HomeTop StoriesFox will not testify in a kidnapping plot lawsuit

Fox will not testify in a kidnapping plot lawsuit

Aug 3 – TRAVERSE CITY – Adam Fox, who was identified by federal prosecutors as the ringleader of a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, told a local courtroom that if he were called to testify in Antrim County he would lose his right to would invoke the Fifth Amendment against itself-impeachment.

“The issue raised, Mr. Fox, is clearly that there were federal charges involving you, but no state charges,” 13th Circuit Court Judge Charles Hamlyn explained at a hearing on Wednesday.

“The question would be,” said the judge, “whether or not you are willing to testify, knowing what the possible consequences might be if you did testify. So, would it be your intention to testify in open court on this matter?” , or are you advocating the Fifth Amendment?”

“I’ll invoke my Fifth Amendment, sir,” Fox said.

Fox is currently incarcerated at ADX Florence in Colorado, serving a 16-year sentence for conspiracy and other crimes for his role in a plot to kidnap the governor, after being convicted by a jury in federal court in Grand Rapids.

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Three men will stand trial in Antrim County’s 13th Circuit Court on August 23 for what prosecutors say was their role in the plot, and one of the men, Eric Molitor, attempted to have Fox testify as a defense witness.

The other two defendants are brothers Michael and William Null. All three men have pleaded not guilty.

Molitor’s attorney, William Barnett, had previously argued at a hearing that Fox would testify that Molitor “couldn’t be counted on extreme s—.”

That particular language comes from a prosecution piece of evidence, previously shared in open court, in which Fox appears to be warning “Dan” — a man who was then working for the FBI as a confidential human source — about “Barricade” — a code name for Molitor which appears in some audio and text communications.

An FBI agent, Henrik Impola, had previously testified that Fox had told Dan, “OK, Barricade I don’t think will be anywhere near the more extreme s—.”

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On Wednesday, however, Fox told the court that if called to testify, he would be personally taken to Antrim County and sworn in as a witness, pleading the fifth.

“Would you invoke the Fifth Amendment over questions from the prosecution and one of the defense attorneys?” Hamlyn asked Fox.

“Yes, I would invoke my Fifth Amendment on both, yes sir,” Fox said.

Hamlyn had previously instructed Paul Jarboe, who manages a branch of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, to appoint an attorney for Fox to advise him of his rights regarding his potential testimony.

Attorney Chris Gibbons was appointed, appearing remotely at the hearing on Wednesday and conferring with Fox in a breakout room prior to the on-the-record proceedings.

Barnett objected to Fox being available only by phone, saying he preferred Fox to be taken to northern Michigan to communicate with the court or appear via video conference.

“There’s no video, it’s not the fault of the court or anybody, the prison apparently has an outdated system and doesn’t use Zoom or Polycom,” Barnett said. “So I’d like to just put that objection on the record.”

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The case is being pursued by attorneys from the Attorney General’s office, and Chief Prosecutor William Rollstin also appeared at a distance, though he did not question Fox or make any arguments regarding potential testimony.

Barnett asked the judge if the AG’s office could grant Fox immunity from potential state charges. Hamlyn said that request was outside the scope of the hearing and then stated that Fox would not be called as a witness.

Court records indicate that jury selection will begin on August 23 and the trial will begin on August 25.

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