The 42-Year-Old Definitely Didn’t Think This One Through
A North Dakota man had plans for Donald Trump and they didn’t involve any MAGA love.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, Gregory Lee Leingang, 42, pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to stealing a forklift with goals to “flip” Trump’s limousine on the day of his Mandan, North Dakota refinery speech.
U.S. Assistant State’s Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell said that Leingang knew that the president was coming to town on September 6, 2017 to give his speech at the Andeavor Mandan Refinery, an area which had been cordoned off for his motorcade route.
Before the president’s arrival at around 2 p.m., Leingang had stolen a forklift in Mandan and entered the motorcade route, according to Sasse Russell.
“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,” Sasse said.
Leingang’s plans were thwarted, however, when his forklift got stuck in a gated area. Once this happened, Leingang dipped only to be caught by the Mandan police, according to Sasse Russell. She said Leingang spilled all the beans about his assassination plans to detectives and a member of the U.S. Secret Service.
“He was suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident,” said Michelle Monteiro, Leingang’s public defender.
Before stealing the forklift, Monteiro said Leingang set two fires that morning at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark maintenance shop and the state parole and probation office.
Leingang also pleaded guilty to setting these fires and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
For his whole forklift fiasco, Leingang was charged in federal court with one count of attempting to enter or remain in a restricted building and on grounds while using a dangerous weapon, as well as one count of attempting to damage government property. He reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors on Friday for his first charge.
Leingang also pleaded guilty to stealing the forklift and was sentenced to five years. In a separate case he pleaded guilty to burglary and received another five years. He is expected to stay in prison until 2038.
Leingang told U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland on Friday that he is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and he has been on and off medications since he was 12. Monteiro said Leingang is seeing a psychiatrist and therapist while in prison.