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.
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.
Last week, Cliven Bundy’s lawyer, Bret Whipple, said his client turned down U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro’s conditions of release because he believed he was innocent and would not accept restrictions on his freedom. He also said Cliven Bundy did not want others jailed in connection with the standoff.
Now that two more of his sons who were charged in the Bunkerville case have been let out of jail, and none of the standoff defendants awaiting trial remains behind bars, Whipple plans to discuss with his client the possibility of being with family for the holidays.
“I’m going to encourage him to allow me to help him,” Whipple said. “But at the end of the day, Cliven is a very principled man, and he follows his own principles, and I respect that.”
Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday recommended shrinking the boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument in a move that distressed conservationists, who have fought for years to protect the land near Mesquite. Zinke’s report came one day after the president slashed the size of two national monuments in Utah, a move that has already sparked a lawsuit.
Compared to the wholesale changes the president approved in Utah, any adjustments to Gold Butte are expected to be minor. But Zinke’s recommendations, although similar to a leaked draft in September, carry a symbolic weight for the area. They signal a major reversal of public lands policy that comes almost exactly one year after President Obama designated the nearly 300,000 acres that start about 10 miles from the site of the 2014 Bundy standoff.
“We will fight it in court,” Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in an email. “And we will win.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal judge offered to release a rancher and states’ rights figure from custody during his trial on charges involving an armed standoff that stopped a government cattle roundup three years ago in Nevada.
But Cliven Bundy refused to leave jail while others are still behind bars awaiting trial in the case.
Bundy, 71, didn’t state his reason in court Wednesday. But his wife, Carol Bundy, noted in a courthouse hallway that two other sons, Mel and David Bundy, are approaching two years in federal detention.
Ammon Bundy, on trial with his rancher father Cliven Bundy, was released from jail Thursday morning.
A crowd of about 50 supporters and family members, including Ammon Bundy’s wife and six children, cheered and hugged him as he walked out of the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas.
His brother, Ryan, another defendant facing a jury on charges connected with the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville, was among those in the crowd. The two hugged briefly before Ammon Bundy spoke with reporters.
“Freedom is important,” he said, wearing a blue-and-white plaid shirt, bluejeans and orange sandals. “It’s important because of our families. It’s important because of the great things we enjoy every day as Americans. America has always been an example of freedom, an example of family, an example of what’s good in this world. And really all my family has ever tried to do is just promote that.”
The Bundy trial continues into its next phase in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cliven Bundy, with sons Ryan and Ammon, and their co-defendant Ryan Payne, face felony charges that could result in over 100 years in prison for each.
Directly after opening statements, the prosecution “opened” its case against the Bundy’s and Payne. The prosecution will be in charge of much of the narrative in the next month or two until they “rest” their case. They will be calling the witnesses who are most favorable to the governments theory; usually government employees of the BLM, FBI and other law enforcement agencies. The defendants will be allowed to cross-examine the governments witnesses. The Bundy’s and Payne will have their turn to “open” their case after the government has “rested” theirs.
“Tell me about this standoff.”
And with that, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy found a biographer behind bars.
Bundy had invited a fellow inmate to sit down at a table with him. They chatted about farming, raising cattle, growing melons and grandchildren.
Soon, they were walking regular laps together around the inside of a large unit that housed 94 bunk beds between concrete cinderblock walls about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
And when the time seemed right, inmate Michael Stickler broached the subject of why the Bundy patriarch was in custody at the Southern Nevada Detention Center in Pahrump.
Complaint Meant to Force AG Sessions To Review and Dismiss Charges
(Washington, D.C., November 10, 2017). Today, Larry Klayman, the founder of both Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, announced a lawsuit filed in his private capacity on behalf of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who stood up to government tyranny under the Obama administration. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Case No. 1:17-cv-02429) against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray in their official capacities, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Inspector General (IG) over their failure to conduct an investigation into the bad faith and gross prosecutorial abuse by federal prosecutors and the destruction and hiding of material exculpatory evidence by the DOJ, FBI and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the ongoing criminal prosecution.
The third Bunkerville Standoff Trail in Las Vegas has been delayed for several motions to be resolved before opening arguments.
Thursday saw a pre-trial detention release hearing for the four defendants, Cliven Bundy, his two sons Ryan and Ammon, as well as defendant Ryan Payne.
Bret Whipple, attorney for Cliven Bundy, argued for release of his client citing his age and failing health. The elder Bundy has noticeably weakened since his incarceration nearly two years ago.
Whipple told the court of Bundy’s dental problems, noting that the 71-year-old has had to pull several of his own teeth in his attempts to stop infections. Dental care is minimal in the CCA detention center.
Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Bundy, and co-defendant Ryan Payne are accused of conspiring to block federal agents from enforcing court orders when the BLM tried to confiscate Cliven Bundy’s cattle. The cattle were on public land where the ranch had grazing and water rights since the late 1800’s. The government’s actions resulted in the deaths of approximately 100 head of cattle and the destruction of the Bundy’s livestock watering system built throughout the last century.
The four defendants have been incarcerated since January of 2016. They were each charged with 10 felonies. Each man could be sentenced to more than a hundred years in prison for their involvement while resisting the confiscation. The men are brought to court in shackles and each man has had a significant weight loss since their incarceration. All their motions for pretrial releases have been denied.
LAS VEGAS — A judge declined Thursday to release Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy days before trial, concerned he still doesn’t recognize federal authority and has a large incentive to flee with at least 80 years in prison hanging over his head if convicted of four of his 16 charges.
U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro also rejected release requests by Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne and said she would make a decision later on Ammon Bundy.
Bret O. Whipple, the attorney representing the elder Bundy on charges in the 2014 standoff near Bunkerville, urged consideration for the patriarch’s age, his failing health and the reduced weight of evidence against him after unsuccessful conspiracy prosecutions against others in the case.
“He refers to himself as an old cow,” Whipple said, noting that the 71-year-old Bundy arrived in custody with 20 teeth and now has 10 to 15 teeth left because infections are treated by pulling teeth in jail and not with dental care.
“It’s been hard on him and his health has really deteriorated,” Whipple said.
LAS VEGAS — Prosecutors in the Bundy trial must provide information by noon Saturday on all armed federal officers who did surveillance outside the Bundy ranch and any cameras capturing images of the Bundy home between March 1 and April 12, 2014, a judge ordered Wednesday.
The information must be turned over to the defense.
It could help Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy and co-defendant Ryan Payne challenge the allegation that they used “deceit and deception” to encourage supporters to come to the ranch by saying the house was surrounded, federal snipers were outside the home and the family felt isolated.
Defense lawyers said they learned for the first time on Tuesday of two federal officers dressed in camouflage and armed with AR-15 rifles posted outside the Bundy residence at night.
That information was contained in a written report that they received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in preparation for Wednesday’s hearing on disputed discovery evidence.
“Wouldn’t it be important for the defense to know FBI agents are overlooking the Bundy residence with an AR-15?” asked Brenda Weksler, one of Payne’s defense lawyers. “How do we not have this until yesterday?”
Caution: Following the Bunkerville standoff trial proceedings can cause whiplash.
Today the federal judge again delayed the start of the trial for Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and self-styled militia member Ryan Payne. This time for a week. She agreed to hold hearings after Cliven Bundy’s attorney asked the charges be dropped because the prosecution had failed to reveal any recordings or notes taken off live surveillance video of the Bundy ranch during the April 2014 standoff. Ryan Bundy raised the question as to whether there was surveillance video several weeks ago.
“If it has potentially useful information, then the defense is entitled to it,” the judge is quoted by Reuters as saying. “I‘m not convinced that it doesn’t exist.”
The federal agents reportedly shredded documents after the standoff ended.
In the years, months and days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in my native city of Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776, King George III, having issued one unjust if not illegal edict after another, having unfairly prosecuted a number of key American colonialists, having severely taxed the people and having attempted to seize the firearms of citizenry so they could not rise up and challenge his will, invidiously took the criminal justice system back to the Court of King James, depriving the colonies of their own justice system. These were among the primary reasons our Founding Father’s and their colonies broke from the Crown, waged war to reassert their hoped for freedoms and conceived of and created a new nation.
Thomas Jefferson, perhaps our greatest Founding Father and president, predicted at the time that Americans would periodically have to renew their freedoms and wage periodic revolutions, even spilling blood if necessary. He and his colleagues knew that the tendency of mankind is to fall back to the despotic and corrupt ways of the British monarchy, and thus there needed to be constant vigilance and sacrifice in the future to preserve their God-inspired vision.
A federal jury is set to begin hearing opening statements Tuesday in the trial of four defendants in the Bunkerville standoff.
There are six women and six men on the jury and there are four alternates, three men, and a woman.
The judge said the trial is expected to take four months. A number of potential jurors were dismissed because they could not take four months out of their lives to devote to the trial. How many people can or are willing to? Is it a jury of their peers?
On trial is rancher Cliven Bundy, 71, sons Ammon Bundy, 42, and Ryan Bundy, 45, and a self-styled militia member Ryan Payne, 34, who showed up to protest the confiscation of Bundy’s cattle by the BLM. They are charged with conspiracy, extortion and various firearm charges. They have all been jailed for going on two years.
Cliven Bundy, lead defendant in a case stemming from a 2014 standoff with federal agents and the 71-year-old patriarch of a family with roots in the southeastern Nevada desert since the state was founded more than 150 years ago, won’t let his lawyer buy him a suit for trial.
Instead of the standard slacks, button-down shirt and tie that incarcerated male defendants often don while facing a jury, the recalcitrant rancher plans to wear a jail-issued blue jumpsuit and orange flip-flops when he faces potential jurors for the first time on Monday morning.
“He is so principled that he’s going to do what he’s going to do, which is tell the truth and tell it as he sees it, and he’s not worried about the consequences, other than the people around him,” his lawyer, Bret Whipple, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week. “He refuses to put on civilian clothing because it would be misleading the jury, because he is who he is.”
Bundy, his two sons Ryan and Ammon and independent militia leader Ryan Payne have been locked up without bail in a federal holding facility for nearly two years. They face the potential of decades behind bars if convicted of conspiracy and other charges related to the armed standoff.
It has been rumored that the Bundy Families have engaged a professional Public Relations expert to provide once-daily Trial Updates during the upcoming trial. These updates are expected to be shorter and more concise than typical updates that we have seen in the past and by others. It is understood, that it is not desired to replace others that have been providing updates in the past or recently. The intent is to, provide not only an official source, but also a shorter and more to the point update that can be viewed quickly and not require a viewer to listen […]
With the recent events in Las Vegas on 10-1-2017 and the trial postponed the defendants in the Bundy Trials were offered an opportunity to submit additional questions for a follow-up jury questioner. Below are the questions submitted so far.
Larry Klayman shares news in battle over land seized illegally by U.S. government. Events important for preserving America’s Constitution will be soon unfolding. Nevada rancher Cliven D. Bundy’s federal trial will finally begin in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a 2014 peaceful protest in support of the Constitution some incorrectly called “The Battle of Bunkerville.”
In fact, there was no battle from the standpoint of the peaceful protesters. Rather, it was the federal government – then run by former President Barack Obama – that threatened the Bundy family’s lives, beat the heck out of the sister of Cliven Bundy, Tasered his two sons, violently kicked the family dog and killed many of their cattle, burying them in a mass secret grave.
An unusual ripple effect of the mass shooting that left 58 people dead and hundreds wounded along the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday is that it could have implications for a high-profile federal trial that is set to begin here next week — a case that also involves weapons.
A Montana militiaman who is accused of weapons charges and conspiring against the U.S. government asked a federal judge this week to delay his trial by 60 days because of the Las Vegas shooting. The charges against Ryan Payne stem from the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff in Bunkerville, Nev., and the trial is slated to start with jury selection Oct. 12.
On Thursday, Payne’s attorneys filed an additional motion, seeking to move the trial out of Las Vegas and to a different venue nearly 450 miles away: the federal courthouse in Reno, Nev. They argued that it would be impossible to seat a fair jury in light of the gun-related massacre.
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.
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!