FBI agent Astarita Trial Update Summary : 8-1-2018

#theOregon -> State police officer who fatally shot LaVoy Finicum outed by slip-up in court
For 2 1/2 years, Oregon State Police successfully concealed the names of the two SWAT officers who fatally shot Robert “LaVoy” Finicum as authorities arrested leaders of the armed takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
But that ended this week when one of the names slipped out in court….

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Grazing is ‘indispensable’ to America. Or, it’s a ‘cancer,’ westerners tell Congress

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little told a congressional committee Thursday that livestock grazing on Western public lands provides a host of benefits to American taxpayers.

Chief among those, he said, is the rapid initial attack ranchers make on burgeoning wildfires, which helps keep them to a manageable size.

“That saves you (the federal government) an enormous amount of money,” Little told the House Natural Resource Committee’s federal lands subcommittee, which held a 90-minute hearing on “the essential role of livestock grazing on federal lands and its importance to rural America.”

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COURT DOCS: SPLC Co-Founder Accused of Trying to Molest Step-Daughter With Sex Toy

According to court testimony, among other perverted sexual behavior, Dees attempted to molest his 18-year-old step-daughter with a sex toy. Holly Buck was Maureene Dees’ daughter from a previous marriage.

“Holly testified that, in the summer of 1977, Morris attempted to molest her in the following incident: One night Maureene and Morris were sitting drinking wine and discussing a case Morris was trying,” the brief says. “[Holly] was with them. Around eleven or twelve o’clock, Maureene went to bed and Holly stayed up with Morris discussing the case. Morris kept offering Holly wine, some of which she accepted.”

Holly testified that she declined, choosing to go to bed instead.

“She went to her room and then went into the bathroom,” the document says. “Looking out the window, she saw Morris in the bushes beside the bathroom window looking in. She said ‘Morris, is that you’, but he said nothing and ran away.”

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Fake News? Restore FCC Fairness Doctrine? Truth In Labeling? Ideas?

It would appear that each and every time the Doctrine has been revisited in Congress and/or the FCC, it was because there was significant outrage over biased commentary presented and/or perceived as NEWS.

Although the Cambridge definition of News has nothing in it about fair and balanced or unbiased presentation of the Facts, the Cambridge definition of Commentary clearly includes things like opinion, or biased being involved in the presentation.

Anyone that has studied Journalism in any degree has been exposed to the standards and ethics of the trade. These standards were created and adopted by the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Finicum family’s wrongful death lawsuit moves forward in federal court

Lawyers for the family of Malheur National Wildlife occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum have 15 days to confirm they served dozens of defendants in his wrongful death lawsuit.

Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan handed down the directive Wednesday in federal court in Pendleton during a conference with the lawyers representing the Finicum family and a host of defendants. Sullivan said she wanted to meet the lawyers “because I think we may be spending some time together.”

The lawsuit names the United States as a defendant, along with the FBI, federal agents, the state of Oregon, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon State Police, Harney County, and more — including 100 law enforcement “John Does.” The suit seeks more than $5 million in damages for Finicum’s estate, his wife Jeanette Finicum and each of their 12 children.

Attorney Morgan Philpot of Utah represents the Finicums and told the court all of the defendants have been served.

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Judge throws out 2 of 5 charges against indicted FBI agent one week before trial

A federal judge Monday threw out two of the five charges against an FBI agent accused of covering up that he fired two rifle shots at the truck of Oregon refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum at a roadblock in January 2016.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones struck one count of making a false statement and one count of obstruction of justice against W. Joseph Astarita.

The agent still faces three charges a week before his trial is scheduled to start: two other counts of making a false statement and one other count of obstruction of justice.

The disputed gunshots came as Finicum emerged from his pickup as police moved in to arrest the leaders of the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon.

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In his first wide-ranging interview, Dwight Hammond Jr, shares his thoughts

BURNS — Three-and-a-half hours after pardoned Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond Jr. arrived home, he gathered with his wife and sons around his dining room’s large circular table and got back to business.

They hooked him into a live feed of an auction in Nevada where Hammond Ranch Inc.’s 155 calves were on the block.

Hammond could have called in to participate in the annual sale but he held back, not wanting to jerk the reins from his daughter-in-law and others who have run the family’s cattle ranch while he and his son Steven served arson sentences in federal prison.

“We’ve had to trust them. No use to question their judgment now,” the 76-year-old said later, sitting in his living room, back in his trademark Wrangler jeans, brown cowboy boots and a blue button-down shirt that matched his eyes.

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Charlottesville32 Settlement and Public Statement – George Curbelo

As the New York Light Foot Militia State Commander, I am speaking officially on behalf of myself, George Curbelo – State Commander of the New York Light Foot Militia, Christian Yingling – State Commander of the Pennsylvania Light Foot Militia, Gary Sigler – State Commander of the Maryland III% People’s Militia, and the 29 other members of the 32, under the Command of the Christian Yingling and myself on August 12th 2017, who were at the unite the right rally in Charlottesville Virginia. On May 16th of 2018 we entered into a Consent Decree with the City of Charlottesville, settling the lawsuit against the above mentioned defendants. We have kept the 29 unnamed members of the 32 anonymous despite requests from the plaintiffs, the public and they will remain nameless. The 32 that stood on Market street, now known as the Charlottesville32 (C32),  remain blameless. The C32 maintained a measurable amount of peace on the 12th, were well-disciplined in a very hostile environment until they were overwhelmed, assaulted, and could only administer medical assistance to the wounded among the general public and themselves. This settlement conclusively resolves, and is final with respects to, all claims arising out of the event on August 12th 2017 between the parties. Yingling, Sigler, and myself, all felt that this settlement answered our need to protect the Charlottesville32 from any further action.

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Court papers: One state trooper thought other trooper fired disputed shot at Finicum’s truck

An Oregon state police trooper at the scene of the Jan. 26, 2016 shooting of refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum told investigators that he believed another state police officer fired the shot that struck the roof of Finicum’ struck, and not an FBI agent, according to court records filed Thursday.

Yet prosecutors are asking a judge to prevent the trooper from sharing his opinion at the trial of indicted FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita, arguing that it’s not supported by facts and based largely on speculation.

Astarita is accused of denying that he fired two shots as Finicum emerged from his pickup truck at the police roadblock on the day the FBI and state police moved in to arrest leaders of the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One shot hit the roof of Finicum’s truck and a second missed entirely, investigators said.

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Calling to the Jurors in the Bunkerville Standoff Trial to view the hidden evidence in the case

Ammon Bundy has called to the jurors of the Bunkerville Trial to view the hidden evidence in the case.

It has been well documented that the prosecution team, led by Steven Myhre, kept vital information from the jurors, as well as Judge Navarro.

Navarro, in December 2017, declared a mistrial in the case against Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne. She specifically cited several instances of “Brady violations” from the prosecution, evidence that was not turned over to the defense which could have benefited their case.

An example of the hidden information is the knowledge of government snipers overlooking the Bundy house during the days and weeks leading up to the Bunkerville standoff in 2014.

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Reports on OSP trooper’s past shootings don’t have to be shared with indicted FBI agent

Prosecutors don’t have to share investigative records on three earlier shootings by a veteran Oregon State Police officer in the case of an indicted FBI agent, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones made that ruling Monday afternoon after a meeting in his chambers with prosecutors and defense lawyers who are preparing for FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita’s July 24 trial.

Astarita is accused of denying that he fired two shots as Oregon occupation spokesman Robert “Lavoy” Finicum emerged from his pickup truck at a police roadblock on Jan. 26, 2016, in Harney County. That was the day the FBI and state police arrested leaders of the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. 

One shot hit the roof of Finicum’s truck and a second missed entirely, investigators said.

Astarita, a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of making a false statement and two counts of obstruction of justice.

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Mike Lee on Trump’s short list for replacing retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, giving President Donald Trump a golden chance to cement conservative control of the high court.

The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights.

Kennedy said he had informed his colleagues and Trump of his plans and that his retirement will take effect at the end of July.

Trump praised Kennedy as a man of “tremendous vision” and said his search for a new justice would begin “immediately.”

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Here we go again. Banks, corporations holding up gun makers in Second Amendment battle

In the wake of high-profile mass shootings, corporate America has been taking a stand against the firearms industry amid a lack of action by lawmakers on gun control. Payment processing firms are limiting transactions, Bank of America stopped providing financing to companies that make AR-style guns, and retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods imposed age restrictions on gun purchases.

The moves are lauded by gun-safety advocates but criticized by the gun industry that views them as a backhanded way of undermining the Second Amendment. Gun industry leaders see the backlash as a real threat to their industry and are coming to the conclusion that they need additional protections in Congress to prevent financial retaliation from banks.

“If a few banks say ‘No, we’re not going to give loans to gun dealers or gun manufacturers,’ all of a sudden the industry is threatened and the Second Amendment doesn’t mean much if there are no guns around,” said Michael Hammond, legal counsel for Gun Owners of America. “If you can’t make guns, if you can’t sell guns, the Second Amendment doesn’t mean much.”

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In age of Trump, evangelicals back Hof

When news broke that Hof had won the nominating contest for a state Assembly seat on June 12, evangelical pastor Victor Fuentes said he closed his eyes and prayed.

He did not ask God to deliver Nevada and the Republican Party from Hof, the thrice-divorced author of “The Art of the Pimp” who campaigned as the “Trump of Pahrump.” Although Christian groups have long rallied against the state’s legal brothel industry, Fuentes was willing to overlook Hof’s history as a champion of the flesh trade and gave thanks for his victory.

“People want to know how an evangelical can support a self-proclaimed pimp,” Fuentes said in an interview at his home in Pahrump, an unincorporated town of 36,000 people that is the largest community in the sprawling, rural district where Hof is favored to win in November’s general election.

He said the reason was simple. “We have politicians, they might speak good words, not sleep with prostitutes, be a good neighbor. But by their decisions, they have evil in their heart. Dennis Hof is not like that.”

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Bias in the media? We’re shocked! Shocked we tell you! – Thomas Mitchell

Columnist Victor Joecks noted that the media jumped all over an obscure Nye County commissioner disendorsing Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt for failing to endorse the Republican primary winner in Assembly District 36, brothel owner Dennis Hof who has been accused of sexual harassment, but totally ignored a press release two weeks ago from Republican Sen. Dean Heller accusing Democratic primary senatorial nominee Jacky Rosen of resume enhancement.

In fact, the same day’s paper carried a lengthy story about the commissioner’s disendorsement of Laxalt along with quotes from Hof about how the move might hurt Laxalt in Nye County and a prepared statement by Laxalt stating, “Adam respects the will of the voters in District 36, however, as a husband and a father of two young daughters, he has stated that he will not be supporting Mr. Hof’s campaign.”

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Lawyers for indicted FBI agent suggest a state trooper may have fired shots in question

Lawyers for an indicted FBI agent suggest in court papers that one of the state troopers who shot and killed Oregon refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum may have fired  the two earlier shots at Finicum as he emerged from his truck at a police roadblock.

The trooper, a member of the state police SWAT team identified in court papers only as “Officer 1,” was involved in at least two unrelated fatal shootings of civilians before the Finicum encounter, according to lawyers for FBI agent W. Joseph Astarita.

The government has refused to provide documents to the defense about those past shootings despite repeated requests, the agent’s lawyers said. Astarita’s lawyers are now asking a judge to compel the prosecution team to release the material.

“Such evidence could potentially reveal a pattern of behavior that might shed light on what Officer 1 did on January 26, 2016, and why he may not have been truthful about that conduct in the days and weeks that followed,” defense lawyer Tyler Francis wrote in a motion filed this week in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The motion reveals a theory of Astarita’s defense lawyers intended to cast doubt on the prosecution’s contention that the FBI agent fired at Finicum and then lied about it. One of the bullets hit the roof of Finicum’s truck and the other went astray.

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