Judge to allow Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne to testify in second refuge takeover trial

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown said Friday she’ll work to ensure Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne can be transferred from Nevada to Oregon to testify for the defense at next month’s trial of seven defendants charged in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“I’m convinced it would be error for the court not to facilitate them as witnesses,” the judge said.

But Brown wants both Bundy and Payne, who are facing federal prosecution in Nevada this spring, to personally consent to their brief transfers from custody in Nevada to Oregon. She also wants their assurances that they will not argue that the move will hurt their ability to prepare for their upcoming trial in Nevada this spring.

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CIA unveils new rules for collecting information on Americans

The Central Intelligence Agency on Wednesday unveiled revised rules for collecting, analyzing and storing information on American citizens, updating the rules for the information age and publishing them in full for the first time.

The guidelines are designed “in a manner that protects the privacy and civil rights of the American people,” CIA General Counsel Caroline Krass told a briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

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Repair of two trenches, road dug at Mahleur National Wildlife Refuge cost more than $100,000

The cost of repairing two trenches and a road, dug last winter on a part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that’s considered an archaeological site, was slightly more than $108,000, according to federal authorities.

Two of the seven defendants set for trial next month, Jake Ryan and Duane Ehmer, are accused of digging the trenches and charged with depredation of government property, considered a felony when damage and repair is more than $1,000.

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Trump’s pick to head Interior vows to review Gold Butte designation

WASHINGTON — Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Interior Department, told a Senate hearing Tuesday he would review a recent controversial presidential declaration to create national monuments in Nevada and Utah.

But Zinke pledged to visit Nevada and speak with officials in the Silver State before making a recommendation on whether the incoming administration should try to rescind President Barack Obama’s declaration to designate the Gold Butte region, and Bears Ears in Utah, as monuments.

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Defendants in second Oregon standoff trial want Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne to testify for defense

The second wave of defendants set for trial next month in the armed seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge want occupation leaders Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne to testify in their defense.

Bundy and Payne are both in custody in Nevada, scheduled to face trial themselves this spring in another federal case.

The seven defendants in the second Oregon standoff trial have proposed that Bundy and Payne be transferred to Oregon to testify sometime in March and then return to Nevada by April for their trial in the 2014 standoff with federal land management agents near Bunkerville, Nevada.

They anticipate Bundy, who testified over three days last fall and was acquitted of all charges in the refuge takeover case, would take the stand on two trial days.

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‘Frontline’ documentary, ‘American Patriot,’ explores the Bundys, Oregon standoff, and anti-government groups

PASADENA, California – Oregonians have had more than a year to follow the story of Ammon Bundy, leader of the 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in early 2016. Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, and a group of followers seized control of the refuge, located 30 miles south of Burns, as a protest against what they considered unjust federal land policies.

The conflict, and the larger story of the Bundys and their cause, have been extensively covered by The Oregonian/Oregonlive. The case will get more national exposure with “American Patriot,” a documentary coming to PBS’ “Frontline,” on April 4.

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Federal land redistribution rumbles build in D.C.

WASHINGTON— Emboldened by the change of administration, GOP lawmakers are quietly making moves that would permit a potentially vast transfer of federal land to states and other entities.

On a party line vote last week, the House of Representatives approved rule changes that would expedite such transfers, alarming environmental and recreation groups that have long called for “public lands to stay in public hands.”

President-elect Donald Trump and his pick for interior secretary, Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Montana Republican, have both said they oppose turning federal lands over to states or localities. Even so, Zinke joined his party in approving the Jan. 3 rules package, raising questions about how Trump might act if lands transfer legislation were to reach his desk.

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EPA says it won’t repay claims from waste spill

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will not repay claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from amine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado, saying the law prohibits it.
The EPA said the claims could be refiled in federal court, or Congress could authorize payments.
But attorneys for the EPA and the Justice Department concluded the EPA is barred from paying the claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government.

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Editorial: Give Nevadans a voice in land use

Nevada’s two remaining Republican representatives in Washington have joined forces to introduce legislation that would prevent future presidents from usurping Nevada land without first consulting Nevadans.

This past week Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei, who represents Northern Nevada, introduced the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act of 2017 (H.R. 243, S. 22). If passed, it would block executive fiats designating or expanding national monuments without congressional approval or local support, they say.

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Informants, The scourge of the Patriot Community

I have written a number of articles, under the heading of “Burns Chronicles” the have exposed informants that participate with the FBI in obtaining information about the goings on, both inside and outside, during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, near Burns, Oregon.

The government has, with a revised “Protective Order”, made it near criminal to read or share some of those articles, as the may contain what the Court has deemed “illegal materials”.

Warning: downloading these files may subject you to “Contempt of Court” or “other legal proceedings. Download at your own risk and peril.

Informant articles as of January 5, 2017 (pdf format)

Informant articles as of January 5, 2017 (Kindle format)

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Freedom of the Press #4 – The Order

I got a call from FBI Special Agent Matthew Catalano, earlier today, January 11, 2017. He told me that he had an Order to serve. We made the same arrangements to meet at the restaurant in Los Molinos. The restaurant only serves breakfast and lunch, so it was closed, but I figured that this wouldn’t take very long.

I arrived at about 4:15 pm, and he said that he had to serve me. He handed me the Order, I looked at it and said, “I refuse this service, it is for the District of Oregon, and I am not within that jurisdiction.” I held the paperwork out toward him, but he did not take it, so, I said, “I will keep this, but I want you to tell Judge Anna Brown that I refuse service, as I am not subject to the Oregon District’s jurisdiction.” He agreed to convey the message, and then he proceeded to read certain portions of the Order to me. When he was finished, I reminded him that I wanted Brown to receive my message, and he assured me that he would pass it on. I feel certain that he will. After all, that is his job. We shook hands, and we departed.

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Marcus Mumford’s lawyer seeks personnel files of deputy U.S. marshals who tackled, Tased his client

Marcus Mumford’s attorney wants to review the personnel files of each deputy U.S. marshal who tackled his client and then stunned him with a Taser in the courtroom after the acquittal of refuge occupation leader Ammon Bundy.

The attorney also wants all emails between the marshals that mention Mumford during last fall’s trial.

The requests are part of a wide-ranging motion by attorney Michael Levine for evidence as Mumford prepares to challenge charges that he didn’t follow the lawful direction of a federal police officer and disrupted official government duties, both misdemeanors.

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Judge Gives California Man 24 Hours To Remove Online Posts About Fbi Informants In Refuge Case

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown, in a written order issued Wednesday, gave Gary Hunt 24 hours to remove all posts he shared online that contained information from sensitive FBI reports on informants used during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The judge also ordered Hunt, a California man with ties to a network of militia groups who has posted articles about the informants and quoted excerpts of the FBI records on his Outpost of Freedom website, to stop doing so immediately.

If Hunt fails to comply with the judge’s order once he is personally served with it by the FBI, prosecutors may pursue a contempt of court or other enforcement proceeding in the appropriate court jurisdiction, Brown wrote.

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Prosecutors Urge Judge To Strengthen Protective Court Order On Fbi Informant Reports

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday suggested a judge expand a protective order that now prohibits people charged in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge or anyone on their defense teams from sharing the FBI’s reports on its informants.

Calling it an “extraordinary case,” the prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown to add language to her order that forbids both “direct and indirect violations – wherever they may occur.”

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