Accused Michigan kidnapping plotters seek to subpoena Twitter over troll account

The men accused of plotting to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan orders 'all-hands-on-deck' response to water crisis Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Michigan leaves majority-Black city with lead-contaminated taps for three years Whitmer vetoes bill on bird feeding over deer fears MORE (D) on Tuesday asked a court to subpoena Twitter over a troll account.

In a court filing, the defendants asked a Michigan federal judge to make Twitter produce information about who owns the Twitter account @ravagiing after claims that the account may have been tied to an FBI agent investigating the plot.

The court document cited a Thursday BuzzFeed News article, which reported that the account described itself as a CEO of Exeintel LLC. Government records reviewed by the news outlet revealed that Exeintel was owned by Jayson Chambers, one of the lead FBI agents in the case.

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The news outlet further reported that the @ravagiing account appeared to have been hinting about the FBI’s investigation for months leading up to the probe.

Notably, the account tweeted on Oct. 7, 2020, “Don’t worry Michigan I told ya A LOT more coming soon.” Hours later, the FBI arrested nearly a dozen people involved accused of involvement in the plot.

BuzzFeed noted at the time, however, that it was impossible to ascertain who was behind the account. Exeintel’s website went offline soon after the news outlet inquired about the account, and the company’s actual Twitter account, @exeintel, was suspended.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the bio on the @ravagiing account does not indicate any reference to Exeintel, but instead says it's the co-founder of “IntelRedTeam.”

In a separate court filing dated Monday, the defendants noted that the tweets that appeared to reference Michigan had been deleted. They described the removal of the tweets as a “cover up.”

“The most accurate descriptive term for what is happening seems to be ‘cover up,’” the filing states. “The act of trying to cleanse the Twitter account, after the defendants filed their pleading about the connection between the account and Chambers, is sinister.”

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Fourteen people have been charged with state and federal crimes for the plot to kidnap and kill Whitmer.

Ty Grabin, 25, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison last week after signing a plea in which he admitted to helping put the plan together.

The Hill has reached out to Twitter for comment on the request.