Reporter Sues Michigan AG for Hiding Whitmer Kidnap Conspiracy Evidence


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Criminal proceedings against the men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have concluded with the exception of a few pending appeals, but government officials are still hiding evidence from the public.

Independent journalist Eric VanDussen filed a lawsuit over the matter Thursday, claiming that state prosecutors withheld an unknown number of Antrim County trial exhibits, which he requested last September. VanDussen previously successfully sued for Whitmer kidnap records last year, with a judge ruling last August that evidence introduced in open court is subject to public disclosure.

But after the Antrim County trial concluded last September with three men exonerated on all counts, Michigan still withheld some of the evidence form that matter, according to VanDussen.

The reporter also said Michigan is making unlawful redactions to the records it’s releasing.

“Defendant unlawfully redacted the public records requested by Plaintiff and improperly excised information and data from various photographs, video recordings, audio recordings, transcripts and other exhibits,” he said.

For example, the state blurred out the face of FBI informant Dan Chappel in a photo released, even though Chappel’s face was visible in open court.

The government blacked out the face of FBI informant Dan Chappel before releasing it to the public. The government blacked out the face of FBI informant Dan Chappel before releasing it to the public.

VanDussen argued that blurring the FBI informant’s face violated a previous judge’s order to disclose the exact same evidence presented in court. “If the exhibit did not have redactions or deletions when produced in open court, they may not now have redactions or deletions added to the exhibit before production to plaintiff,” the judge said last August.

VanDussen’s lawsuit follows a bombshell investigation he and reporter Trevor Aaronson published earlier this month, in which they revealed a trove of previously unpublished FBI records about the Whitmer kidnap case.

Earlier this month, Headline USA also asked Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., about congressional efforts to obtain secret Whitmer records.

Even though a case such as the FBI’s Whitmer kidnap conspiracy is now closed, Bishop said he expects stiff resistance from the FBI if Congress tried to obtain records from that matter.

“I think if we subpoenaed records, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the FBI resist, even though the case is closed. But certainly, that ought to be looked into,” Bishop said of the Whitmer case.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at