Defense: Feds 'manipulated' facts about militia

ED WHITE Associated Press Published:

DETROIT (AP) -- Defense lawyers at the trial of seven Midwest militia members say federal authorities greatly overreached by charging them with conspiring to overthrow the government.

Lawyer James Thomas told a Detroit jury Tuesday that authorities "manipulated" the facts about the militia, which called itself Hutaree (hoo-TAR'-ee), because they were overly sensitive about perceived threats to the government and President Barack Obama.

Defense lawyer Mark Satawa (sa-TAH'-wah) says the defense plans to scrutinize a paid informant's credibility.

The lawyers were speaking during the second day of opening statements in the trial.

The seven are charged with conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion. Prosecutors say the group planned to kill a police officer, then carry out a bigger attack on law enforcement at the officer's funeral in the hopes of triggering rebellion.