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FBI agent who played key role in Whitmer kidnap investigation charged with assault

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A special agent with the FBI involved in the operation that resulted in a group of men being charged for allegedly plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was criminally charged on Monday in connection to a domestic incident.

Richard Trask was arraigned in a Michigan court on one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, less than a murder charge, after a domestic incident with his wife on Sunday. He was subsequently released on a $10,000 recognizance bond, according to the Detroit News.

Trask, 39, began his stint at the FBI in 2011 and has worked on terrorism and domestic extremism investigations, according to court documents. At least one of the investigations became a major story last October during some of the most politically tense moments of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Federal prosecutors relied on the findings of an FBI investigation that began in early 2020 in charging six members associated with militia group "Wolverine Watchmen" that allegedly planned a conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer, a Democrat.

In an Oct. 6 affidavit, Trask swore to an account detailing what agents discovered during their investigation, a document integral to the government's case.

"Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," the affidavit said. "The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message."

In January, Trask also testified in federal court against defendant Barry Croft, whom Trask identified as a bomb maker and leader for another militia group, the Three Percenters.

Due to his role in the investigation, Trask's arrest could complicate prosecutors' case against the defendants, according to Andrew Arena, a former special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office.

"It's the last thing you want for a major case like this," he told the Detroit News. "Any time you give the defense any ammunition, it's not good."

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A condition of his release prohibits Trask from possessing a firearm, the outlet also reported — something Arena said could also threaten his future with the agency, notwithstanding whether he ultimately is convicted for assault.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the FBI's Detroit office for comment on Trask's status but did not immediately receive a response.

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Tags: News, FBI, Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan, Domestic Violence

Original Author: Jeremy Beaman

Original Location: FBI agent who played key role in Whitmer kidnap investigation charged with assault

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