North Dakota man pleads guilty to stealing forklift to assassinate Trump

Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 18:30:06-05

(RNN) – The mastermind behind an elaborate plot to assassinate President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to his crimes.

Trump was set to give a tax reform speech at a Mandan, ND, refinery on Sept. 6, 2017. Before Trump arrived, 42-year-old Gregory Lee Leingang, of Bismarck, ND, stole a forklift and entered a presidential motorcade route, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

"The intent was to basically try to get to the limo, flip the limo and get to the president and he wanted to kill the president," U.S. Assistant State's Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell told the paper.

His plot came undone when the forklift became stuck in a gated area at the refinery. Leingang confessed while being questioned by police and Secret Service agents.

Leingang’s public defender said he was suffering from “a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident.”

He also confessed to setting two fires at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark maintenance shop and the state parole and probation office.

For the fires, the suspect was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He got an additional five years for stealing the forklift and another five years for an unrelated burglary he pleaded guilty to.

His earliest estimated release date is in 2038.

Leingang told the court he suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. He claimed to have been on and off medication since he was 12.

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