Ken Bensinger Profile picture
Reporter for @nytpolitics; author of "Red Card” - https://t.co/sWYTy0NAuR - ken.bensinger@nytimes.com - DMs open; ask for Signal
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Nov 9 7 tweets 2 min read
BREAKING: An Arizona judge just DENIED a GOP motion to keep polls in Maricopa county open for 3 extra hours because of the tabulations issues today. the Judge was not compelled by the RNC's arguments, noting that voters had several alternatives, including going to another polling place or putting the ballot in "box 3" for counting later. "No voters...have been prevented from submitting a ballot."
Nov 9 5 tweets 1 min read
Turns out issue in Maricopa is with printers that are NOT made by Dominion, per my reporting. The printers were incorrectly causing bad ink adhesion. In that sense, the Dominion tabulators worked correctly and didn't read what appeared to be bad ballots

nytimes.com/2022/11/08/us/… Maricopa has county-wide voting, so ballots are printed on-demand for each voter at the polling place. Some of the on-site printers (not made by Dominion) were not set correctly, leading to poor toner adhesion to the ballot paper. This could cause the ink to flake off.
Aug 18 6 tweets 4 min read
I have a new job: covering conservative media and ideas for the @nytimes politics desk. I'm excited about this beat, which is important and complex and (I think) requires sensitivity and nuance at a critical time for this nation.

Please send me your ideas, tips, thoughts, etc! @nytimes I spent the past 8 years working on the investigations team @BuzzFeedNews under a series of fantastic editors & collaborating w/ some of the best folks in journalism. I'm particularly grateful to @semaforben @SchoofsFeed & @arielkaminer for their brilliant leadership.
Aug 16 5 tweets 1 min read
Interesting development: Brandon Caserta, one of 2 acquitted defendants in prior Whitmer kidnapping trial, has just asserted his intention to plead the Fifth if called to testify in the retrial.

Defense counsel had subpoenaed him as a potential witness. Image Caserta stood trial in March/April of this year &, along with Daniel Harris, was acquitted on all counts. The jury could not reach a verdict on Barry Croft and Adam Fox and so they face the retrial.
Aug 15 6 tweets 2 min read
NEW: According to an FBI informant, the Michigan State Police allowed armed protesters into the Capitol in Lansing on April 30, 2020, at the specific request of the FBI, which wanted to "de-escalate" the situation. Dan Chappel, a confidential human source n the Gov. Whitmer kidnapping case, testified just now that he alerted his FBI handlers that he was concerned members of the Wolverine Watchmen, an armed militant group he had infiltrated, was preparing for violence outside the building.
Mar 31 34 tweets 6 min read
BIG NEWS to start Day 13 of testimony in the Michigan Kidnap case: Daniel Harris, one of the four defendants in the case, is testifying.

Obviously that rarely happens in a criminal case. This could be interesting. His attorney, Julia Kelly, starts with some biographical background, discussing him entering the Marine Corps fresh out of high school in 2015. He left in 2019 and returned home to Lake Orion, MI, and said his parents treated him like he was still in HS>
Mar 30 49 tweets 9 min read
It's day 12 of testimony in the Michigan Kidnap Case & Judge Jonker is pleased, once again, that everyone is on time & things can get off to a punctual start.

The govt calls an FBI agent from Delaware (Catherine Martinez) who helped w/ the search of Barry Croft's truck. It's a quick witness; she had a camera that night and photographed his tricorn hat, backpack, Hawaiian shirt, and Glock pistol & magazines. On cross she says there was a "green leafy substance" and smoking paraphernalia in the truck as well (but did not mention it on direct)
Mar 30 6 tweets 3 min read
Not so fast! Judge Amit Mehta has denied a joint request from defendants and prosecutors to delay the Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial. It's set for July 11, but the parties asked to push it to Sept 26.

"A further delay...is not in the public interest." Defendants earlier this month claimed they needed more time because of the "herculean task" of managing all the evidence, and the DoJ seemed happy to support that claim.

Mar 30 8 tweets 2 min read
Stephen Robeson, the controversial confidential informant in the Michigan kidnap case, officially says he'll plead the fifth and is asking the court not to compel his testimony. Image This comes in response to a defense motion on Friday to compel him to testify about his role in the case, and following a DoJ reply that openly threatened to prosecute Robeson on multiple counts should he take the stand.

Mar 29 50 tweets 9 min read
It's Day 11 of testimony in the Michigan kidnap case & before the jury comes in, Judge Jonker rules not to admit the 15 notebooks recovered from Daniel Harris' house on the day of his arrest. They date back to his military days; Jonker says it isn't property tied to to the case. The first witness is a continuation from yesterday: FBI agent Adam Ayriss, who interviewed Harris upon his arrest and also reviewed the contents of his cell phone. He discusses some of the messages, images, and other materials he found on the phone.
Mar 21 13 tweets 3 min read
Good morning from Day 5 of the Michigan Kidnap case. The confidential informant Dan Chappel is still testifying under direct examination from the prosecution. Focus is on time period after last training/surveillance and the Oct 2020 arrest. He'll face cross later this morning. Government's river of exhibits continues: 14 more in just half an hour, including vidoes, audios, and text messages that are all shown to the jury including one of Adam Fox testing a handheld taser/stun gun he allegedly acquired and calls between Dan and Fox.
Mar 11 12 tweets 3 min read
A small observation about the Michigan kidnapping trial — and the paradoxes of the case — as it's playing out so far:

The DoJ has made a big deal about a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, on June 6, 2020, calling it the moment when the conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer first took root. 1/ The meeting, at a hotel, was attended by roughly 15 people from around the country, including two of the federal defendants (Barry Croft and Adam Fox).

It was chiefly organized by an FBI informant named Stephen Robeson. Here's some info on him 2/

buzzfeednews.com/article/kenben…
Mar 10 23 tweets 5 min read
Day 2 of the Michigan kidnapping case begins 1 minute early. By 8:29 Jonker has the jury seated and the first witness (FBI agent Todd Reineick) on the stand again. Many, many exhibits of text messages and audio messages are being played for the jury between Fox and Croft saying nasty things about the government and a burning desire to do something.

Pro tip: don't write that stuff down or send voice messages. What's wrong with phone calls?
Mar 9 15 tweets 3 min read
Opening arguments are well underway in the Michigan kidnapping case. So far the jury has heard from AUSA (prosecutor) Jonathan Roth; Christopher Gibbons (representing Adam Fox); Julia Kelly (Daniel Harris); and Mike Hills (Brandon Caserta). No major revelations or facts outside what's already been public about this case so far. The big issue is that several defense attorneys have been admonished not to discuss govt inducement, because talk of entrapment has been banned from the first half of the trial.
Mar 8 6 tweets 2 min read
The indictment of Enrique Tarrio adds him to the existing Proud Boy conspiracy case as the 6th defendant. He faces 4 counts including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

Unlike Stewart Rhodes, he's not charged with seditious conspiracy. Image Here's the full superseding indictment

justice.gov/usao-dc/press-…
Mar 8 28 tweets 4 min read
Jury selection is well underway in the Michigan kidnap case and Judge Jonker asks for a show of hands to see who in the pool has guns at home.

“Most of you, I see,” he remarks. “Not all, but most.” Now the judge is asking the jury about who has been in the military or has family members who have served.
Mar 3 4 tweets 1 min read
There's new info on this from the Joshua James guilty plea today and, frankly, it doesn't seem great for the general counsel of the Oath Keepers, who previously denied asking anyone to delete messages. Per the DoJ, James on Jan 8 received from "an individual he understood to be an attorney for the Oath Keepers that stated, 'STEWART: YOU ALL NEED TO DELETE ANY OF YOUR COMMENTS REGARDING WHO DID WHAT. You are under zero obligation to leave them up."
Mar 3 13 tweets 4 min read
Still reeling at the part where Stewart Rhodes told the Oath Keepers to be prepared to use "lethal force" against "against anyone who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the National Guard or other government actors" Hours after the Capitol riot, Rhodes messaged other Oath Keepers "Patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming"
Mar 2 24 tweets 3 min read
Tuning in live to Judge Amit Mehta's courtroom for the change of plea hearing for Oath Keeper Joshua James, expected to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy for his role in the Jan. 6 riot. It's is set to begin momentarily, but Mehta is wrapping up another matter...bear with me (also, I deleted a previous version of this tweet because I posted a photo of a different defendant. Apologies)
Feb 28 7 tweets 2 min read
NEW: FIFA appears to have reversed itself and now says it and UEFA are now suspending "all Russian teams" from competitions "until further notice." Image previously, FIFA had said it would allow Russia's football team to compete under the badge of the Russian Football Union, a decision that in fact didn't move the needle (since the WADA ban already required that) and drew widespread condemnation.
Feb 22 9 tweets 2 min read
An undercover FBI agent promoted his bomb making abilities to targets of the Michigan kidnapping investigation by sharing videos of him blowing things up.

When that didn't convince them, he offered to sell them explosives on credit, per a new filing in the case. Image His activities have come up because prosecutors want him and another undercover agent to be able to testify under pseudonyms ("Red" and "Mark") at trial.

Defendants say that the govt hasn't shown cause as to why that unusual measure should be allowed.