New evidence of FBI and prosecutorial malfeasance surrounding the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called into question both the prosecution’s case and “tactics the FBI has relied on for decades,” according to BuzzFeed News.
1 FBI agent busted for domestic abuse. A 2nd accused of perjury. A 3rd set up a security firm touting cases to clients. And a CI indicted on a gun charge is now under investigation for fraud
The Michigan kidnapping case is getting messy
— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) December 17, 2021
The report highlights:
– FBI agent Jayson Chambers, whose “role helping to run a central informant had been crucial” to the case;
– FBI Informant Stephen Robeson, who was present during the meeting at which the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer was conceived;
– Assistant Attorney General Greg Townsend, who was reassigned for “breaches of prosecutorial ethics” in other cases.
– FBI Special Agent Richard Trask, who had served as the case’s public face, was charged with beating his wife when they returned home from a swingers party, and subsequently fired by the FBI.
– FBI agent Henrik Impola, who “was formally accused of twice committing perjury about a month before this investigation began.”
Chambers had “incorporated a private security firm” prior to the investigation and “spent much of 2019 trying to drum up business — in part by touting his FBI casework.”
Agent Chambers “attempted to parlay his FBI work hunting for terrorists into a private moneymaking venture” called Exeintel which “sought contracts in some cases worth millions of dollars to help institutions identify violent threats,” according to Bensinger and Garrison.
Although BuzzFeed “has found no evidence that Chambers planned to use the Michigan case in that capacity, . . . a review of emails and other documents shows he has trumpeted past investigations as a selling point for his services.”
A Twitter feed associated with Chambers’ company “tweeted about the Michigan case before arrests were made.”
Informant Robeson “has a rap sheet stretching back to the early 1980s that includes fraud, assault, and sex with a minor — and a long and secret history of working as a confidential informant,” according to Buzzfeed.
Through Robeson, the FBI has “urged people to plan violent actions against elected officials and to acquire weapons and bomb-making materials . . . urged people to attend gun rallies and other protest events, organized meetings in multiple states, and, some attendees say, used government funds to pay for their meals and hotel rooms.”
Robeson was in the room during the meeting at which the plot to kidnap Whitmer was conceived, and no doubt there is a case to be made — based on his previous experience — that Robeson played a role in the conception of the plot.
As if these apparently everyday FBI machinations weren’t enough, Robeson is also currently under investigation for fraud and weapons violations associated with prior convictions.
Prosecutors, therefore, “appear to have gone to some lengths to keep his involvement out of the kidnapping case’s public record,” according to Buzzfeed.
“FBI Investigation Into Alleged Michigan Governor Kidnapping Plot Is a Mess,” tweeted Max Abrahms, international security expert and Associate Professor of political science at Northeastern University.
FBI Investigation Into Alleged Michigan Governor Kidnapping Plot Is a Mess (an informant and one FBI agent were charged with crimes, another was accused of perjury, a third was found promoting a private security firm, among other problems):
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) December 17, 2021