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.
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.
Two days after federal judge suggested the possibility of a mistrial in the Bunkerville standoff case, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and a group of Nevada newspapers asked to unseal trial documents discussed behind closed courtroom doors.
‘There is insufficient basis to maintain certain motions and transcripts under seal in this case and to continue to close hearings to the public,” the motion filed Wednesday evening states. “Sealing documents and closing hearings is inimical to this Country’s and this Court’s long tradition of open trials, guaranteed by both the First Amendment and common law — a right of access that is always important, but particularly critical in this case.”
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.
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.
Todd Engel is one of the Bunkerville defendants that will face Judge Gloria Navarro in a sentencing hearing.
Out of a 16-count indictment, Engel was charged with 10 counts and convicted of 2 counts after his trial earlier this year.
These are the least serious of all the charges, and do not carry enhancements or mandatory minimum sentencing.
Greg Burleson was also convicted during the same trial, though he was convicted of 8 of 10 charges, including enhancements.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Republican Idaho representative Dorothy Moon and more than one-third of the other legislators in her state sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraging him to drop the charges against two Idaho men being charged in association with the April 2014 “Bundy standoff, to establish a fair bail for one, and to give one a “time served” sentence.
Eric Parker and O. Scott Drexler, both from Idaho, have been tried twice in US District Court under Judge Gloria Navarro. Both trials resulted in a hung jury, and the men were both acquitted of most charges in the second trial.
The prosecution in the upcoming Bundy Ranch trial has filed its first documents, known as the Rule 16 document, which lists the witnesses they plan to call to testify, what their expertise is and what their specific testimony is to be about.
“RULE 16 IS REVISED TO GIVE GREATER DISCOVERY TO BOTH THE PROSECUTION AND THE DEFENSE. SUBDIVISION (A) DEALS WITH DISCLOSURE OF EVIDENCE BY THE GOVERNMENT. … THE LANGUAGE OF THE RULE IS RECAST FROM “THE COURT MAY ORDER” OR “THE COURT SHALL ORDER” TO “THE GOVERNMENT SHALL PERMIT” OR “THE DEFENDANT SHALL PERMIT.”
A federal judge has found California resident Gary Hunt, who published the names of confidential informants who helped the FBI during the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, in contempt of a court’s protective order.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown has given Hunt until noon on Wednesday to remove the articles on his blog that reference the informants and destroy all government documents he received on the informants.
If he doesn’t, he’ll face more “coercive sanctions,” the judge wrote in her 23-page ruling.
In a “Finding
of Facts and Conclusions of Law Finding Gary Hunt in Civil
Contempt”, Judge Anna Brown has determined that Hunt has
violated judge made law in excerpting information from FBI Form
1023s in his series of articles about informants.
investigation of those forms, Hunt was able to determine who
informants involved in the occupation of the Malheur National
Wildlife Refuge were. To provide proof of his assertions,
rather than simply make unfounded accusation, necessity required
proof of those claims be included in the articles..
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recent developments have caused Trump supporters to ask why Attorney General Jeff Sessions is allowing Obama holdovers in the Department of Justice to continue prosecuting Bundy ranch cases, despite continuing set-backs.
On Thursday, Aug. 22, the Obama administration holdovers in the Department of Justice suffered a huge set-back in the trial of four defendants accused of various federal criminal charges over the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff ended with no convictions.
Two of the defendants were acquitted of all charges, while the remaining two defendants were acquitted of most charges.
With the “not guilty” verdict, the defendants Richard R. Lovelien and Stewart A. Stewart were acquitted of all charges, and released from federal prison in Nevada, after having been incarcerated without bail for some 18 months in federal prison awaiting trial.
The remaining two defendants, Eric Parker and Scott Drexler will be forced to endure yet a third trial, as the Obama administration holdover prosecutors decided to retry them yet a third trial on the remaining weapons charges on which no verdict was declared, reportedly because one of the 12 jurors in the second trial would not agree to a “not guilty” verdict.
Sergio Martinez returned to Portland after nearly a decade’s absence. But he’d been busy in the meantime: Deported 12 times. Convicted three times for illegal re-entry. A rap sheet of crimes from burglary to theft in three states.
Immigration agents noticed his name on a Multnomah County list of jail inmates last December. They asked the Sheriff’s Office to alert them before releasing Martinez so they could send him back to Mexico one more time.
But they never heard a word. Martinez spent a night in the downtown jail, then was out.
Police in Portland arrested Martinez five more times over the next six months. Each time, he was booked into jail. Each time, immigration agents had no idea that he’d been arrested, booked and released.
After seeing their God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed rights being trampled on by the over-reaching Federal alphabet agencies, people across the nation rallied to defend the rights our country was founded on.
(Pictured: Cliven Bundy walks by a first amendment area set up by the Bureau of Land Management near Bunkerville, Nev.)
Videos on network news stations and around the internet depicted an elderly woman being thrown to the ground by law enforcement, a man being tazed repeatedly, and a “first amendment zone” set up miles away for protesters to stay out of the way of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
These citizens rightfully feared another Waco or Ruby Ridge encounter, and believed that citizens showing up in force, with cameras to record and witnesses to confirm, would reign-in the out-of-control government.
The government came heavily armed with hundreds of officers. They carried military-grade weapons and dressed in Battle-ready uniforms. That side of the fence looked like a war zone from Afghanistan.
On January 26, 2016, several people, in two private vehicles were on their way to a scheduled meeting John Day, Oregon. While in a forested area, with extremely poor, if not non-existent, cell phone coverage, they were set upon by modern day highwaymen (highwaymen were people who stopped travelers and robbed them). The driver and passengers of the second vehicle submitted to the demands of the heavily armed interlopers, at gunpoint, to leave the vehicle and sit on the side of the snow-covered roadway.
The driver second vehicle, a white pick-up truck, following the exit of one of the passengers, sped away, seeking the assistance of a peace officer, Sheriff Glenn Palmer, of Grant County, Oregon. However, within a couple of miles they found that the highwaymen had set up a barricade across the road, barring passage. The highwaymen, hidden behind their vehicles, began firing shots at the white truck. This forced the truck off the road, where some rather adept driving may have saved one of the highwaymen’s life, by swerving, at the last moment.
PROSECUTORS in Las Vegas got back to work on Monday, and in the case of USA vs Cliven Bundy et al — it was dirty “business as usual.”
It was revealed late Monday afternoon that Steven Myhre and the Department of Justice are refusing to hand over audio recordings they are suspected of having in their possession containing radio transmissions the defense believes are recordings between Special Agent In Charge Daniel P. Love, BLM sniper teams, other tactical personnel, and possibly informants who were on the ground surveilling Bundy Ranch as far back as March in 2014.
These recordings are vital to the defense in that the indictment against rancher Cliven Bundy and his co-defendants specifically states that Mr. Bundy and several others told lies and exaggerated the situation between Bundy and the BLM for the purpose of recruiting gunmen to come and help get the rancher’s cattle back. Up and until the first trial which began last February, the BLM denied the use of snipers and other tactical personnel during “Operation Gold Butte” the BLM’s official name for the Bundy Ranch cattle impoundment.
Acting US Attorney Steven Myhre has been hit by the proverbial slap in the face and has begun to take everything surrounding the Bunkerville trials very personally.
You would think that this man could rise above the nastiness and keep his remarks professional, however, he proved himself to be a bit irrational when he made childish accusations towards the Bunkerville Retrial defendants last week.
The surprising verdicts announced last week, allowing the release of four men from custody in Nevada, have shined the light on Myhre’s lack of evidence against the entire group of political prisoners.