so concerned about the kidnapping and assassination of the governor” due to their political affiliation.
“Three of them were acquitted by a jury in Antrim County, not because we didn’t have great evidence but because essentially, it seemed to me as though the Antrim County jurors, [in a] very, very right-leaning county [were] seemingly not so concerned about the kidnapping and assassination of the governor,” the state’s attorney general claimed.
Nessel’s comments received backlash from federal prosecutors and one of the acquitted defendant’s attorneys.
Matthew Schneider, who was a United States Attorney in Detroit in 2020 when the FBI broke up the kidnapping plot, told the Associated Press that Nessel’s remarks were inappropriate.
“We might disagree with jurors, but I don’t think it’s helpful to trash them and the American jury system when things don’t go our way,” Schneider said. “That’s especially true here, where the AG’s office selected these jurors and agreed to have them serve during jury selection.”
Molitor’s attorney, William Barnett, called Nessel’s remarks a “blatant insult” to the jurors and the judge who presided over jury selection, according to the Associated Press.
“If people could not be impartial, they said so,” Barnett said of jury selection. “She’s barking up the wrong tree to be criticizing the jury that made the four-week sacrifice to do the duty of all American citizens to serve in their criminal justice system.”
After the verdict on Friday, Barnett said jurors privately told the judge the evidence simply did not add up to “material support” for a kidnapping plot, the Associated Press reported.
“They went after three peoples’ lives and destroyed them for three years,” Barnett said of Nessel’s office. “I’m just lost for words. This is an emotional moment.”