DISMISSAL IS CONSIDERED an extreme remedy for prosecutor misconduct. Judges often declare a mistrial but let the indictments stand, thus allowing prosecutors the option of taking the case before another grand jury.
As Myhre noted in his brief, the Chapman case seems to be the only ruling in which the 9th Circuit has ever upheld outright dismissal of indictments due to prosecutorial misconduct. And Navarro found plenty of similarities when comparing Damm’s misconduct in Chapman to Myhre’s actions in the Bundy trial.
As in Chapman, Myhre and his office failed to turn over hundreds of pages of evidence, particularly FBI reports, logs, maps, and threat assessments, Navarro found. And, like Damm, Myhre and his office made “several misrepresentations” to the defense and the court, both about the existence of certain evidence and its importance, she ruled.
In one instance, Navarro said, the prosecution made “a deliberate attempt to mislead and to obscure the truth.” At the mistrial hearing in December, she criticized Myhre for calling an internal affairs report about one of the Bundy investigators an “urban legend.” When the report surfaced, Myhre told the court his “urban legend” comment was “based on the government’s inability to verify its existence, let alone find it,” and not an attempt to deceive.
After a stormy year, the long tenure of Steven Myhre as the No. 2 prosecutor in the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office has ended under secrecy.
Within the past month, Myhre left his job as first assistant to Interim U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson and took on new duties in the office as a senior litigation counsel, several former federal prosecutors who have spoken with office members told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
His new position comes with no supervisory responsibilities, but allows him to mentor and train younger attorneys, according to a Justice Department manual.
Last May, Myhre, who spent about 15 years as first assistant in the office, was ordered to undergo anti-sex discrimination training as a result of a federal case filed by a female prosecutor during the tenure of former U.S. Attorney Greg Brower in 2008 and 2009.
“THE STATE OF NEVADA NEEDS SOMEONE WHO WILL STAND UP FOR STATEHOOD AND RECOGNIZE THAT NEVADA IS A SOVEREIGN STATE, NOT JUST A PROVINCE OF THE U.S.” ~ RYAN BUNDY
Ryan Bundy is an erudite man who has my full support and I hope yours, also! If we want a return to Constitutional principles, to freedom and liberty protected by our Constitution, then, Ryan is the man for the job. I loved his response when Judge Navarro was questioning him about “representing” himself…she asked if he had studied or had any training in “the law” and Ryan responded, “I’ve had two years to study law!” Two years where he took the opportunity, not to rely on others for his defense, but to study law, the courts, and his rights and defend himself. This is a man that will study the rights of the citizens of Nevada and will work for that end.
Part II: BLM’s thugocracy lives on
As we reported last week, William C. Woody, a spendthrift of questionable character, has been shuffled from director of law enforcement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) back to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where he was previously director of law enforcement from 2003 to 2012. Reports place him in southeastern Utah on June 10, 2009, the day Operation Cerberus Action culminated with several military-style raids on private homes in the Four Corners area. Four men took their lives in the aftermath of the raids, yet, not one person was ever convicted as a result of the antiquities sting. Dan Love, the disreputable and dangerous BLM agent made infamous for his role in the Bundy Ranch debacle, served under Woody at the time and was instrumental in setting up and executing Operation Cerberus Action. Love was present during the inhumane interrogations of Blanding physician, James Redd, who took his own life the morning following the raids.
Woody later praised Dan Love and subsequently named him BLM Law Enforcement Agent of the Year for 2009. Love was lauded as a hero in a report published by the BLM marking its law enforcement ‘successes’ for that year. Ironically, the report praised Love, whose subsequent activities nearly destroyed the reputation of the BLM, and who is now regarded as the poster boy for federal overreach and corruption, saying, “Special Agent Love’s exemplary effort on this investigation has brought great credit upon him and the BLM.”
A string of exercises in federal overreach all but destroyed westerners’ trust in the BLM. But Dan Love, the BLM SAC behind Operation Cerberus, the Bundy Ranch raid, and whose name is connected with numerous other crimes and debacles, became the face of government at its worst.
The #GoogleDanLove social media hashtag was not invented by Twitter or Facebook, it was created by Americans familiar with the extreme and sometimes lethal actions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who felt compelled to make the truth known about the agency’s abusive and dangerous Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Dan Love. A string of exercises in federal overreach, such as the prosecution of the Dwight and Steven Hammond on terrorism charges; Operation Cerberus, which lead to the deaths of several men in the Four Corners region; the burning of ranches and cattle in Oregon, the failed Bundy Ranch raid, and the confrontation outside of John Day, Oregon that ended in the murder of Arizona rancher, LaVoy Finicum, all but destroyed westerners’ trust in the BLM. But Dan Love, the BLM SAC behind Operation Cerberus, the Bundy Ranch raid, and whose name is connected with numerous other crimes and debacles, became the face of government at its worst. And now, when you Google Dan Love, you will see his career at the BLM–which ended only last year after public outcry and stinging embarrassment to the agency–summarized in a list of scandals and wanton acts of degeneracy.
Lifelong Southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, recently cleared of federal charges and freed from jail after nearly two years, has turned his sights on state and county government.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Clark County District Court, Bundy claimed that former President Barack Obama’s late 2016 establishment of the Gold Butte National Monument, which occurred while the rancher was in federal custody, was “as illegal as it is unlawful” and would preclude him from continuing to function on his land “and destroy the petitioner’s livelihood.”
Bureau of Land Management officials in Las Vegas postponed discussion of the monument at its meetings this month until the Trump administration decides on possible changes to the Obama-era land designation.
“Recognizing that the land is not owned by the United States of America, (Bundy) has avoided erroneously giving money to an entity which does not actually own the land and has been careful not to give money erroneously to a stranger to the land,” according to the rancher’s lawsuit. “Thus, there is an actual, significant legal controversy of great consequence not only to petitioner in terms of as to whom has ownership and jurisdiction of the land but to People of Nevada and Clark county, the rightful owners of Nevada land.”
Federal Judge, Gloria Navarro’s dismissal of the Bundy Ranch trial last December was attributed in large part to explosive revelations of misconduct, and ethical and legal violations in a letter written by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agent Larry ‘Clint’ Wooten, to Deputy Attorney General Andrew D. Goldsmith, the National Criminal Discovery Coordinator. The descriptions of unprofessionalism, sexism, and conspiratorial motives in the letter were so shocking that they tanked the federal prosecution’s case. The 18-page letter also contains damning accounts of unconscionable behavior and acts perpetrated by BLM Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Dan Love, which have been largely overlooked by media.
“Cliven Bundy was accused of conspiracy against the government,” reported the Western Livestock Journal in a January 8 article on the Bundy ruling. “Instead,” it noted, “the Bundy trial showed it was the government that was conspiring against him.” That charge does not exaggerate in the least the gravity of the government’s wrongdoing in the case.
During her ruling of a mistrial on December 20, Judge Navarro spent nearly 45 minutes reading from the bench, details of the federal misconduct, that she found to be so outrageous and flagrant. A central component of that misconduct concerned the government’s willful withholding of thousands of pages of evidence that supported the Bundys’ defense, and to which the defendants were legally entitled.
This week perhaps the biggest victory in the history of government prosecution and legal criminal defense was realized in a federal court in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, after Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ryan and Ammon, had been wrongfully charged by Obama deep state Justice Department prosecutors for conspiring to threaten federal law enforcement at gun point when Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents, with the support of Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents, stormed the Bundy Ranch at Bunkerville, threatened the lives of the Bundys, violently assaulted family members when they would not relinquish their cattle and then, for “good measure,” killed tens of male cattle (aka bulls) used to procreate the herd and buried them in a secret mass grave, the federal judge who presided of the trial dismissed the government’s indictment with prejudice based on flagrant and outrageous prosecutorial misconduct.
Some think that the Bundys got off scot-free when U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed cases against Cliven, sons Ammon and Ryan, and co-defendant Ryan Payne and accused their prosecutors — the government — of willfully withholding evidence from Bundy lawyers in violation of the federal Brady rule, thus denying them due process. She referred to it as “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” and set the defendants free “with prejudice,” preventing the government from trying them again on this case.
So what price did the Bundys pay for defending the Constitution and freedom? Cliven Bundy certainly felt it high: “I have been a political prisoner for more than 700 days.” Let’s review the story of Bundy justice.
In a July 5, 2017 email, Ryan Payne’s lawyers asked prosecutors for copies of all threat assessments prepared before the April 2014 standoff between Cliven Bundy’s supporters and federal officers attempting to impound the Bundy family cattle for years of failing to pay grazing fees and fines.
Prosecutors handling the Nevada standoff case characterized defendants’ continued push for access to the threat assessments as another in their “long list of frivolous and vexatious pleadings.”
Prosecutors didn’t turn over the multiple threat assessments to Payne and his co-defendants, Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy and his two sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, until the four were in the midst of trial in mid-November, and a government witness under cross-examination acknowledged familiarity with one of the reports.
The government’s withholding of multiple threat assessments by the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Task Force, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and Gold Butte Cattle Impound Risk Assessment – which found the Bundys were not likely to use violence – was just one example of the prosecution team’s callous disregard of its constitutional obligations to share with the defense any potentially favorable evidence, according to Payne’s lawyers, assistant federal public defenders Brenda Weksler and Ryan Norwood.
Though the most recent trial of four defendants in the April 2014 standoff between armed protesters and Bureau of Land Management agents trying to confiscate Cliven Bundy’s cattle ended in a mistrial, the case will stand as a historic example of how sweeping secrecy can cast doubt on whether justice is being served.
This past week U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro halted testimony in the trial and sent the jurors home while she heard arguments behind closed doors over whether the prosecution had failed to provide the defense with potentially exculpatory evidence quickly enough. The judge said the prosecution’s repeated failure to timely disclose information was “sufficient to undermine the confidence in the outcome of the trial,” which she said could result in a mistrial. This week she declared a mistrial.
Attorney Maggie McLetchie — representing the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper and Battle Born Media, which publishes weekly newspapers in Mesquite, Ely, Eureka, Sparks and Lincoln and Mineral counties — promptly filed a motion seeking to intervene, which was granted. The newspapers are asking that all documents previously filed under seal be unsealed and that future hearings be conducted in open court.
The lead prosecutor in the Nevada standoff case against Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and a fourth alleged ringleader told a jury in his opening statement last month that the case centered on the need to respect the rule of law.
Five weeks later, it was the prosecution team’s abuse of the rule of law that sunk the case, leading to a judge’s declaration Wednesday of a mistrial.
U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro methodically listed the prosecution’s six separate violations of the Brady law, which requires turning over evidence potentially favorable to the defense. The judge further ruled that each violation was willful.
If ever there was a time when federal prosecutors needed to make sure they acted with complete integrity it was in the high-stakes Bundy case, legal observers say. The defendants already held a deep suspicion of the government and had successfully rallied followers to their cause.
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.
In identifying the Misdeeds of Government, it requires a diligent search of available information. However, often that research produces some interesting results. That is the situation with this article, since it begins with events surrounding the arrest of Dave Bundy (The Bundy Affair – #12 – Dave Bundy’s Two Citations), on April 6, 2014, and ends with the declaration of Mistrial on Decembers 20, 2017. However, in that span of time, over three and a half years, the following events played out.
Dave Bundy was pulled over on Nevada State Highway 170, a road that goes from Interstate 15, near the road to the Bundy Ranch, to Bunkerville. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had attempted to close the highway.
Dave got into a dispute with the BLM and was arrested and charged with two citations (explained in the linked article above). It is this arrest that begins this series of events. First, we have, from the National Park Service “DIRECTOR’S ORDER #9: LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM”, which, on page 2, explains when and where arrests may be made.
I received in the mail, with no return address, an 18 page email that I had heard about. However, the details in what I had heard were minimal, at best. But, having the whole 18 pages, I find that the initial, or original email was only 17 pages.
In an undated email from Larry Wooten to Andrew D. Goldsmith, Associate Deputy Attorney General, National Criminal Discovery Coordinator, Wooten writes of many misdeeds in the entire Gold Butte Impound Operation, that being the operation that unfolded near Bunkerville, Nevada, back in early April 2014.
In a cover email, the eighteenth page, to Steven Myhre, United States Attorney for the Nevada District, in a forwarded email, the 17 page emails is included for a total of 18 pages. Wooten explains in the cover email that his superiors, his chain of command, would not deal with what he had presented to them. I’m not quite sure why he sent it to Myhre, since Myhre is implicated in the information, along with any others.
Prosecutors shared it last week with defense lawyers for Bundy, his two sons and co-defendant Ryan Payne as they were in the midst of their conspiracy trial, but it’s not part of the public court record.
The memo prompted Cliven Bundy’s lawyer to file a motion early Monday to dismiss the case, already in disarray over concerns raised previously about the government’s failure to promptly share evidence with the defense.
The judge sent the jury home for more than a week as she tries to sort out the claims and prosecutors scramble to save their case.
The memo comes from Larry Wooten, who had been the lead case agent and investigator for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after the tense confrontation outside the patriarch’s ranch near Bunkerville. Wooten also testified before a federal grand jury that returned indictments against the Bundys. He said he was removed from the investigation last February after he complained to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada.