A lawyer for one of the defendants in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year as she was shutting down the state’s economy and suspending residents’ rights to meet, travel and more, is charging the FBI manipulated evidence in the case against his client.
The situation, according to an investigative report by Buzzfeed, focuses on claims made against individuals who opposed Whitmer’s radical COVID lockdown orders.
That report confirmed undercover FBI informants who infiltrated the group purportedly played a significant role in developing the plan. In fact, the report claims the FBI-linked activists, “acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported.”
“Working in secret, they 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.”
Byron York, in a commentary in the Washington Examiner, explained about a dozen men were arrested last October, individuals reportedly linked to Michigan militia organizations, and charged with “planning to grab Whitmer and put her on some sort of ‘trial,’ in part out of anger at her lockdown orders…”
Now a report at Mlive explains that a lawyer for one defendant is claiming the FBI went way to far in its “investigation.”
“Counsel has found further text messages between (special agent) Impola and Dan indicating Dan should destroy his text messages and instruct Dan to lie and accuse an innocent 3rd party of being a federal agent spy to the founder of Wolverine Watchmen,” the report says.
The lawyer explains that there’s a new “dark shadow” over the investigation because the FBI told its informant to “lie” and “delete texts.”
Attorney Michael Hills, representing Brandon Caserta, asked a federal judge to order the government provide all communications between a paid informant, identified only as “Dan,” and the FBI, the report explained.
The lawyer wants to examine communication between informants as well as their conversations with the FBI, and also wants cellphone data of Dan and FBI special agents Henrik Impola and Jayson Chambers.
“These text messages indicate the F.B.I. was pushing their paid agent to actively recruit people into an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy,” Hills charged.
The Watchmen is a group whose members are allegedly tied to the “kidnap” plot.
One message from an FBI agent told an informant, “Copy. Best thing to do is deny and accuse somebody else like Trent.” Then the FBI agent said, “Be sure to delete these.”
Hills said “Trent” is on the “outskirts” of Watchmen, and hasn’t been charged.
“The F.B.I. is instructing a paid F.B.I. informant to lie and paint an innocent citizen as an undercover federal agent to a man they claim is the head of a domestic terrorist organization, who they claim is paranoid about being infiltrated by the feds, who they claim has bragged about tossing a Molotov cocktail into a police officer’s house,” Hills explained. “This behavior, evidenced by the telephonic communication between F.B.I. handler Impola and Dan, casts a dark shadow over the credibility of this investigation and demonstrates the need for immediate disclosure as demanded.”
Hills told the court the defense needs the evidence “for purposes of entrapment defense, credibility of government witnesses, the indicted defendants’ own statements and evidence of government methods and tactics.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler, meanwhile, has alleged no one can “prove entrapment.”
Several individuals are scheduled for a trial in October on the claims.
Just the News explained that, “If corroborated, the messages would add to allegations the FBI may have entrapped several people in this plot.”
York reported earlier, “As it turned out, the bureau had deeply infiltrated the group, with perhaps more FBI informants and undercover agents working the case than there were alleged conspirators. But the FBI did not limit themselves to just watching and listening as the suspects allegedly plotted.”
He noted the report confirms that a “longtime government informant” not only helped organize meetings where militia members discussed possible reactions but even “paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.”
“It was all ultimately paid for by the FBI,” he reported.
“Anyone reading the Buzzfeed article comes away with the question: If the FBI had so deeply infiltrated the Michigan militia plot, did it not also infiltrate the groups that planned to go to the Capitol on January 6?” York wrote.
Those arrested in the alleged kidnap plot charge they were “set up.”
The defense also has raised the point that several of the individuals, the informants involved in the plotting, took the same actions as the defendants, yet they were not arrested or charged.