An FBI agent who has played a key role in the prosecution of more than a dozen ‘militia’ members who plotted to kidnap Michigan’s governor, was arrested on Sunday morning after allegedly attacking his wife following a swinger’s party.
Richard Trask, 39, allegedly smashed his wife’s head against a nightstand during an argument after the party, leaving her covered in blood.
She attempted to grab his beard to free herself, and he began to choke her around the neck and throat, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Detroit News.
She ultimately grabbed Trask’s testicles, which ended the altercation, the document notes, and Trask left their Oshtemo Township home in her vehicle.
Richard Trask, a FBI agent since 2011, was arrested on Sunday after he had attended a swinger’s party in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his wife. They argued about it and on their return home had a physical fight, leaving her bloodied and bruised. He was charged on Monday
Trask owns a gym at his rural Michigan property, in addition to being an FBI agent
Trask has worked on cases involving espionage, terrorism and domestic extremism investigations
He was a key figure in efforts to make a case against 14 men who plotted to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer (pictured) in October. His arrest is a deeply worrying development for the prosecution
Trask, a gym owner who has worked for the FBI since 2011, was tracked down in the parking lot of a supermarket on Main Street in Oshtemo Township, near Kalamazoo.
He is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder. Trask was released on a $10,000 bail and is prohibited from carrying a firearm.
Trask’s wife said that they had several drinks at a swingers’ party held at a hotel in Oshtemo Township.
She did not like the party and they argued about it on the way home.
When they got back, they had a physical fight.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office said Trask’s wife had cuts to the right side of her head and ‘blood all over chest, clothing arms and hand,’ as well as ‘severe’ bruising to her neck and throat.
FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider on Monday said the bureau is cooperating with the prosecutor’s office.
Trask has worked on cases involving espionage, terrorism and domestic extremism investigations, but his job status now is unclear.
‘In accordance with FBI policy, the incident is subject to internal review, and I cannot comment further at this time,’ she said in a statement.
The arrest is a significant blow to prosecutors building a case against members of the Wolverine Watchmen, and comes amid mounting questions about the FBI’s actions.
A confederate flag hangs on the property in Munith, Michigan, where the group trained
The militia training ground in rural Michigan where at least some of the men charged with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer practiced shooting and blew up homemade explosives
The site is mostly barren aside from a small trailer. It’s unclear if anyone lives in it or if was just used by the training camp
Among shooting targets were metal signs that were riddled with bullet holes
Andrew Arena, former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit office, told Detroit News that his arrest was deeply problematic for the case.
‘It’s the last thing you want for a major case like this,’ he said.
‘Any time you give the defense any ammunition it’s not good.’
The internal review would include an investigation by FBI internal affairs, Arena said.
‘Depending on the severity, it could be a suspension until things are ironed out one way or another,’ Arena said.
Trask’s exact role in the militia investigation remains unclear.
His arrest came as lawyers for the militia men – who are set to go on trial in October – began filing documents claiming that the FBI spurred on the men and encouraged their plot.
On Tuesday BuzzFeed news published a detailed investigation into the role played by an Iraq War veteran named only as Dan, who became a FBI informant, and several others.
When some of the plotters dropped out, Dan became the most senior figure in the group – spurring them on, financing some of their training and setting up links with other extremists, all while wearing a wire.
Attorneys for the group have indicated that Dan and 11 other known FBI informants in the scheme entrapped the men, pushing them to act on what would otherwise have just remained boastful, unrealized schemes.
Hundreds of people descended on Michigan’s Capitol building on April 30 to protest against Whitmer extending a statewide stay-at-home order. Pictured are Joe Morrison (far right), Paul Bellar (second right) and Pete Musico (red checked shirt) – the co founders of Wolverine Watchmen