Secret agents, J6, and Whitmer's kidnapping plot

In the 1966 Get Smart episode “Double Agent,” Max goes undercover and infiltrates a KAOS cell plotting to knock out the Pentagon.  It turns out that every member of the cell himself was an undercover agent (CIA, Naval Intelligence, FBI, Scotland Yard), the founding member having died several years earlier.  (Of course, Max and 99 discover this only after karate chopping three of them and shooting and wounding the fourth, sending them all to the hospital.)  This episode brings to mind J6 and the Whitmer kidnapping plot.

In an interview that aired on July 7, Tucker Carlson said that the Capitol Chief of Police told him the J6 crowd was “filled with federal agents.”  It remains to be seen how many and what role they played.  Everyone knows about Ray Epps, captured on video trying to whip up the J6 crowd to enter the Capitol, but not arrested for anything despite his actions seeming far worse than the trespassing and the like many others were sentenced for.  If one does a search using a left-leaning search engine (that is, just about all of them) on “Who is Ray Epps,” the results shown on the first page almost uniformly dismiss the “Ray Epps was an FBI informant” narrative as a kooky right-wing conspiracy theory.  But read here all the details on Epps, and I dare anyone without a hopelessly left-biased brain to tell me the default assumption should be a conspiracy theory.

Numerous FBI officials testifying before Congress, including Director Christopher Wray, have refused to deny outright that Epps was working in some capacity for the FBI.  Wray came very close to a denial in his July 12 Congressional testimony, but the wording of the questions and/or lack of follow-up allowed him to obfuscate.  Consider this exchange:

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn: “Do you have any knowledge of Ray Epps being a secret government agent?”

Wray: "Uh, No.  I will say, this notion that somehow the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources and agents is ludicrous and is a disservice to our brave, hardworking, dedicated men and women."

Well, maybe Epps wasn’t a secret government agent, just an informant -- get it?  And maybe the violence wasn’t part of the operation, just the outcome.  The Republicans weren’t much better in eliciting responses.  Next time, ask this: “Director Wray, was Ray Epps working for or with the FBI in any capacity as a J6 confidential human source, Yes or No?”  Get him on record as responding Yes, No, or Refuses to Answer.  If he responds No, ask Wray if he knows if Epps was a J6 CHS for some other federal agency: Yes, No, I Don’t Know, or Refuses to Answer.

With half the country believing the FBI played a prominent role in the J6 events through undercover agents and informants, and murmurs growing about defunding the FBI or not granting it the new building it seeks, if Ray Epps was not working for the FBI, you’d think the FBI would say so.  Regardless, not arresting him is highly suspicious.  So let’s just call him Wray Epps.

Then there’s the so-called Whitmer kidnapping plot.  The informants

…did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.

As Julie Kelly reports, “More than a dozen FBI undercover agents and informants were involved in the kidnapping caper.”  Given there were 14 original defendants, it’s possible the informants outnumbered the rest of the group.

The plot, certain to conjure up images of rednecks, was revealed by the FBI just as mail-in ballots for governor of Michigan and president were starting to come in -- talk about perfect timing.  Recall that Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer was quite unpopular at the time (due in great part to her disastrous COVID policies such as lockdowns, lockdown exceptions for herself and family, and returning contagious COVID patients to nursing homes with deadly consequences) and was in a surprisingly tight race for reelection against her Republican opponent.  Michigan also was a tossup state in the presidential election.  The FBI announcing the plot when it did may well have made the difference in both these races (given possible spillover effect to other tossup states in the presidential election).  Regardless, both the concoction of the plot and the timing of its announcement look like yet another instance of the FBI interfering in elections.

When the FBI announced it had foiled the kidnapping plot, I doubt Whitmer breathed a deep sigh of relief and said, “Missed me by that much!”  More likely is that the good governor knew about, approved of, and gave input to, the FBI’s plot; you could say she plotted to kidnap herself.  So let’s just call it Whitmer’s kidnapping plot.

Interesting tidbit:  The FBI official who headed the Detroit field office out of which Whitmer’s kidnapping plot was run is the same who then oversaw the J6 investigation in Washington, D.C.  As Maxwell Smart would say, “Now THAT’s a coincidence.”

W. A. Eliot is a pseudonym

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