Prosecutors spent twice as long cross-examining Ammon Bundy when he returned to a Portland courtroom Tuesday compared to last fall during his own trial that ended with his acquittal on conspiracy and weapons charges.
This time, Bundy was the first witness for the defense of four men who say they were inspired by his videos and calls to take a “hard stand in Burns” and now face trial themselves in the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
As the federal government rested its case Tuesday morning after just over five days of testimony in the second Oregon standoff trial, it was clear prosecutors had listened to Juror 4 from the first trial.
From opening statements through their questioning of witnesses, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Geoffrey Barrow and Ethan Knight repeatedly focused on trying to show how the actions of the four defendants now on trial revealed their intent to prevent federal wildlife refuge workers from doing their jobs through intimidation, threat or force.
Ammon Bundy called a clandestine meeting around the dining room of their host’s home in Burns on Dec. 29, 2015, and directed the six other men there to leave their cellphones and laptops behind in a separate room.
Bundy then discussed his idea of taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said occupier Blaine Cooper, called as a government witness on the fifth day of the second Oregon standoff trial.
Cooper’s testimony about the dining-room sit-down marked the first time anyone in court has referenced a late December meeting between Bundy and the other men about seizing the refuge before the Jan. 2, 2016, occupation.
DML received a subpoena from the U.S. District Attorney in Nevada months ago. He was forced to turn over his video footage, and he will be called to testify in the trial next week.
DML’s account of what took place that day can be seen below in the interview he held with Megyn Kelly.
In between a display of firearms to jurors in the second Oregon standoff trial, a debate about journalistic privilege took center stage in a federal courtroom Friday and drew a larger crowd of spectators than usual.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown granted Oregon Public Broadcasting’s motion to quash a subpoena for former reporter John Sepulvado to testify and authenticate his January 2016 recorded interview with Ryan Bundy during the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
A remarkable video shot in the darkened bunkhouse kitchen of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge reveals the chaos and anger that erupted after the arrests of occupation leaders and the fatal shooting of the armed takeover’s spokesman.
Defendant Jason Patrick, who went by the code name “Clooney,” radioed to security teams to come to the bunkhouse for a vote the night of Jan. 26, 2016. He stood in the kitchen in the middle of a group gathered around him, wearing his trademark blue blazer and holding a lit cigarette in his hand.
An FBI agent on Thursday showed jurors a slew of photos and messages that he found on defendant Darryl Thorn’s Facebook page, including Thorn’s stated plan of “sneaking back ” onto the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge a year ago.
Thorn, a member of Washington’s 3 percent militia, proclaimed in a Feb. 4, 2016, private Facebook message: “I won’t let my brothers and sisters die by themselves.”
He talked of his plan to go back to the refuge, saying, “I have a good lay out of the land.”
Over the objection of a prosecutor, a defense lawyer Wednesday asked Oregon’s recently retired top FBI agent about his reaction to the jury verdict from the first trial stemming from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
“You do not believe the participants that went to trial in the fall of 2016 were held accountable, that’s correct?” asked Michele Kohler, representing defendant Duane Ehmer.
In the previous article, though suggested in the government’s Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017, it really didn’t get to the heart of “Prior Restraint”. So, let’s get to the heart of that matter.
Let’s start with the law that explains the potential severity of publication of certain information, in a case similar to what the government and Judge Anna J. Brown are attempting to construct against me. Section 793 (e) of the Espionage Act was cited as the authority by which the government attempted to impose “Prior Restraint” on the New York Times for publishing what was known as the “Pentagon Papers”. The Papers had been leaked to the press by a government employee who had signed a non-disclosure agreement (not just based upon a Protective Order), which precluded that employee from divulging any information protected by Section, 793 (e):
A lawyer for former Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter John Sepulvado has filed a motion to quash the government’s subpoena that calls on Sepulvado to testify and authenticate his January 2016 recorded interview of Ryan Bundy during the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Attorney Duane A. Bosworth, representing Oregon Public Broadcasting and Sepulvado, argues that the compelled testimony will “chill future sources, even nonconfidential ones” for Sepulvado and all other OPB reporters.
FBI agents kept away from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for weeks based on what they knew about occupation leader Ammon Bundy and his armed supporters and Bundy’s pledge to take a “hard stand” and turn the property into a base for patriots for years, according to testimony Tuesday from the man who led the police response.
“For us to go in there, we believe would provoke a confrontation,” said Greg Bretzing, who just retired as Oregon’s FBI special agent in charge.
Outpost of Freedom
February 21, 2017
In Freedom of the Press #6 – “Tilting at Windmills” – Redux, I address the jurisdictional issue that the government addressed in their Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017. Due to the length of the Supplement, and the length of #6, I chose to address two remaining issues in a subsequent post. Those two issues, Prior Restraint and Qualified Press, will be addressed in that order.
A federal prosecutor Tuesday told jurors they won’t hear evidence of a formal meeting, written contract or verbal agreement between the defendants on trial, charged with conspiring to impede federal employees from carrying out their work at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Instead, they’ll be able to infer through the words and actions of defendants Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Jake Ryan and Darryl Thorn, that they used the federal property as their own last winter as a “platform for their cause,” essentially keeping staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Bureau of Land Management from coming to work.
A jury of seven women and five men, plus four alternates, will return to court next week for opening statements in the trial of four remaining defendants in the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys picked them after U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown spent a day and a half of questioning about 58 prospective jurors out of an original pool of 1,000 people from across the state.
The judge referred to the jurors only by number in court and rarely identified the person’s hometown or type of work.
Most of the jurors are from outside of Multnomah County and come from outlying areas in western Oregon, including coastal communities, a defense lawyer said. A couple are from Multnomah County and at least one from central Oregon.
Let’s review this whole situation from the beginning. After all, it has taken a month and a half to get to this point, so perhaps a refresher is in order.
On January 5, 2017, I was hand served a “Cease and Desist Letter” by an FBI agent. Since the service was disclosed on Facebook, I wrote a “Statement with regard to the Freedom of the Press“, on January 6. That was followed with a series entitled “Freedom of the Press“, beginning on January 7 entitled Freedom of the Press #1 – Meeting with the FBI. The following day, January 8, I explained the Cease and Desist Letter with Freedom of the Press #2 – Cease and Desist.
These events were preceded by a number of articles that I had written in the “Burns Chronicles” series. In those articles, I exposed FBI informants associated with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. The information used to identify and expose the informants was derived from some Discovery documents I had obtained.
Bureau of Land Management agent Dan Love, a central figure in the government’s case against rancher Cliven Bundy, has been identified as the target of a federal ethics probe in a letter two congressional lawmakers sent to the Office of the Inspector General.
The Feb. 14 letter, sent by U.S. Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, accuses Love of scrubbing emails, influencing witnesses and deleting hundreds of documents the day before a congressional investigative committee issued a records request. Chaffetz and Farenthold sit on the U.S. House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform.
In response to news that federal agents decided to stop rounding up his cattle, rancher Cliven Bundy grabbed a microphone and delivered an ultimatum to the local sheriff.
“Disarm the park service,” he bellowed at a morning rally on April 12, 2014, after Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced that the Bureau of Land Management would cease a cattle impoundment operation that resulted from decades of unpaid grazing fees.
The trial against six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy to block federal agents from carrying out a court order to impound his cattle is underway in federal court in Las Vegas, and prosecutors on Tuesday played recorded phone conversations between a Bureau of Land Management agent and one of Bundy’s sons.
Published on Apr 18, 2014
A photo montage of images captured by Shannon Bushman of the complete Bundy Ranch timeline of events that transpired from the protests at the cattle auction, to the standoff, to the cattle release. Music donated by http://JordanPageMusic.com Please support artists who love Liberty.
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
I have noticed over the years, that some believe in quality, as I do, and others believe in quantity. They think that throwing out a massive missive will drown the opposition in, well, paper. It appears this is the new approach by the United States Attorney, and minions, from Portland, Oregon. They have, with their most recent filing (Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause), on February 7, exceeded all my expectations, in terms of quantity. They have cited 30 court decisions. I have reviewed five of the cited cases, though I will comment on more of them. Since their research is of such poor quality, I would be my pleasure to review cases for them in the future. However, if I work for the government, my prices will not be discounted. Considering how poorly their current hired help performs, it just might be worthwhile for them to get it right, for a change.
Opening statements are scheduled for Thursday in the conspiracy trial against six men accused of participating in an armed standoff against federal law enforcement agents who tried to impound rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle.
Prosecutors characterize the six men as the “least culpable” among 17 co-conspirators facing trial on extortion, assault and other charges resulting from the 2014 confrontation between anti-government protesters and Bureau of Land Management agents near Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville.
There’s no dispute that Oregon standoff defendants Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan used a government excavator to dig two trenches during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The argument during their trial starting next week will be whether the two “willfully” broke the law, knowing the excavator and land belonged to the federal government, and that they went ahead anyway.
Prosecutors will play videos taken by David Fry, another refuge occupier, and aerial surveillance videos showing Ehmer and Ryan taking turns using the excavator to dig the trenches on Jan. 27, the day after the arrest of takeover leaders and the police shooting of occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown is standing by her past ruling that employees at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge can’t testify about any fear they may have felt during last winter’s occupation by armed protesters.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Barrow had urged the judge to reconsider and allow limited testimony in the second occupation trial from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employees who worked at the refuge. He said he expected one or more employees would testify that they had seen media coverage of the armed takeover and as a result, “feared coming to work.”
Prosecutors and defense lawyers working on the second Oregon standoff trial have begun the painstaking process of whittling down prospective jurors based on their answers to lengthy questionnaires designed to gauge their exposure to the first trial, familiarity with the current defendants and opinions on the First and Second Amendments.
The court plans to seat 12 jurors and four alternates for the trial set to start next week in last winter’s armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. A thousand prospective jurors each received a questionnaire to complete and send back, though about 200 didn’t return them.
“It’s quite unfortunate,” U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown said.