FBI eavesdropped on Whitmer kidnap case defendants via bugged key fobs

January 11, 2022, 7:52 PM

A sneaky bit of FBI spycraft is revealed in a court filing by a Gretchen Whitmer kidnap case defense attorney.

Devices like these hid tiny recorders.

Agents recorded conversations in 2020 among some accused plotters via tiny devices in vehicle key fobs, The Detroit News reports from a motion submitted this week by the lawyer for alleged ringleader Adam Fox.

Defense lawyers are fighting to play the recordings for jurors during a trial starting in March in federal court in Grand Rapids. ...

Court records show the key fobs were part of a broader package of spy tools a dozen informants and undercover FBI agents used during an investigation that ended in arrests in October 2020. Prosecutors have more than 1,000 hours of conversations, secretly recorded video and reams of text messages.

Robert Snell of The News quotes Fox's lawyer, Christopher Gibbons of Grand Rapids, as writing:

"Portions of these same recordings and messages show that there was no agreement between the defendants to commit a crime and that the government through its informants and agents entrapped the defendants into the limited participation the government did induce."

The conceled vehicle recorders presumably were in key fobs used by undercover informants working for the FBI.

WDIV coverage of the court motion filed late Monday says:

Many of the conversations used in evidence happened inside vehicles and the men did not know they were being recorded. The [defense] group is arguing that federal officials are picking and choosing what conversations to use and are leaving out moments where the men alleged they said to back off the plan.

Read more:  The Detroit News

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