GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Defense attorneys want to dismiss charges against five men accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
In the 20-page motion filed Saturday night, defense attorneys allege FBI agents and federal prosecutors invented a conspiracy and trap people facing life imprisonment. They are calling on U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker to dismiss the conspiracy charge, which, according to The Detroit News, would effectively undo the federal government case and other related charges.
The query comes after developments and allegations made about the government team, including the conviction of Richard Trask, an FBI special agent who was arrested on charges of domestic violence and later released and convicted of a misdemeanor.
“In essence, the evidence here shows an egregious exaggeration by government agents and the informants they’ve dealt with,” wrote defense attorneys. “When the government was presented with evidence to show that the defendants had no interest in a kidnapping plan, they refused to accept failure and continued with their plan.”
The federal prosecutor argued that the men had not fallen into the trap. The government claimed the men were upset by the coronavirus pandemic restrictions when they plotted to kidnap Whitmer, a Democrat, and even to explore her second home in northern Michigan. Messages left with the US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan and the US Department of Justice on Sunday were not returned immediately.
In January, a sixth man, 26-year-old Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty and was serving a six-year federal prison sentence.
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