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FBI Agent Involved in Whitmer Kidnap Plot is Charged w/ Assault

'Any time you give the defense any ammunition it’s not good...'

(Headline USA) An FBI agent who testified about an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing an assault charge, according to court records.

Richard Trask appeared in a Kalamazoo court Monday and was released.

Online records show the alleged offense occurred Sunday.

The court file doesn’t list a defense attorney yet, according to the clerk’s office.

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“In accordance with FBI policy, the incident is subject to internal review, and I cannot comment further at this time,” Detroit FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider said.

Trask has provided details in federal court about an alleged scheme to kidnap Whitmer in retaliation for her orders last year meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

One man has pleaded guilty and roughly a dozen others are awaiting trial.

“It’s the last thing you want for a major case like this,” said Andy Arena, former head of the FBI office in Detroit. “Any time you give the defense any ammunition it’s not good.”

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Trask can’t carry a gun while he’s out on bond, the Detroit News reported, adding:

He was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond following an arraignment in 8th District Court in Kalamazoo and faces a charge punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

[…] Trask, 39, has worked for the FBI since 2011 and served as the FBI’s public face in the Whitmer case, testifying in federal court about the investigation. He has worked on cases involving espionage, terrorism and domestic extremism investigations.

[…]  The arrest is the second potential problem in the case to emerge in recent months.  In March, prosecutors indicted an informant who sources say helped the FBI infiltrate the alleged conspiracy, a rare legal development. The indictment of Wisconsin resident Stephen Robeson after a prolonged period of cooperation suggests the relationship between Robeson and the FBI is destroyed and that prosecutors do not plan on using him at trial, legal experts said.

“If you can’t carry a weapon, then you’re not going to work as a street agent,” Arena told the newspaper. “He’s going to be suspended or put on restricted duty.”

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

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