Sunday, October 1, 2023

FBI Caught Presenting Doctored Evidence in Whitmer Kidnap State Trial

'That’s the crux of our whole case. And [Impola’s] testified otherwise. I don’t know how they can un-ring this bell... '

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) FBI agent Henrik Impola called it a “typo” after a defense attorney caught him red-handed trying to present doctored evidence to a jury Monday, during the trial of three men accused of aiding the 2020 alleged militia plot to kidnap Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

But for defense attorney William Barnett, the false evidence presented by Impola—who has been credibly accused of perjury before in a separate case—has permanently prejudiced the jury against his client, Eric Molitor.

Barnett motioned to have the case dismissed, but was denied by Judge Charles Hamlyn, who agreed that the doctored evidence was presented in “error.”

The FBI’s doctored evidence is from audio recordings of two separate conversations Molitor had on Aug. 29, 2020, with undercover FBI informant Dan Chappel and Adam Fox, the alleged “ringleader” of the Whitmer kidnap plot who was found guilty of federal crimes last year.

The audio recordings took place the same day Molitor, Chappel and Fox allegedly conducted daytime surveillance of Whitmer’s home in upstate Michigan.

In one clip, Fox and Molitor can be heard joking about blowing up Whitmer’s boat—“Bitch, your boat privileges have been revoked,” Fox is heard saying. In a separate audio clip, Fox describes in more detail an “extraction” plan for Whitmer, to which Molitor is heard replying, “Dude, I’m in.”

During Monday’s proceedings, Impola testified that the two audio recordings took place within minutes of each other, as Fox, Molitor and Chappel were driving to conduct surveillance on Whitmer’s home. The timing of these two conversations would indicate that Molitor agreed to the Whitmer plot and participated in the surveillance drive knowingly, according to the prosecution.

However, the audio recordings actually took place more than four hours apart, meaning that Molitor didn’t know about Fox’s “plan” to kidnap the governor until after he took the “surveillance” car ride. In other words, Molitor didn’t know what he was participating in when he took that ride with Fox and Chappel, according to Barnett.

The defense attorney pleaded with Judge Hamlyn to toss the case due to the error.

“Our entire defense is [Molitor] doesn’t know anything about this [the kidnapping plot] as he’s getting into the car, and FBI testimony makes it sound like one minute after he gets into car, he’s [agreeing to help with the plot],” Barnett explained.

“That’s the crux of our whole case. And [Impola’s] testified otherwise. I don’t know how they can un-ring this bell.”

But instead of granting Barnett’s motion, Judge Hamlyn had the prosecution play the two audio clips to the jury again, and he told jurors about the FBI’s “error.”

“It doesn’t reach threshold for a mistrial,” the judge said.

“I understand the concept of not being able to un-ring a bell, but I think if [jurors are] instructed as to the error … they’ll acknowledge the change.”

When representing the audio clips later that day, Impola told the jury a “typo” had made on the interview transcripts to mistakenly indicate that the recordings were mere minutes apart.

But Impola has been credibly accused of pulling these kind of shenanigans before.

During the federal trial of Fox and three other men, defense attorneys noted in court that Impola had been accused of perjury in a prior case and asserted he “has had trouble telling the truth under oath.”

The perjury accusation was reportedly made on Feb. 11, 2020, by former AUSA for the Western District of Michigan, Brian P. Lennon, who recommended that Impola be investigated by FBI internal affairs.. It’s unclear what the outcome of that matter was.

The Whitmer kidnap trial continued Tuesday, and is expected to last about another two weeks.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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