The defense attorneys for five men accused of trying to kidnap Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer called for their indictment to be dismissed because of “egregious overreaching” by federal agents, the Associated Press reports.
The attorneys filed a 20-page motion on Saturday night and allege that FBI agents and federal prosecutors invented a conspiracy and entrapped people and asked US District Judge Robert Kolker to dismiss the conspiracy charge.
The motion came after one of the agents, Richard Trask, was convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor and was dismissed.
“Essentially, the evidence here demonstrates egregious overreaching by the government’s agents, and by the informants those agents handled,” he said. “When the government was faced with evidence showing that the defendants had no interest in a kidnapping plot, it refused to accept failure and continued to push its plan.”
The five men were charged with attempting to kidnap Ms Whitmer and will likely face a trial on 8 March. But all have pleaded not guilty and claimed entrapment, the AP reported. A sixth man, Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty and is serving a six-year sentence.
Prosecutors say the suspects conspired to kidnap Ms Whitmer because of public health measures she introduced to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of their preparation they allegedly scouted her second home in northern Michigan.