A right-wing New Jersey blogger charged with threatening federal judges told a jury Thursday that his racist Internet rants were an FBI-sanctioned ruse to “flush out” dangerous neo-Nazi and white supremacist members of his audience.
“I’m not a white supremacist,” Hal Turner testified at a retrial in Brooklyn. “Never have been.”
Turner, 47, of North Bergen, N.J., has used his testimony to detail his career as a paid informant for an FBI agent investigating extremists. Prosecutors haven’t disputed he was an informant, but say he acted on his own last year when he wrote that three federal judges in Chicago “deserve to be killed” for a decision on gun control and posted their photos and the courthouse.
Asked on cross-examination Thursday about another blog posting that lauded the 2005 slaying of the mother and husband of another federal judge in Chicago, Turner insisted that the FBI had encouraged him to do it to help identify the killer.
The missive was meant to “improve my anti-government image with the people we were trying to flush out,” he said.