Cliven Bundy at his Nevada ranch in 2014.John Locher/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP
In 2014, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy became a right-wing folk hero after he led an armed standoff with federal law enforcement over the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to seize his cattle. He’d been illegally grazing the cows on federal land for decades and, despite court orders, refusing to pay more than $1 million in overdue grazing fees and fines. Militia groups and tea party types have rallied around Bundy as he fights criminal charges related to the “Battle of Bunkerville.”
And now that President Donald Trump has pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, infamous for his extreme use of profiling to target undocumented immigrants, Bundy’s supporters see an opportunity for him as well. Bundy has been in jail since February 2016 and is set to stand trial on October 10 for his role in the ranch standoff, along with his sons Ryan and Ammon and four other defendants.
During the October 3rd Calendar call for the Bunkerville Protest trial, defendant Ryan Payne asked for, and was granted, an evidentiary hearing surrounding the shredding of documents pertaining to the Gold Butte Impoundment Operation.
As part of the hearing, Payne has requested to subpoena several witnesses, including Special Agent in Charge Daniel P. Love.
During the previous trials, Judge Gloria Navarro has upheld the government’s hiding of the discredited SAC Love and refused to allow him to be called in her courtroom. However, an evidentiary hearing is a bit different, specifically in that the jury will not be witnessing the testimony.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has only been around since 1946 and has not had too many noteworthy events in their own right. The most noteworthy of all BLM operations in the past decades seems to be the Bunkerville Standoff and the underlying cattle impoundment operation that preceded the protest.
When the BLM are actively involved with any situation they, like all other departments of the Federal Government, will issue press releases so the public will understand said events (their version).
The BLM Website has an entire section devoted to press releases dating back to November 2006. There are hundreds of press releases, almost an average of one per day.
Pete Santilli’s attorney dropped a bombshell in a Las Vegas courtroom today when he stated that his client has reached a plea agreement with the government.
Chris Rasmussen, Santilli’s attorney, also withdrew every motion their team has filed based on the plea deal.
The agreement includes Santilli agreeing to a Felony count of obstruction of justice, based on his blocking a BLM truck prior to the Bunkerville standoff.
Santilli will receive ‘time served’ and is expected to be released within the next few days. No other details have been released for this deal.
Defense teams are scrambling to preserve Santilli’s motions and subpoenas related to the upcoming trial, as it is scheduled for jury selection to begin next week.
A defendant in the trial set to begin in Nevada next week against Cliven Bundy and others in their 2014 standoff with federal agents has asked for a delay, citing the mass shooting in Las Vegas by a man who lived a few miles from the Bundy Ranch.
The carnage will prejudice potential jurors and prevent a fair hearing, the lawyers for Ryan Payne argued in a motion to continue the trial for at least two months.
Las Vegas is deep in mourning following Sunday’s unfathomable massacre at an outdoor country music festival that killed 59 people and wounded more than 500, the lawyers wrote. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, lived in Mesquite, Nevada, just northeast of the Bundy Ranch and where Bundy and his armed supporters faced off with government agents.
A defendant has asked to postpone next week’s trial for seven Bunkerville ranch standoff defendants in the wake of Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas.
“This is not the time to pick a jury and commence trial in this case,” attorneys for independent militia leader Ryan Payne wrote in court papers filed late Monday, referring to the shooting that left at least 59 dead and resulted in hundreds of injuries. “It is clear that this unprecedented act of violence will prevent the defendants from having a fair trial in this city one week from now.”
Meanwhile, Pete Santilli, who has argued that he was a journalist covering the confrontation between the Bundy family and law enforcement, has agreed to plead guilty to felony conspiracy, his lawyer Chris Rasmussen told U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Tuesday.
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.
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.
THIS MOTION SHOULD BE SHARED WITH EVERY LEGISLATOR AND ELECTED OFFICIAL IN THE US.
Freedom of the Press has been a driving issue in the Bunkerville Standoff trials happening in Las Vegas.
From the ‘First Amendment Zone’ to the incarceration of a media reporter, the government has made every attempt to keep the truth from the public.
Pete Santilli has been an independent internet journalist for a number of years, reporting on government over reach and wasteful spending.
Santilli was the only full-time news media that attended the Bunkerville Standoff. There were other news reporters, but not before most of them watched Pete’s reports on his YouTube channel.
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.
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.
Late night filings by the Bunkerville Prosecution team has shown there will be a repeat performance of an Unconstitutional trial taking place beginning October 10th in Las Vegas.
As in the previous two trials, of which the jury acquitted the defendants of the majority of charges, the prosecution has filed a last minute 26-page motion to exclude any type of defense these men might attempt.
The prosecution has motioned to force the defense, from the beginning of jury selection, into opening/closing arguments, and including all direct and cross examination of witnesses, to NOT bring up anything they deem to not have any foundation in the law, including Self defense.
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 usual suspects into apoplexy. Democrat Rep. Ruben Kihuen, whose district includes Gold Butte, screeched, “The latest leaks from this administration show that once again Secretary Zinke is ignoring the will of Nevadans by recommending that the size of Gold Butte National Monument be reduced. This decision will not only be detrimental to Nevada’s economy and shared cultural heritage, but it is […]
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
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.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation, in partnership with the Nevada Policy Research Institute, pressed U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to weigh in on the Bunkerville standoff trial situation.
Here’s a copy of IFF and NPRI’s letter to Zinke:
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal agent who had been scrutinized for his handling of rare evidence as well as behavior at the counterculture Burning Man festival is no longer an employee of the Bureau of Land Management, authorities said Friday.
Daniel Love, who played a command role in federal agents’ 2014 standoff with Nevada rancher and states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy, no longer works for the agency, spokeswoman Megan Crandall told the Associated Press.
She did not answer questions about the timing or circumstances of his departure, citing federal privacy laws.
A lawyer for Love, Lisa Kleine, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. There was no answer at a publicly listed phone number for him.