Newly unsealed motions in NV Bundy case reveal details of prosecutors’ discovery violations

In a July 5, 2017 email, Ryan Payne’s lawyers asked prosecutors for copies of all threat assessments prepared before the April 2014 standoff between Cliven Bundy’s supporters and federal officers attempting to impound the Bundy family cattle for years of failing to pay grazing fees and fines.

Prosecutors handling the Nevada standoff case characterized defendants’ continued push for access to the threat assessments as another in their “long list of frivolous and vexatious pleadings.”

Prosecutors didn’t turn over the multiple threat assessments to Payne and his co-defendants, Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy and his two sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, until the four were in the midst of trial in mid-November, and a government witness under cross-examination acknowledged familiarity with one of the reports.

The government’s withholding of multiple threat assessments by the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Task Force, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and Gold Butte Cattle Impound Risk Assessment – which found the Bundys were not likely to use violence  – was just one example of the prosecution team’s callous disregard of its constitutional obligations to share with the defense any potentially favorable evidence, according to Payne’s lawyers, assistant federal public defenders Brenda Weksler and Ryan Norwood.

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Virgin Valley Water District requests Gold Butte reduction

In the desert, water is the paramount resource.

That’s why a large portion of the debate surrounding Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s review of two Nevada national monuments — Gold Butte and Basin and Range — involves access to water rights that exist within the boundaries of both designations.

For the Virgin Valley Water District, five of its six springs are located within the boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument, prompting VVWD General Manager Kevin Brown to formally request that Zinke either remove the springs from the designation, or strengthen the language of the proclamation to allow “unfettered access” to developing the district’s water resources.

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