From Fox News
A federal judge dismissed all charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and another man on Monday after accusing prosecutors of willfully withholding evidence from Bundy’s lawyers.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro cited “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” in her decision to dismiss all charges against the Nevada rancher and three others.
“The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated,” Navarro said.
Bundy’s supporters cheered as he walked out of court a free man, hugging his wife. He said he’d been jailed for 700 days as a “political prisoner” for refusing to acknowledge federal authority over the land around his cattle ranch.
On Dec. 20, Navarro declared a mistrial in the high-profile Bundy case. It was only the latest, stunning development in the saga of the Nevada rancher, who led a tense, armed standoff with federal officials trying to take over his land. The clash served as a public repudiation of the federal government.
The Brady rule, named after the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case known as Brady vs. Maryland, holds that failure to disclose such evidence violates a defendant’s right to due process.
“In this case the failures to comply with Brady were exquisite, extraordinary,” said Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano. “The judge exercised tremendous patience.”
The 71-year-old Bundy’s battle with the federal government eventually led to what became known as the Bundy standoff of 2014. But it began long before that.
In the early 1990s, the U.S. government limited grazing rights on federal lands in order to protect the desert tortoise habitat. In 1993, Bundy, in protest, refused to renew his permit for cattle grazing, and continued grazing his livestock on these public lands. He didn’t recognize the authority of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over the sovereign state of Nevada.
The federal courts sided with the BLM, and Bundy didn’t seem to have a legal leg to stand on. Nevertheless, the rancher and the government continued this dispute for 20 years, and Bundy ended up owing over $1 million in fees and fines.
Things came to a head in 2014, when officials planned to capture and impound cattle trespassing on government land. Protesters, many armed, tried to block the authorities, which led to a standoff. For a time, they even shut down a portion of I-15, the main interstate highway running through Southern Nevada.
Tensions escalated until officials, fearing for the general safety, announced they would return Bundy’s cattle and suspend the roundup.
Afterward, Bundy continued to graze his cattle and not pay fees. He and his fellow protesters were heroes to some, but criminals to the federal government. Bundy, along with others seen as leaders of the standoff, including sons Ammon and Ryan and militia member Ryan Payne, were charged with numerous felonies, including conspiracy, assault on a federal officer and using a firearm in a violent crime. They faced many years in prison.
The Bundy case finally went to trial last October. But just two months later, it ended with Navarro angry, the feds humiliated and Bundy – at least to his supporters – vindicated.
Navarro had suspended the trial earlier and warned of a mistrial when prosecutors released information after a discovery deadline. Overall, the government was late in handing over more than 3,300 pages of documents. Further, some defense requests for information that ultimately came to light had been ridiculed by prosecutors as “fantastical” and a “fishing expedition.”
“Either the government lied or [its actions were] so grossly negligent as to be tantamount to lying,” Napolitano said. “This happened over and over again.”
Navarro said Monday it was clear the FBI was involved in the prosecution and it was not a coincidence that most of the evidence that was held back – which would have worked in Bundy’s favor – came from the FBI, AZCentral reported.
The newspaper said after the courtroom doors opened following Navarro’s ruling, a huge cheer went up from a crowd of spectators that had gathered outside.
……the FBI and Oregon State Police pulled over nine militia members who had taken over a federal building in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest the unjust jailing of Steven and Dwight Hammond. The militia members included outspoken anti-federal bureaucracy activists Ammon and Ryan Bundy, members of the Bundy clan that faced down the Environmental Protection Agency in Nevada last year.
……Officials had been waiting for an opportunity to arrest the group’s leadership away from the refuge to minimize the potential for violence, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News. The nine activists were traveling in two vehicles 45 miles outside of the refuge when the FBI and Oregon State Police pulled them over, the official said. Some tried to get away, then there was gunfire. Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum, 54, was killed in the shooting, his daughter told NBC News. Ryan Bundy was injured, the official said. It was not year clear who fired the shots. Reportedly, Bundy and Finicum were the only two members of the group not to immediately surrender.
……Finicum’s daughter, Challice Finicum Finch, said that her father had told her he would not pull a gun first on law enforcement. “We all thought it would end, but not like this,” she said. “My dad did stress that they couldn’t pull a gun on them [officers] unless they pulled a gun. They were all committed to not firing on federal agents.” Filicum told NBC News on January 6, “There are things more important than your life, and freedom is one of them. I’m prepared to defend freedom.”
……The Bundys were supposed to meet with authorities at 6 p.m. in John Day, a nearby town; the shootings happened at 4:25 p.m. according to the FBI. Finicum told The Oregonian the day before his killing that “the tenor has changed, [law enforcement] have become more hardened…They’re doing all the things that show they want to take some kinetic action against us, and we’re saying, ‘Why be so unfriendly?’”
……it is worth noting the selective aggression of the federal government here. When college students take over government-owned buildings, the feds are nowhere to be found; the President of the United States justifies riots in places like Ferguson and Baltimore. If a few ranchers take over an empty federal building in the middle of nowhere, however, that’s worth drawing out the protesters and then risking a shooting.
As government grows larger, such run-ins will become more common. That’s particularly true when those targeted by the government have no association with an important political constituency.
The FBI agents murdered Lavoy Finicum They should have been indicted.
The government has a history of malfeasance and criminal intimidation of private land owners. The government mafia really went all out to railroad, bully, terrorize, and strong arm citizens who own private land, because the Nazis at the Bureau of Land Management are power hungry autocrats.
Via The Daily Wire
A report by a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) special agent, who was later removed from his position in the investigation conducted by Nevada’s acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre into the Bureau’s 2014 standoff with rancher Cliven Bundy, claimed the BLM displayed “incredible bias” and widespread misconduct in the matter.
BLM Special Agent Larry Wooten sent his report to the Department of Justice; it was later posted by Washington state Rep. Matt Shea on his Facebook page. Wooten was removed from his position with Myhre in February; Assistant Special Agent Kent Klemen was ordered by Myhre to grab Wooten’s notes and case materials from his office.
In the report, Wooten wrote:
“I routinely observed, and the investigation revealed a widespread pattern of bad judgment, lack of discipline, incredible bias, unprofessionalism and misconduct, as well as likely policy, ethical and legal violations among senior supervisory staff at the BLM’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security. … When I discovered these issues, I promptly reported them to my supervisor. … Often, I realized that my supervisor was already aware of these issues, participated in, or instigated the misconduct himself, was present when the issues were reported to both of us, or was the reporting party himself. When I reported these issues, my supervisor seemed generally unsurprised and uninterested and was dismissive, and seemed unconcerned.
The longer the investigation went on, the more extremely unprofessional, familiar, racy, vulgar and bias-filled actions, open comments and inappropriate electronic communications I was made aware of, or I personally witnessed. … At any given time, you could hear subjects of this investigation referred to as “retards,” “rednecks,” “overweight woman with the big jowls,” “douche bags,” “tractor face,” “idiots,” “in-bred,” etc.”
In addition, the report stated that one BLM agent had a “kill list” naming people who had committed suicide while under investigation by the agency. The report said agents boasted about “grinding” a Bundy family member’s face into gravel; the report also noted lead prosecutor and Nevada’s acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre’s “preferred ignorance” of investigation details which would bolster the Bundys’ defense case.
Wooten wrote that former Special Agent Dan Love, who supervised the impounding of Cliven Bundy’s cattle in 2014, conducted “the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible.”
The Bundy clan stood up to the government jackboots and won.