AG Sessions orders examination of Bundy case after mistrial over prosecution bungling

AG Sessions orders examination of Bundy case after mistrial over prosecution bungling

Government failed to turn over evidence

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped into the Bundy prosecution after Wednesday’s mistrial, ordering a third-party examination of the case in light of the latest government snafu.

“The attorney general takes this issue very seriously and has personally directed that an expert in the [Justice Department’s] discovery obligations be deployed to examine the case and advise as to the next steps,” said Ian D. Prior, the department’s principal deputy director of public affairs, in a late Wednesday statement.

The decision to intervene came after Chief U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial over the government’s “willful failure to disclose information” to the defense, saying it would have been “impossible” for the four co-defendants to receive a fair trial.

SEE ALSO: Mistrial bolster’s Bundy’s claim of federal persecution, gives prosecutors black eye

“Failure to turn over such evidence violates due process,” Judge Navarro said in the courtroom, the Arizona Republic reported. “A fair trial at this point is impossible.”

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and Ryan Payne of Montana have been charged with 15 felony counts stemming from the 2014 armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville.

The examination represents the first direct public intervention by the attorney general in the Nevada case, which began last year under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre, who oversees the prosecution, said he welcomed the input from D.C.

“We respect the ruling of the court and take very seriously our discovery obligations,” Mr. Myhre said in a statement. “The office welcomes the assistance of the attorney general as we continue to evaluate the case in light of the court’s ruling.”

No deadline was given for the attorney general’s examination, but Judge Navarro set a Jan. 8 hearing on defense motions to dismiss the case. The next trial is tentatively scheduled to begin Feb. 26.

The case, which involves 19 defendants spread over three tiers, has been riddled with setbacks for the prosecution, including a previous mistrial, hung juries and acquittals on lesser figures in the April 2014 armed confrontation with BLM agents.

Judge Navarro said the prosecutors had willfully failed to disclose key evidence in the case, including FBI records about surveillance and government snipers at the Bundy ranch, activity logs, law enforcement threat assessments showing the Bundy family posed no threat of violence, and internal reports about BLM agent misconduct.

She dismissed the jury after seven weeks in the latest trial involving the second of the three tiers of co-defendants.

All four in the latest trial are considered leaders of the confrontation with the BLM, which began after agents tried to impound the ranch’s cattle following Cliven Bundy’s refusal for years to pay grazing fees in a protest over federal land management.

Posted in Ammon Bundy, BLM, Bundy Ranch, Cliven Bundy, Court, FBI, III%, Jeff Sessions, Land, Las Vegas, Militia, News, NYT, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne.

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One Comment

  1. The case should be thrown out and these innocent farmers should be declared innocent. The judge (during the trail) was so prejudiced against ( Could not call witnesses and wouldn’t allow them to really defend themselves and had them in solitary confinement for over a year. This was and is brutal way to treat your farmers) all the defendants there was no way they could get a fair trail. I watched every video and saw what the blm a foreign owned business doing so many illegal moves to steal this land so demoRats could sell the minerals to foreign countries. This was and is a travesty against American citizens all over our country. The USA govt is only allowed ownership of 10 acres of land. They have overstepped their legal ability to steal land from hard working farmers in the West. The blm used burning and flooding to steal property from the ranchers. This court order to kill healthy cattle was a miscarriage of justice. No one should kill healthy livestock for revenge. They could have used those cattle to feed the American people. The FBI also murdered LaVoy Finnicum in cold blood and would have murdered all the people in the car if the bullets penetrated the car. They lined up just past the dead body of LaVoy to shoot hundreds of bullets into the car that 4 other people were in. This was ordered by obama the worst president in our history. He wanted the protest over. They never threatened anyone and had a peaceful protest in Oregon. The FBI and blm did a hatchet job on these folks who only wanted the govt to stop bullying and stealing ranchers homes. The place was open no one broke in. It was left open so tourist could pick up information. These two cases are tied into one another because of the blm doing illegal moves against ranchers. They should be sent packing out of our country.
    I hope the truth sets all these farmers and Patriots free.Its time to clean up our country of bad ideas like all these 3 letter departments. FBI, CIA, BLM, NSA just to name a few. We need a new and better way for our highest law enforcement to work. Obama put in good muslims in every top job it’s time to remove them all and put good law inforcement men and women in these top jobs.

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