A Delaware man accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) earlier this month also expressed a desire to hang Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians alike, including President Donald Trump, according to an FBI search warrant affidavit obtained by WXYZ-TV.
Barry Croft, who expressed interest online in hanging politicians, posted a picture of Trump on Facebook back in May saying that the president’s “true colors” were “shining through,” and he wanted to “hang this mf’er too,” according to the affidavit.
Croft and a Michigan man named Adam Fox appear to be the two earliest members of what would later become a plot to kidnap Whitmer. As alleged in a criminal complaint from early October, the two made contact with each other in the first half of 2020, and agreed to “unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution.”
Fox, who appears to have been the ringleader of the eventual plot, and Croft were later joined by Ty Garbin, a leader of a Michigan-based militia group, which allegedly was already on the radar of law enforcement after a concerned member reported to police that he believed members were intent on killing officers.
Throughout the summer, some of the men started training and discussing methods of attacking the government, including attacking a Michigan State police facility, and were later joined in their efforts by a few others before settling on a kidnapping attempt on the governor and conducting surveillance on her home. The group does not appear to have been united by a specific political worldview, but rather, by the desire for anti-government violence.
Reporting from The Washington Post back in early October suggested that Croft was a supporter of Trump (which, if he once was, no longer appears to be the case).
There’s the Twitter account that apparently belongs to another suspect, Barry Croft, ranting about immigrants, praising President Trump and calling for the prosecution of Trump’s onetime Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. One image featured by the account shows a young man draped in ammunition and cradling a rifle in his hands. Croft also appears to have an account on a small social media site devoted to spreading QAnon, the right-wing conspiracy theory.
According to the recent FBI affidavit, Croft allegedly posted a photo of former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and declared that most Americans wanted to “watch her hang.” Croft said in another post: “Please don’t get me twisted, I want to hang then [sic] all.”
In a video in late May, says the affidavit, Croft allegedly also made graphic remarks about hanging everyone in the government, saying: “I don’t play part in that stupid a** political mafia shit that you dumb***es wash your heads in. I don’t do any of that. That’s gay to me. I want to hang all them motherf***ers, all of them. There is not one motherf***er serving in this bull**** government that I don’t want to take, stick to a mother****ing tree, and dangle until they a** tongue hang out their mouth.”
At other times, Croft explicitly singled out specific politicians, including former President Barack Obama, a former President George W. Bush, Congresswoman Ihlan Omar (D-MN) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). However, he also made more general comments, such as, “I’m for hanging Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. I believe the rest would enjoy the Constitutional Republican,” and expressed interest in hanging Muslims, liberals and “all anti Americans.”
In a press conference in early October responding to the plot, Whitmer accused Trump of “stoking distrust” and “fomenting anger” in the United States, and she claimed remarks he made at the first presidential debate about white supremacists and militia groups were heard by unspecified groups as a “rallying cry.”
According to The New York Times, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) also tied the plot to rhetoric from the president, but the Times noted at the time that the court documents released thus far did not provide evidence to support such a claim.