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Thread: Mistrial declared in Cliven Bundy standoff case

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    Gold Member One_of_Many's Avatar
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    Mistrial declared in Cliven Bundy standoff case

    Mistrial declared in Cliven Bundy standoff case

    http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-sta...cliven_bu.html

    By Maxine Bernstein
    mbernstein@oregonian.com
    The Oregonian/OregonLive

    Updated Dec. 21, 2017 with statements from U.S. Department of Justice and lead prosecutor

    LAS VEGAS - A federal judge Wednesday declared a mistrial in the prosecution of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant, citing the government's "willful'' failure to turn over multiple documents that could help the defense fight conspiracy and assault charges in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff.

    "The court does regrettably believe a mistrial in this case is the most suitable and only remedy,'' U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro declared, issuing her ruling from the bench before a packed courtroom.

    The judge listed six types of evidence that she said prosecutors deliberately withheld before trial, including information about the presence of an FBI surveillance camera on a hill overlooking the Bundy ranch and documents about U.S. Bureau of Land Management snipers outside the ranch.

    The others were maps, an FBI log with entries about snipers on standby, threat assessments that indicated the Bundys weren't violent and that the Bureau of Land Management was trying to provoke a conflict by antagonizing them and nearly 500 pages of internal affairs documents involving lead bureau special agent Dan Love, since fired from the agency.

    The material, the judge found, would bolster the defense stance that defendant Ryan Payne put a call out for support because the Bundys feared they were surrounded by snipers and felt isolated in early April 2014 before the standoff with federal rangers and officers on April 12, 2014. The federal officers were carrying out a court-ordered roundup of Bundy cattle for failure to pay grazing fees and fines for two decades.

    The information also would help refute the government's indictment that alleged the defendants used deceit to draw supporters by "falsely'' contending snipers were posted around the ranch.

    "The failure to turn over such evidence violates due process,'' the judge said.

    Prosecutors had belittled Ryan Bundy's pretrial motion for information on the "mysterious'' devices outside the family ranch in 2014 as "fantastical'' and a "fishing expedition,'' the judge noted. The government willfully withheld a March 28, 2014, law enforcement operation order and an FBI report that showed there was an FBI camera trained on the Bundy home for surveillance.

    The FBI's SWAT team put the camera up, repaired it and monitored a live feed from it. The U.S. Attorney's Office was aware of this, the judge said, and didn't share information about the camera until the defense heard a witness confirm its presence.

    "The government falsely represented the camera that was on the Bundy house was incidental, not purposeful,'' the judge said.

    The judge also found prosecutors withheld a March 3, 2015, FBI report that identified a Bureau of Land Management agent in tactical gear and carrying an AR-15 rifle outside the family ranch on April 5 and April 6, 2014.

    In addition, she cited an FBI log with entries that said "snipers were inserted'' and on standby outside the Bundy home. Three entries in the log mentioned snipers present, Navarro noted. Prosecutors claimed they were unaware of the log at first because it was kept on a thumb drive in a tactical vehicle.

    "The government is still responsible for information from the investigating agency. The FBI chose not to disclose it,'' Navarro said.

    That, coupled with "the government's strong insistence at prior trials that there were no snipers,'' convinced her the withholding of the sniper evidence was done knowingly.

    She also cited at least four threat assessments that indicated the Bundys likely wouldn't use violence, "would get in your face'' but not engage in a shootout, and that the Bureau of Land Management was antagonizing the family "trying to provoke a conflict.'' The threat evaluations were made by the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism unit, the FBI Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Gold Buttle Cattle Impound Risk Assessment and the Bureau of Land Management law enforcement arm between 2011 and 2015.

    The judge further identified 493 pages of internal affairs documents on BLM agent Love that said there were no documented injuries to endangered desert tortoises by cattle grazing on the federal land. That's the reason the federal land agency sought to curtail the senior Bundy's grazing permit in 1993 and limit the number of cattle on public land.

    The prosecution team shared 3,300 pages of discovery with the defense between Oct. 10 and Dec. 15, long after the pretrial Oct. 1 deadline, Navarro said. Jury selection started Oct. 30.

    The mistrial dealt a significant setback to federal prosecutors, yet they may be able to retry the defendants. Both sides were instructed to submit legal briefs by Dec. 29 on whether the government should be allowed to pursue a new trial, with oral arguments set for Jan. 8.

    The judge indicated she'd make a future ruling on whether the case should be a mistrial with prejudice, meaning no future trial would be held. A new tentative trial date, however, was set for Feb. 26.

    "The Attorney General takes this issue very seriously and has personally directed that an expert in the Department's discovery obligations be deployed to examine the case and advise as to next steps,'' said Ian D. Prior, deputy director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice.

    In a prepared statement, lead prosecutor Nevada's Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre said, "We respect the ruling of the Court and take very seriously our discovery obligations. The Office welcomes the assistance of the Attorney General as we continue to evaluate the cae in light of the Court's ruling.''

    The Bundys and their supporters called the ruling a partial victory. They had sought a full dismissal of the case, and will continue to do so.

    Defense lawyers are expected to challenge any effort to retry Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, his older brother Ryan Bundy and Payne, arguing that it was the government's failure to share relevant evidence before trial that caused the mistrial and trying it again would amount to double jeopardy.

    "To have an actual order from the court or for her to say those things does bring a lot of vindication to us,'' said Ammon Bundy, standing outside the courthouse with his arm around his mother as he addressed reporters. "They came on us and provoked us, and we acted appropriately.''

    The Bundy brothers and Payne walked out of the downtown courthouse together, their arms linked, along with Cliven Bundy's wife, Carol, and Jeanette Finicum, wife of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, killed by state police in Oregon on Jan. 26, 2016, after he sped off from a police stop leaving the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that he and the Bundy brothers had occupied.

    https://t.co/Clb5Igw2g7
    -- Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) December 20, 2017

    Supporters applauded as the defendants left the courthouse.

    "I do not believe there is a jury in this country that will convict us," Ammon Bundy said. "The truth is on our side.''

    The development in the high-profile, long-anticipated case disturbed public land and environmental advocates, who worry that the identified government lapses may bolster the defendants and loyalists in their rejection of federal authority and intensify their fervor against federal control of public lands.

    "Any federal stumbling in this prosecution still doesn't relieve the fact the Bundys have been breaking the law by grazing their cattle unlawfully on public land, and their cows are still out there every day endangering protected species,'' said Taylor McKinnon, a public lands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. "We want that problem fixed.''

    McKinnon and Kieran Suckling, the center's executive director, held a large banner outside the Nevada courthouse that read, "We love public lands.'' Bundy followers stood in front and behind them. McKinnon and Suckling also were counter-protesters in 2016 at Malheur refuge takeover in southeastern Oregon.

    The two are concerned that if the Bundys aren't held accountable for their actions, it will give further credence to their "militant participation in a broader move to seize public lands and hand them over to states.''

    The judge's ruling marked at least the third time the Bundy family has thwarted a federal agency action: On April 12, 2014, at the Toquap Wash near Bunkerville, federal rangers retreated from carrying out a court-ordered cattle impoundment when they were met by hundreds of militia and armed supporters of Cliven Bundy and his family; in October 2016, a jury acquitted Ammon and Ryan Bundy and five others of federal conspiracy charges in the armed seizure of the Malheur refuge; and now.

    The lack of any immediate prosecution after the 2014 standoff emboldened the Bundy sons to move into Oregon about a year and a half later with a small brigade of self-styled militants. They led the 41-day occupation of the refuge, a 187,756-acre federal bird sanctuary where ranchers also had clashed with government agents.

    https://t.co/wtCgCLZbHG
    -- Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) December 20, 2017

    Going into this trial against the Bundy patriarch and his sons, prosecutors also faced heightened pressure after being largely unsuccessful earlier this year in two trials of more minor figures in the Bunkerville standoff. Except for guilty verdicts against two of six lesser players, the trials ended with acquittals or hung juries.

    The senior Bundy, his two sons and Montana militiaman Payne were accused of rallying supporters to stop federal agents from impounding the Bundy family cattle for trespassing on public land near Bunkerville, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas, after Cliven Bundy failed to pay grazing fees and fines for two decades.

    Navarro dismissed the jury on what would have been the start of a third week of testimony in a trial that was expected to last four months. Only three government witnesses had been called before the jury in nine days of testimony, with many breaks, delays and interruptions due to sealed hearings before the judge.

    "It is not possible for us to go forward with this case,'' Navarro told the jury, apologizing for the inconvenience this has caused them.

    The judge thanked the 12 jurors and four alternate jurors for their service. As they filed out of the courtroom, Ryan Bundy expressed his own gratitude.

    "I would just like to personally thank you for being here,'' he said. "I appreciate your time and your service.''

    The Bundy brothers said that the judge's ruling confirmed what they knew and don't believe the case can go forward.

    https://t.co/3NdMjEaGzn
    -- Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) December 20, 2017

    Cliven Bundy's lawyer Bret Whipple Wednesday afternoon submitted an emergency motion seeking Cliven Bundy's release from jail without any conditions. Cliven Bundy won't leave until he has no conditions restricting him.

    Of the judge's mistrial decision, Whipple said of his client, "I don't think he was surprised. I think at the end of the day we always anticipated this would be the end of result.''

    Whipple said he was somewhat disappointed the case didn't get to a jury, leaving no finality.

    But Whipple said he was struck by the judge's findings that each of the discovery violations were willful, and as a lawyer, he said he was disappointed in the prosecution's actions.

    "The judge said what she said for a reason, and there's significance to her words,'' Whipple said. "We believe also built in her statements was the fact that it was prejudicial, that it was malicious or reoccurring, and this will be the end of the Bundy trial.''

    -- Maxine Bernstein

    mbernstein@oregonian.com
    503-221-8212
    @maxoregonian
    You can stand me up at the gates of hell... But I wont back down.

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    DOJ Opens Probe Into Bundy Prosecutors Who Hid Evidence

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-1...o-hid-evidence

    Authored by Tim Pearce via The Daily Caller,

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened a probe into federal prosecutors of the recent trial of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, E&E News reports.

    Bundy faced criminal charges related to a 2014 standoff with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents. After the prosecutions numerous missteps and ?willful? withholding of evidence that would aid the Bundy?s defense, the judge ruled a mistrial Wednesday, The Oregonian reports.

    The DOJ did not say whether it would pursue another trial against Cliven Bundy and others involved in the 2014 standoff, according to E&E News.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions ?personally directed that an expert in the department?s discovery obligations be deployed to examine the case and advise as to next steps,? DOJ deputy director of public affairs Ian Prior told The Oregonian.

    ?This is every prosecutor?s nightmare,? retired federal prosecutor Kent Robinson said.

    Weeks before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro declared a mistrial of the case, a memo written by a BLM agent assigned to investigate the agency?s actions during the 2014 raid on the Bundy ranch was released. The memo contained serious allegations of misconduct and likely illegal activities by BLM officials and prosecutors, led by acting Nevada U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, throughout the raid and trial of Cliven Bundy.

    Throughout the trial, Myhre and his team of prosecutors were caught violating the Brady law six separate times for refusing to turn over exculpatory evidence that could help the Bundys.

    Myhre had removed the agent responsible for the memo, Larry Wooten, from his position investigating the BLM in February, confiscating all his records and data.

    Wooten wrote his 18 page memo from memory and leaked it the DOJ.
    You can stand me up at the gates of hell... But I wont back down.

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    Life Long Member Milomorai's Avatar
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    Just part of the "Storm" more to come
    Thank you George for your astute insight...

    "Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac...War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it."

    George Orwell

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    Gold Member Unca Walt's Avatar
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    This part simply ain't correct:

    "The Bundy brothers and Payne walked out of the downtown courthouse together, their arms linked, along with Cliven Bundy's wife, Carol, and Jeanette Finicum, wife of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, killed by state police in Oregon on Jan. 26, 2016, after he sped off from a police stop leaving the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that he and the Bundy brothers had occupied."

    There is video evidence that totally refutes that. Both from inside Finicum's vehicle, and from the police themselves. Also a 28-minute video that looks like something from a Iraq war porn Apache helicopter tracking the vehicle as it drove at normal speed...

    There was a hidden roadblock. It forced Finicum to swerve off the road. When Finicum stopped and got out of the vehicle, he was shot in the back by a cop with a rifle. Murder, plain and simple.

    "I am going to meet the Sheriff!"
    <-- Last words. Sounds like a desperate killer that HAD to be killed immediately, right? Right?

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...e9&action=view

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...f&action=click

    Simple as that. And undeniable.
    Last edited by Unca Walt; 12-24-2017 at 07:58 AM.

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    Life Long Member Milomorai's Avatar
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    Charges against rancher Cliven Bundy, three others are dismissed

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/08...dismissed.html
    Thank you George for your astute insight...

    "Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac...War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it."

    George Orwell

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    Gold Member One_of_Many's Avatar
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    "U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that Bundy, two of his sons and a militia member will not face another trial. "

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN1EX218
    You can stand me up at the gates of hell... But I wont back down.

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    Administrator ancona's Avatar
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    Nice! It's about time we saw justice done here! The fucking government held back evidence, lied, kept exculpatory evidence from the defense, and on and on and on. The judge did the right thing here. Now the prosecutors will face severe disciplinary actions for sure. To declare a mistrial with prejudice is serious business, and it rarely happens, so although this should be huge news, it will likely never see the light of day in the mainstream "press".
    Mark Ancona
    "Deo adjuvante non timendum"

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    Gold Member Unca Walt's Avatar
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    I think this should be screaming-headline news.

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    Life Long Member Milomorai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unca Walt View Post
    I think this should be screaming-headline news.
    So Sorry Not Main Stream Media's agenda think it might be on FOX News site
    Thank you George for your astute insight...

    "Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac...War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it."

    George Orwell

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