The retrial in the first Bunkerville standoff case is scheduled to open with jury selection July 10.
A mistrial was declared in the case in April, after jurors deadlocked on 50 of the 60 counts against six defendants. Federal prosecutors decided this month to retry four of the men, who are accused of providing the firepower in a mass assault against federal agents. The agents were in Bunkerville to seize rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle after decades of unpaid grazing fees.
Initially, the retrial was scheduled to open June 26. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Thursday postponed the start date due to potential attorney and juror conflicts the week of Independence Day. The defendants who will stand trial are Montana resident Ricky Lovelien and Idaho residents Scott Drexler, Eric Parker and Steven Stewart.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – Protecting Americans from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, is the focus of a bill introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
The Due Process Guarantee Act is also sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz , T-Texas, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Chris Coons, D-Del.
“America should never waver in vigilantly pursuing those who would commit, or plot to commit, acts of treason against our country,” Lee said. “But the federal government should not be allowed to indefinitely imprison any American on the mere accusation of treason without affording them the due process guaranteed by our Constitution.
The federal Bureau of Land Management has scheduled a June 13 auction for new oil and gas leases across almost 196,000 acres in central Nevada.
The response from conservationists: Get the frack out of here.
A coalition of environmental groups will file an administrative protest Thursday in hopes of blocking the online auction and any future fossil fuel development, which they say could contaminate land, air and water in Nevada while contributing to global warming.
In a previous article, “Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento“, I explained that Federal Magistrate Brennan (Sacramento) intended for me to receive diesel therapy, and that I would provide insight into just why he chose that route. It was an expected response based upon the information that he had been provided, regarding the Sealed Order Granting Government’s Request for Arrest Warrant as to Gary Hunt and Order Sealing Arrest Warrant (ECF #2017).
This Sealed Order was obviously prepared by the US Shyster’s Office. Their intention was to punish me, as they have most of the others in the Oregon and Nevada indictments, based upon contrived accusations.
Taxpayers already have spent over $1 million to provide legal representation for the 19 men accused of participating in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville.
As of last week, the federal government had paid $1,028,154.30 to defense lawyers, investigators, paralegals and others who have played a role in defending those accused of staging a mass assault on federal agents who, in April 2014, tried to seize rancher Cliven Bundy’s cows from public lands.
The cattle seizure operation was met with pushback by the Bundy family and loosely organized militia groups who traveled from across the West to protest what they viewed as improper federal overreach.
EUGENE – Public lands occupier Kenneth Medenbach wound up before a judge again Monday and admitted that he violated the condition of his probation for a 2016 illegal camping conviction by going, of all places, back to federal court.
But this federal court happened to be in Nevada, and it featured co-defendants of the Bundy family, kindred spirits who have earned national attention for fighting federal ownership of public land.
Medenbach’s lawyer Matthew Schindler said he had never in his career heard of a defendant accused of a probation violation for going to court.
Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.
The wheels of justice continue to grind in the federal criminal case against Cliven Bundy, four of his sons and a dozen co-defendants over the April 2014 armed standoff with federal agents trying to confiscate Bundy’s cattle at his Bunkerville ranch. All of the defendants have been jailed for more than a year.
The standoff occurred after armed Bureau of Land Management agents attempted to roundup Bundy’s cattle after he had refused for 20 years to pay grazing fees in the Gold Butte area. The BLM said he owed $1 million in fees and penalties.
Oregon’s chief federal district judge, who initiated a move to prevent Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford from any further practice of law in any federal court in Oregon, has now recused himself from the proceeding, to avoid an appearance of a conflict.
In his place, he assigned U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, the federal judge from Washington who had previously presided over the criminal charges filed against Mumford, to handle further proceedings.
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman said he was recusing himself “in an abundance of caution,” and to avoid anyone raising challenges about his impartiality, according to an order filed in court.
The Democratic majority in the Nevada Legislature is doing everything they can erase everything accomplished by the 2015 Republican-controlled session. First, labor reform and a minor prevailing wage reform are rolled back. Now, they want to keep Nevada a territory instead of barging ahead into some semblance of statehood.
In 2015 the Legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, which urged Congress to release about 7.2 million acres of federal public land to the state, which would have reduced the federal land control in the state from about 85 percent to about 75 percent.
To put proper perspective on recent ongoing events leading up to my jurisdiction hearing in Portland, Oregon, on May 9, 2017, we must go back to the Order (ECF #1901) to show cause why I should not be held in contempt of Court. That Order demanded my appearance to answer the allegations made by the government. It was specific to the show cause and had nothing to do with jurisdiction. Had I appeared, it could easily be argued by the Court that my appearance was a submission to jurisdiction. Now, as strange as it might seem, unless jurisdictional questions are raised at the outset, the Court can properly assume jurisdiction. My research indicates that this was firmly established as early as 1856 (Dredd Scott v Sandford, 60 US 393 (1856)). Matters of jurisdiction were not the object of the hearing, and may not necessarily be heard.
Thursday was day seven for protesters camped out in front the Nevada Southern Detention Facility in support of inmate Ryan Bundy.
Bundy and additional defendants are scheduled for trial next month for their alleged, respective roles in the armed standoff against officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management back in 2014.
Protester John Lamb said he traveled to Pahrump from Montana in support of Bundy and other inmates.
Lamb was joined by others outside the facility who claim Bundy and other inmates are being mistreated by detention officials, a claim denied by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Bureau of Land Management has postponed an upcoming public forum on Gold Butte National Monument as the Department of Interior conducts a controversial review of it and other monuments.
BLM officials were slated to host the latest in a series of informational forums on Gold Butte on May 25 in North Las Vegas, but they decided to delay the meeting until the broader monument review is complete.
As part of the review process, the Interior Department began accepting public input this week on national monument designations from the past two decades.
Rep. Ruben Kihuen has unleashed a diatribe against President Trump over his executive order telling the Interior secretary to review national monument designations for the past 20 years, saying Trump doesn’t give a damn about Nevadans.
Democrat Kihuen flatly stated that most Nevadans support public lands and their permanent protection and criticized Trump for calling recent national monuments — such as the 1 million-acre Gold Butte and Basin and Range national monument designations Obama created in his final year in office — a “massive federal land grab.”
A federal judge Tuesday directed prosecutors to lay out their case in writing to support their argument that California resident Gary Hunt knowingly violated a court protective order by posting the names of informants who helped the FBI during the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown also asked the government to address the “efficacy” of pursuing a contempt of court ruling, considering that Hunt already has spent seven days in jail and some of the FBI informants’ names came out during the course of two federal conspiracy trials stemming from the 41-day refuge occupation last year.
“What I am about to say will not set well with a lot of people. The enemy of liberty is the government employee. The government official, the bureaucrat. Not the elected official per se, but the employee for government agencies. They are takers, they are not producers.”
It was only a short time later that we received reports of extreme torture and abuse of Ammon Bundy wherein he was confined to a 3 foot by 3 foot shower stall, with door closed and his hands chained behind his back for over 13 hours. He was scheduled to be in that confined space for 72 hours but was released earlier because of the massive amount of attention brought by the public to the situation.
Protests in Pahrump
Those awaiting trial in the Bunkerville standoff case have been clashing with corrections officers at the private facility in Pahrump where they are being held.
Last week, Ryan Bundy, one of rancher Cliven Bundy’s sons who likewise is charged as a leader, sued the federal government. In his lawsuit, he argued that strip searches were unconstitutional and said he was deprived of his rights when he was punished for failing to submit to them. Ryan Bundy said in the complaint that he has spent weeks in the “hole,” a colloquial term for solitary confinement.
Then, on Wednesday, supporters of the individual rights movement the Bundys espouse showed up to protest outside the Pahrump facility after they learned of an alleged incident involving brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy. Protesters, who have spent three days in Pahrump, claim the Bundys were punished after they argued with an official over a shirt that was left on Ammon Bundy’s bed.
“The jail will not tell me what’s going on without a subpoena,” said Ammon Bundy’s defense attorney, Dan Hill. “I’m definitely going to subpoena to find out what’s going on. He’s presumed innocent, and what they’re putting him through in there is interfering with trial preparation.”
Hill said Ammon Bundy is in solitary confinement, and that he has not spoken to him since the alleged incident occurred.
Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford called a judge’s push to revoke his ability to practice law in federal court in Oregon a “serious and stigmatizing” sanction and unwarranted.
The Utah-based lawyer has asked U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman for more time to respond.
Mumford also wants a full transcript of last fall’s refuge occupation trial to challenge what Mosman called Mumford’s repeated failures or refusals to observe court rulings, highlighted in about 545 pages of excerpts from the trial transcript.
Mumford was supposed to file his response to Mosman by Thursday, but instead filed an 11-page memo asking for at least 45 more days, noting the gravity of Mosman’s action and that it could significantly undermine his career.
He argued that many of the challenges he raised during Bundy’s trial resulted from U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown’s rulings that limited the scope of his questions in response to objections raised by prosecutors.