The FBI’s Washington, D.C. field office, which led the the unprecedented and widely-criticized raid on President Donald Trump’s private residence in Florida, is currently being run by the same agent who led the FBI’s Detroit office during its facilitation of the kidnapping hoax against Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.).
Just The News reports that Steven D’Antuono, who previously led the Detroit field office, is now in charge of the D.C. field office. On his watch, the FBI in Michigan engaged in entrapment and other practices that lured innocent men into an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer, most of which was instigated by FBI informants and undercover agents themselves.
As described by Julie Kelly of American Greatness, the result was an “FBI-inspired, organized, and executed scheme to ‘kidnap’ and ‘assassinate’ Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ahead of the 2020 presidential election,” ostensibly to help boost Whitmer’s approval ratings after she faced widespread backlash over her strict coronavirus lockdown policies, and also to paint supporters of President Trump in a negative light ahead of the election.
When the full extent of the FBI’s role in the “plot” became apparent, juries acquitted two of the four defendants in April due to clear evidence of entrapment. The juries ultimately could not come to a verdict for two other defendants, Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr., who are being retried by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
One special agent, Jayson Chambers, worked with an informant during the Whitmer hoax named Dan Chappel, nicknamed “Big Dan.” Chappel, a driver for the U.S. Postal Service, became an informant after he reported to law enforcement his concerns about a Facebook group he was a member of that was critical of federal law enforcement.
In addition to the Whitmer case, Chambers worked with Chappel to actively entrap another man in Virginia, with Chambers ordering Chappel to trick a Vietnam veteran into plotting to assassinate then-Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.). Chambers told Chappel to get the veteran to say that he wanted “to kill the governor specifically,” as revealed by text messages between the two during trial.
Chappel was paid for his work with approximately $60,000 over the course of seven months, as well as a new smart watch, a laptop worth over $3,000, and new tires for his car. Chappel subsequently tried to trick Fox into taking a credit card issued by the FBI, for the purpose of buying weapons, ammunition, and other resources that would be needed for the “plot,” but Fox refused.
Now, as the retrials of the remaining Whitmer hoax defendants come to a close, D’Antuono’s actions have come under scrutiny yet again, with his office spearheading the raid on President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida earlier this month. The decision by a federal law enforcement agency to openly raid the residence of a former president, and a likely future presidential candidate, under the orders of the incumbent political party, is extremely unprecedented and has drawn criticism from around the world, with Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and FBI Director Christopher Wray in particular being heavily criticized for their roles in the operation.