Gem County residents Ammon and Lisa Bundy never thought their fight over grazing and water rights for their ranch would be a focus of national attention.
The Bundys see themselves as defenders of the Constitution, standing up for what they believe in. Lisa Bundy said her husband is in federal prison now because he was “defending his neighbors and challenging the federal government over his rights.”
“We are supposed to fight for our rights and fight for our land. This is God-given land, and he has designated us to take care of it,” Lisa Bundy said.
Ammon Bundy, his father and brother are in federal prison awaiting trial on charges stemming from an armed standoff that stopped government agents from rounding up Bundy cattle near Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014.
In a court filing this week, Bundy’s lawyer, Bret Whipple, made a rather extraordinary argument: that this armed insurrection at the Bundy ranch was no different from the Selma civil rights march in 1965. He also notes that like Bundy, Martin Luther King Jr. “openly violated a federal court injunction.” Far from menacing the BLM officers with what the government calls a “massive assault,” Bundy and his co-conspirators were simply following the “pattern of political demonstrations throughout American history,” says Whipple. He suggests that the BLM was acting an awful lot like George Wallace, the Alabama governor who set the police on the (unarmed) Selma marchers.
In a motion that was filed on Thursday by Chris T. Rasmussen, attorney for reporter Pete Santilli, there was an appeal to Judge Gloria Navarro to enforce the court’s order not to use anything from the Oregon case involving Santilli, in which all the charges against him were dropped.
“Fourteen days before trial, the Government has decided to ignore this Court’s Order (Dk: 1613),” wrote Rasmussen.
“Santilli filed a motion to compel disclosure of discovery from the case in Oregon,” Rasmussen continued. “The government arrogantly announced in their response, ‘The Oregon case is not this case.’”
Rasmussen pointed to the court’s order which states, “Judge Navarro found that “the Oregon case is not relevant… especially given that the activity related to the Malheur occupation began well after the events at issue in this case.’”
What Abraham Bundy and his sons saw from the crest of the ridge where they topped out in June 1916, looking east toward Mt. Trumbull, was a vast valley with stirrup-high grass that year. What they did not account for is that the high annual rainfall that had blessed the Arizona Strip for several decades, making it vast grassland, would not last forever. Although there was not a single source of live water in the entire valley, Bundys staked the future of their families on making a go of it there.
And to a large extent the same basic story likewise describes the people and place LaVoy Finicum came from at Cane Beds, on the Northern edge of The Strip. LaVoy’s historic Tuckup Grazing Allotment along the Northern edge of the Grand Canyon stems back to the earliest history of Texans and Bundys grazing cattle and competing for forage on The Strip, as described in the book.
Las Vegas – Just before the court deadline at 11:03 PM MST on September 28, 2017 Ammon Bundy defense attorney Morgan Philpot filed a formal request for jury instructions in the upcoming criminal trial scheduled to begin Tuesday, October 10 of Bundy. The filing included a request and supporting legal authority that the jury should be instructed that:
“Defendants’ rights to possess and carry firearms are not on trial. Under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, a person has the right “to keep and bear arms,” that is to own, to possess, and to carry firearms, including for the purposes of participating in a citizen militia. Thus, [a] defendant’s possession and use of a firearm and participation in, or association with, militia activity for the purpose of resisting tyranny and usurpations of power by the federal government is protected by the Second Amendment unless that defendant intended his actions to constitute a deliberate act of force, threat or intimidation against an officer of the United States in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy charged in Count two.
Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the Interior Department, said that almost a third of his agency’s employees aren’t exactly President Donald Trump supporters — or fans of the American flag, for that matter.
Holy cow. Why are they still there? Talk about a deep state.
It’s one thing to work in the federal government for people with whom you politically disagree. It’s another thing entirely to work in the federal government of a country you don’t entirely support.
In a different day, a different time, that’d be cause for a red flag followup from U.S. intel agents concerned about government collapse or takeover from communist-aligned enemies, or otherwise anti-American forces.
Frankly, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s memo to President Trump recommending modifications to a few national monuments — including the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Clark County — is far too modest, but it has the Democratic contingent of Nevada’s Washington delegation squealing like a pig stuck under a gate.
Zinke recommended unspecified changes to the Gold Butte boundaries but totally ignored the massive 700,000-acre Basin and Range National Monument that straddles the border between Nye and Lincoln counties, even though members of the Congressional Western Caucus recommended reducing it to 2,500 acres — “the smallest area compatible,” as the law says, to protect the Indian petroglyphs there.
The pressure from the elected officials and the public have made a dramatic difference in the Bunkerville Standoff case. Plea deals are being offered for multiple defendants this week.
Rumors abound that the prosecution is acting as if they have been told to “make this case go away”. There have been offers of plea agreements given to several defendants, including Ryan Payne, Pete Santilli, Eric Parker and Scott Drexler. There have been NO reports of any acceptance of offers, but negotiations continue.
Speculation is also running on possible plea agreements for other defendants scheduled for trial later, including Mel and Dave Bundy.
Now is the time to double-down on the letters and phone calls! Keep up the pressure! Let AG Sessions know what a miscarriage of justice this case has become. It is working!
The upcoming Bundy Ranch trial is already setting up as a display of the amount of corruption inside the federal court system.
The latest example of this corruption comes from Prosecutor Steven Myhre, who hasn’t made his case twice and is attempting it a third time on two defendants, which seems so clear to me to be a violation of the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy clause that Myhre should never be allowed to serve the people in any capacity ever again, along with Judge Gloria Navarro, who allowed it.
However, last week, Myhre submitted a twenty-six page request to the judge, which amounted to calling on the judge to suppress the defendants right to defend themselves.
A judge on Wednesday denied Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy’s request to represent himself at trial next month on charges related to a 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management.
Defense attorney Bret Whipple, whom Bundy retained, filed court papers last week in which he asked to withdraw from Bundy’s case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen asked Bundy a series of questions in order to determine whether he could act as his own lawyer in what is expected to be a lengthy trial with six other defendants.
When Leen asked whether Bundy was ready for the trial, set to begin Oct. 10, he replied, “Well I doubt it.” But he added that he was not asking to postpone the trial.
As the judge inquired further about his understanding of trial procedures, Bundy said, “I understand very little of it, but I reserve my right to do the best I can.”
Leen read through the charges against Bundy, while the acting U.S. Attorney detailed the possible sentences, which could land Bundy in prison for the rest of his life.
Part of the effort to expand access to public lands is reforming the Equal Access to Justice Act, which is addressed in the current legislation. The Equal Access to Justice Act has been widely abused in recent years by radical special interest groups aiming to bury federal and state wildlife and land agencies in anti-lands management lawsuits, and get rich on taxpayer dollars while doing so.
Hunting in its various forms, fishing, and outdoor shooting are not just iconic American pastimes, they are essential to families who depend on the economic benefits these activities yield. Countless rural families depend on big game and fish as affordable sources of protein. And in the West, game and fish quarries are taken primarily from public lands. But it’s not just meat and fish harvested by anglers and game hunters that benefit families and foster self-reliance, it’s the commerce of outfitting and selling hunting leases that keep many ranchers, farmers and property owners afloat in a sea of fickle agricultural and real estate markets.
In memo to Interior employees, deputy secretary makes example of controversial ex-Utah BLM lawman Dan Love, vow to clean up land agencies and protect those who report abuse.
A top Interior Department official has singled out the recent firing of a controversial Bureau of Land Management agent over Utah to illustrate a renewed commitment to hold accountable senior employees who misuse their official positions and to protect those who report such abuse.
Dan Love, who once led law enforcement for the BLM’s Nevada and Utah state offices, was fired not long after an Aug. 24 report from Interior’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) faulting him a second time for official misconduct, according to a memo circulated Friday by Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
Public lands occupier Ken Medenbach, who called the Bundys his heroes on the witness stand last fall, is urging a judge to allow him to attend their federal criminal trial in Nevada next month.
Medenbach’s probation officer already denied the request. On Tuesday, Medenbach’s defense lawyer filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane to overrule the probation officer and allow Medenbach to support the Bundys and attend their Nevada trial.
Medenbach is on probation following a 2016 conviction for illegal camping in Josephine County, a federal misdemeanor. He was acquitted last year of all federal charges stemming from his participation in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.
Attorney Matthew Schindler argues there’s no justification to bar Medenbach from the fundamental right of attending a public trial in a highly-secure federal court in Nevada, and Medenbach poses no threat to public safety.
A 23-year-old man who threw burning flares into a Portland police cruiser and the downtown Target store during May 1 protests that overran downtown Portland admitted guilt Monday and will be sentenced to five years in prison.
A local TV station aired live footage of Damion Zachary Feller hurling a flare through a shattered picture window at Target, prompting employees to run with fire extinguishers to put out a burning section of carpet. TV and cellphone cameras also caught Feller throwing a flare through the shattered window of a battered police SUV parked across the street from Target, at Southwest 10th Avenue and Morrison.
The Navajo Nation will sue the Trump administration if it tries to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, its top lawyer told Reuters on Thursday, ahead of the release of a broad government review of such sites across the country.
President Donald Trump had ordered the Interior Department to examine whether 27 national monuments designated by past presidents could be reduced or rescinded to make way for oil and gas drilling and other economic development.
The results have not been announced, but a leak of the review obtained by the Washington Post shows the Interior Department will recommend shrinking some sites, including Bears Ears, a 1.35-million-acre wilderness that the Navajo and other tribes consider sacred.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that $94.3 million will be distributed for outdoor recreation and conservation projects to the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. These funds are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund state grant program has been a resounding success that makes physical investments in our communities,” Secretary Zinke said. “From Detroit, Michigan, to Lake Tahoe, California, the program benefits citizens across the nation by helping state and local governments make infrastructure investments in urban, suburban, and rural parks. By advancing the Administration’s offshore energy goals, we will be able to generate more revenue for the fund to improve conservation and recreation opportunities for generations to come.”
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit this week challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s June sale of oil and gas leases in parts of Nevada, including Nye County.
On June 14, the BLM offered nearly 200,000 acres of public lands in Nevada’s Battle Mountain district for fossil fuel development, including fracking. Among the affected areas are Big Smoky and Railroad valleys in Nye County, Diamond Valley in Eureka County and the Diamond, Fish Creek and Sulphur Creek mountain ranges.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in the federal court district of Nevada in Reno, alleges the BLM failed to consider the potential consequences of oil drilling in the area, from contamination of critical desert water sources to increased seismic activity and emission of climate-altering greenhouse gases.
by Thomas Mitchel September 20, 2017 Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s memo to President Trump recommending an unspecified reduction in size of several recently created national monuments — including the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Clark County — has sent the […]
The bill, originally introduced in 2015, would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses and armed career criminals while increasing mandatory minimums for other offenses such as domestic violence.
“While the political landscape in Washington has changed, the same problems presented by the current sentencing regime remain,” Grassley said in a statement.
Durbin, noting senators have been working on the issue for five years, called it the “best chance in a generation to right the wrongs of a badly broken system.”
“We believe this legislation would pass the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote — it’s time to get this done,” he said.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Budd-Falen’s appointment to head up BLM is the stark contrast between her background and that of Obama’s BLM Director, Neil Kornze. While Budd-Falen has decades of broad experience in law, natural resources policy, and Western property rights, Neil Kornze’s primary experience was as a political staffer for then-United States Senator, Harry Reid. Budd-Falen’s appointment, the firings and reassignments of thousands of Interior employees, Zinke’s monuments revisions, and new emphasis on responsible development of public lands, all signal a serious change of direction for the Bureau of Land Management
Our country was founded over 200 years ago after enough colonists agreed that the rule by the King of England no longer made sense for the colonies. They did not agree on every aspect of the how and the why, but they all agreed that it must change. The biggest aspect of agreement and disagreement in the birth of our Nation was the right of each human to agree and disagree. There foremost ideal that drove the creation of our constitution, can be said to be creating a government that could stand for and thrive while maintaining this and other freedoms.
This turned out to be a humongous task and goal. First and foremost the procedure and processes for dealing with disagreement had to be agreed upon. There will always be different beliefs and ideals. However, most of all they understood that in order to have peace while preserving everyone’s ability to exercise their Freedoms, they must have a process and rules for dealing with Disagreement or conflicts of personal Freedoms between all people. This is where the concept of Liberty was created and defined. Liberty, for the sake of our constitution, would be the definition of civility and common agreement on how to deal with Freedoms in all situations, including when there is disagreement.
WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump modify 10 nationalmonuments created by his immediate predecessors, including shrinking the boundaries of at least four western sites,according to a copy of the report obtained by the Washington Post.
The memorandum, which the White House has refused to releasesince Zinke submitted it late last month, does not specify exactreductions for the four protected areas Zinke would have Trumpnarrow – Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante,Nevada’s Gold Butte, and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou – or thetwo marine national monuments – the Pacific Remote Islands andRose Atoll – for which he raised the same prospect. The two Utah sites encompass a total of more than 3.2 million acres, part of the reason they have aroused such intense emotions since their designation.
The secretary’s set of recommendations also would change theway all 10 targeted monuments are managed. It emphasizes theneed to adjust the proclamations to address concerns of localofficials or affected industries, saying the administration shouldpermit “traditional uses” now restricted within the monuments’ boundaries, such as grazing, logging, coal mining andcommercial fishing.
In the ongoing dispute between the state’s two U.S. senators and the Trump administration, the White House counsel accuses the lawmakers of failing to consider the administration’s pick for a judicial vacancy on a federal appellate court.
The White House last week nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bounds, a young, politically conservative federal prosecutor, for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Democrats, want U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez, a Republican, for the vacancy.
Wyden and Merkley have vowed to block Bounds’ nomination, saying that he wasn’t vetted through their bipartisan judicial selection committee.
Other members of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team involved in the stop of refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum testified before a federal grand jury that returned an indictment against their colleague, Agent W. Joseph Astarita.
Prosecutors have asked the court for permission to share transcripts of the agents’ testimony with a nationally recognized ballistics and trajectory expert who they may call as a witness at trial.