The lead investigator in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case against more than a dozen men who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who now has legal troubles of his own, is being investigated by the Bureau internally.
Special Agent Richard Trask, a 39-year-old with a decade of experience under his belt at the FBI, was charged last week with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
Now, the FBI says that it is investigating the matter internally.
“FBI officials have said that they are aware of the charges and that the incident is under internal review,” The Washington Post reported.
The FBI refused to comment on Trask’s job status, though.
“In accordance with FBI policy, the incident is subject to internal review, and I cannot comment further at this time,” spokeswoman Mara Schneider said.
Schneider did confirm that the FBI is cooperating with the local prosecutor’s office.
“An FBI agent at the center of the investigation into the plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is accused of smashing his wife’s head against a nightstand and choking her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party, according to court records,” The Detroit News reported this week.
Trask has “served as the FBI’s public face in the Whitmer case, testifying in federal court about the investigation,” that report also said.
His wife told authorities that after a swingers’ party that the couple attended, her husband became enraged, and that Trask “then grabbed the side of her head and smashed it several times on the nightstand.” When she tried grabbing his beard to free herself, he allegedly choked her with both hands.
“Trask, who was tracked down in the parking lot of a supermarket on Main Street in Oshtemo Township, refused to give a statement about the incident after he was read his Miranda rights, according to the affidavit,” the report said.
He was arraigned and released on a $10,000 bond.
Trask has played a crucial role in the FBI’s prosecution of a group of men who allegedly planned to kidnap Whitmer. He testified against Barry Croft, one of the accused members of the group who prosecutors have portrayed as the group’s bomb maker, in federal court.
But the investigation itself has recently come under scrutiny after BuzzFeed News published a story detailing how nearly every member of the alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer had some type of connection to the FBI.
“An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported,” that news outlet said. “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.”
Many of the defendants claim they were entrapped by the FBI.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to email@example.com.