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The lead FBI agent credited with thwarting a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer no longer works for the bureau – and a news report claims he was fired after allegedly beating his wife following the couple’s attendance at a swingers’ party.
Special Agent Richard Trask, 39, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was fired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week. A spokesperson has only confirmed that he no longer works on FBI matters, but declined to provide details pending further review, WWMT reported.
Citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, The Detroit News reported that Trask was fired over allegations he smashed his wife’s head against a nightstand and choked her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party in July. Trask is awaiting trial on assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder in connection to the incident. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted.
Defense attorneys for those charged in connection to Whitmer’s alleged kidnapping plot have used Trask’s arrest to raise questions about other FBI agents who were working the case. On Wednesday, they asked a judge to delay the trial by 90 days to give them time to investigate conduct of other FBI agents.
Trask, who moonlights as a personal trainer, had become a known face in the case, previously testifying in court proceedings for five men awaiting federal trial scheduled to begin on Oct. 12. Prosecutors have since moved to remove Trask as a witness, citing profanity laced social media posts in which Trask criticized former President Donald Trump, The Detroit News reported.
When the kidnapping case was filed in October 2020, Whitmer, a Democrat, pinned some blame on Trump, saying his refusal to denounce far-right groups had inspired extremists across the U.S. It added even more heat to the final weeks of a tumultuous election season. Trump had earlier urged supporters to “LIBERATE” Michigan from stay-at-home coronavirus mandates.
Trask’s firing comes after a sixth man facing federal charges in the kidnapping plot pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison last month. In his plea agreement, Ty Garbin admitted he and the five other men trained at his property near Luther, Michigan, constructing a “shoot house” to resemble Whitmer’s vacation home and “assaulting it with firearms.”
The government, noting Garbin’s exceptional cooperation, asked U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker to give him credit for helping investigators reinforce their case against his co-defendants.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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