Leader of militia group allegedly talked of assassination training for Obama, Clinton

Leader of militia group allegedly talked of assassination training for Obama, Clinton

The leader of a right-wing militia group that has been detaining migrants who enter the U.S. through Mexico allegedly bragged two years ago that the group's members had received training to assassinate figures such as former President Obama. 

The revelation about Larry Hopkins, the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, was included in court papers filed Monday, according to Reuters

ADVERTISEMENT

The papers said that while it had been investigating allegations of "militia extremist activity" in 2017, witnesses accused Hopkins of saying his group was planning to assassinate not just Obama, but 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGiuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Sanders hits 1 million donors Democrats will not beat Trump without moderate policy ideas MORE and George Soros, a wealthy supporter of liberal causes. 

Hopkins is now facing charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Reuters reported that FBI special agent David Gabriel, in the complaint filed Monday, had come across the assassination talk in October 2017, when it was investigating reports that a militia was being run out of Hopkins's home in New Mexico.

“Hopkins also allegedly made the statement that the United Constitutional Patriots were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump spokeswoman: Health care will be 'big' selling point for union workers Democrats will not beat Trump without moderate policy ideas Trump job approval rises amid record partisan gap: Gallup MORE” because of their support for left-wing protesters, according to Reuters.

Hopkins is in the news because his militia group has been stopping immigrants crossing the border. 

Reuters noted that the group has claimed to have assisted U.S. officials in the detaining of 5,600 migrants in New Mexico’s desert in the past 60 days. The group recently filmed their detention of migrants and uploaded a video of it to YouTube. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) denounced the group, calling it a band of "armed vigilantes" who illegally detain migrants in a letter to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) last week. 

Grisham later ordered an investigation of the group, saying that the practices of the United Constitutional Patriots were unacceptable. Hopkins was arrested a day later. 

"Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, of Flora Vista, N.M., was arrested today on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The FBI arrested Hopkins in Sunland Park, N.M., with the assistance of the Sunland Park Police Department," the FBI said in a statement over the weekend.

The United Constitutional Patriots has claimed that it is supported by U.S. Border Patrol, according to Reuters. The news service noted that videos have shown the group telling migrants to stop and wait for immigration agents. 

The group, which is armed and wears military-like clothing, has sometimes stopped hundreds of migrants. 

Carlos A. Diaz, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, told The New York Times that the federal agency “does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands."