Marcus Mumford, Ammon Bundy’s lawyer who U.S. marshals tackled and stunned with a Taser gun in federal court on the day his client was acquitted, returned to the same courtroom Friday to appear in his own criminal case.
His attorney, Michael Levine, entered a not guilty plea on Mumford’s behalf to charges of failing to comply with the lawful direction of a federal police officer and impeding or disrupting official government duties, both misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for each offense is 30 days in custody and a $5,000 fine.
Mumford was arrested Oct. 27 shortly after the judge announced the jury’s verdict acquitting Bundy and six co-defendants of conspiring to stop federal employees from doing their work at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Bundy and armed followers took over the refuge Jan. 2, 2016.
Deputy marshals tackled Mumford as he questioned the government’s authority to continue to hold Bundy on federal charges pending in Nevada and demanded to see paperwork to back it up.
“What happened here is an unprecedented attack on the defense bar,” Levine said after the brief hearing Friday.
He called the use of a stun gun and Mumford’s arrest “outrageous,” saying Mumford was doing nothing more than engaging in zealous advocacy for his client.
There is a word for what President Obama did this past week in declaring Gold Butte a national monument: dictatorial.
In just more than a year Obama has unilaterally declared off-limits to productive economic uses 1 million acres of Nevada land — first the 700,000-acre Basin and Range National Monument straddling the border between Lincoln and Nye counties and now the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in rural northeast Clark County.
This brings Obama’s total protected acreage to 550 million — more than any predecessor and twice that set aside by Teddy Roosevelt under the Antiquities Act of 1906 — though much of Obama’s designations are underwater.
Early European explorers also hunted in this area, as did Mormon pioneers and miners who settled in Gold Butte, and that tradition has continued into the modern era. Every year hunters travel to Gold Butte in pursuit of Gambel’s quail, chukar partridge, bighorn sheep and even mule deer. Trappers also ply their trade, and anglers pass through on their way to remote corners of Lake Mead.
Today, however, sportsmen are wondering whether they will be able to continue to enjoy the hunting, camping and other outdoor opportunities Gold Butte has long offered visitors. They also are concerned about the future of wildlife water developments that have been installed in the last half century. I suppose it depends on how literally present and future land managers take the wording contained in the president’s proclamation.
“Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction of the state of Nevada, including its jurisdiction and authority with respect to fish and wildlife management, including hunting and fishing.” Also, the proclamation states it doesn’t preclude the renewal, maintenance or replacement of “wildlife water catchments … that are located within the monument.”
WASHINGTON — Angered over President Barack Obama’s protection of public lands, two Nevada lawmakers filed legislation Wednesday that would prevent executive action to expand or designate national monuments without congressional approval.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, both R-Nev., filed the bills in the Senate and House to “stop these unilateral federal land grabs” regardless of which political office holds the White House.
The lawmakers have titled their bill the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act.
The man in this photo is Daniel P. Love — Daniel P. Love was the Bureau Of Land Management’s Special Agent In Charge of rounding up Rancher Cliven Bundy’s Cattle beginning in March 2014.
Before SAG Daniel P. Love made his way to Bunkerville Nevada to use violence while violating the Civil Rights of Cliven Bundy and his family, Love had already gained the reputation of being overly aggressive and stepping outside the limit of his authority as a BLM employee.
In this video you will hear Senator Orrin Hatch speaking to then Attorney General Eric Holder about an overly aggressive BLM/FBI operation that ended with 3 people committing suicide — in particular a prominent Family Physician, Dr. Jame Redd of Blanding Utah. The SAG’s of that operation were BLM – Daniel P. Love and FBI – Greg Bretzing; you may recall Bretzing was in charge during the Malhuer Refuge occupation and responsible for agents who fired at LaVoy Finicum and then tried to cover it up. Bretzing has since retired.
One of the 17 defendants in the Cliven Bundy case wants a federal jury to visit the spot where the armed standoff unfolded in 2014 between supporters of the Nevada rancher and federal agents who impounded his cattle.
The request appears in a motion filed last week by defense attorney Jess Marchese, who represents Eric Parker. Federal prosecutors have not yet responded to the motion, which argues that while pictures and video are available, they do not illustrate the “sheer enormity” of the site or show every part of the area.
“Personally seeing the actual road, wash, and general terrain would remedy the issue,” the motion says.
As they prepare for a second trial stemming from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, prosecutors want the court to reconsider and let refuge employees and Harney County residents testify about the fears they felt as a result of the armed seizure of the refuge.
Defendants, in turn, want the court to allow them to use the principle of adverse possession – staking claim to a property to declare it as their own – as a defense to the new misdemeanor trespass charge they face.
The defendants also will ask a judge to restrict prosecutors from parading dozens of firearms into the courtroom during trial if the firearms haven’t been traced specifically to the defendants charged, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
There are a lot of US Supreme Court decisions on the subject of “pioneer rights”, or settlers’ rights of “possession” or “occupancy” and “use”. The case that specifically refers to “pioneer rights” is Lamb v Davenport, 85 US 307 (1873).
Arguello v United States, 59 US 539 (1855), refers to a “cattle range” held in possession for 50 years (from prior to the Mexican cession to the US) as sufficient evidence of ownership. Essentially, pioneer rights are equivalent to “possessory” or “occupancy” rights that typically have the sanction of State or Territorial legislation, or; local laws, customs and decisions of the courts; or “aboriginal” title” or “possessory” or “occupancy” rights dating from a time prior to US acquisition through “treaty” (ie. Gudalupe-Hidalgo, 1848, or the Oregon-Northwest Treaty with Great Britain, 1846). This same possessory or occupancy right of “actual settlers” gives the settler a “color of title” which has been referred to as the “preference” right. The preference is the preferred right to acquire the government’s “legal title” when the land occupied or in the possession and use of the pioneer is eventually opened to settlement. (See Frisbie v Whitney, 76 US 187 (1869)). This pioneer right of possession and preference gives the occupant the right to sell his improvements as well as his possessory title, and such ownership will “relate back” to the first pioneer’s date of settlement.
But as I related a couple of months ago the law has never been challenged on the basis of its constitutionality.
Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution reads: “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States …”
The question is whether Congress has the power to abdicate that power and turn it over to the president, as it did with the Antiquities Act of 1906.
A few dozen people, most of whom were family members or friends of Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, staged a quiet rally Saturday at the state Route 170 access to the Gold Butte land falling under the monument declaration near Bundy’s home.
The demonstrators rang out the year under cloudy skies as they held signs that decried Obama’s authority to restrict access and called on President-elect Donald Trump for help, but throughout the morning hours they primarily visited with each other while watching an occasional vehicle pass.
“We’re proving that the Bundys couldn’t have had a conspiracy, because we’re never organized enough to conspire against anybody,” Carol Bundy, the wife of Cliven, joked in reference to the criminal charges filed against her husband and sons after a violent encounter with federal officers in April 2014.
Mr. Obama has repeatedly abused his authority under the Antiquities Act to declare vast new national monuments, including on the high seas. This week’s monument designations have been strongly opposed by state officials and GOP congressional leaders, including the unanimous delegation from Utah.
Trump Can Reverse Obama’s Last-Minute Land Grab
The White House is trying to lock up millions of acres, but no president can bind his successor.
“Utah is saddened by this announcement today. It is alien to the desires of the overwhelming majority of Utahns. It’s also alien to the desires of the overwhelming number of Native Americans who live in this area, who will use this area, who approached us on how they wanted to function on this land. None of those desires are going to be accomplished by a monument designation.
“It is sad that there are special interest groups that feel that they are empowered, that feel that they can get the President to bend to their every will. Unfortunately, with today’s announcement, maybe there is some truth to that.
“Mr. President, I want you to know that we are saddened by this abuse of the Antiquities Act. It is sad that this entire process has been done in secrecy and in shadows. And Mr. President, I want you to know as Utahns, we will use every tool at our disposal to do the right thing—whether it be legislative action, judicial action, even executive action—because what we have seen so far is a poor procedure. It’s a poor policy and it reflects poorly on your legacy. As Utahns, we will fight to right this wrong.”
Chairman Bishop added:
“The announcement perpetuates two egregious lies. The first being that the size of the monument parallels the Public Lands Initiative. That is not true. The administration is grasping at arguments to justify a lame duck administration’s efforts to do things contrary to the will of the people who live in San Juan County. The second lie is in the creation of a faux commission to give management authority to Native Americans. This is a diversion. The Utah delegation wants to give management authority to Native Americans; the administration can’t. Only Congress can legally do so. This administration over-promised, failed to deliver, and is now trying to hide its ineptitude.”
Just days after a federal judge denied one Oregon standoff defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea, co-defendant Jon Ritzheimer Friday filed his own motion to rescind his guilty plea.
Jon Ritzheimer, who had entered a guilty plea on Aug. 15 to the federal charge of conspiracy stemming from the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now argues that he’s innocent of the allegation.
A new court-appointed defense lawyer for Ritzheimer argues that Ritzheimer acknowledged he used force, threats or intimidation to take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but the object of his actions was not to impede federal employees, as was argued at the fall trial of co-defendants Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and five others.
Special Report’s panel discussed the midnight monument designation by the Obama Administration.
Former Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore intends to run for Las Vegas City Council in 2017, she confirmed to the Review-Journal on Thursday.
Fiore, a Republican with a knack for grabbing national headlines, will be gunning for the Ward 6 seat currently occupied by Steve Ross.
Ross has held the seat since 2005, but is term-limited. Fiore will be running against Ross’ wife, Kelli Ross, who previously announced her intent to run, as well as Clark County School Board Trustee Chris Garvey, who confirmed to the Review-Journal this month her intentions to run.
Fiore said she’s been mulling a city council run since the summer.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while,” Fiore said. “I think it’s just a natural progression. Since Ward 6 overlaps my assembly district, it just makes sense.”
I have some questions for Mark McConnell concerning his role as an informant and if that role includes threatening me while I’m having dinner – says Ritzheimer. If this guy is still on the payroll I think I have a right to know, especially if he is going to approach me with a weapon and challenge me to a fight. Is he following me around Phoenix in an ongoing FBI effort to implicate me in some kind of wrong-doing or is he just harassing me because he enjoys being a bully? He’ll be under oath and I look forward to finally being able to ask this guy some questions …