In a shocking, sudden turn of events, one of the country’s most controversial cases that went to court over a year ago has just ended with all charges dropped against this person. Three others involved in this massive news piece have also been exonerated. While there will be much excitement over this stunning decision, there are likely to be riots as well from the opposition. Was justice effective served? It depends on where you stand on the issue of what this “crime” was.
Barack Hussein Obama was this patriot’s biggest nemesis whose orders led to a deadly standoff. With a new president in charge, things have changed dramatically on one of the country’s biggest cases that would have gone much differently had President Donald Trump not been in office.
Fox News reports:
A federal judge dismissed all charged against rancher Cliven Bundy and three others
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro cited “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” in her decision to dismiss all charges against rancher Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and another person.
This comes after a standoff two years ago that ended in a court battle that began in October of 2017.
Bundy is a folk hero who stood up to the federal government (Associated Press)
Fox explains the unprecedented move made today that was not expected:
The embarrassment a federal judge dealt to government prosecutors last month in the Cliven Bundy case could be set to resume Monday, at a hearing to determine whether the cattle rancher who became a folk hero long before he beat the feds can be retried.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Dec. 20 declared a mistrial in the high-profile case. It was only the latest, stunning development in the saga of the Nevada rancher, and served as a repudiation of the federal government. Navarro accused prosecutors of willfully withholding evidence from Bundy’s lawyers, in violation of the federal Brady rule.
The Brady rule, named after the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case known as Brady v. 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, 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 began in late October, 2017. But just two months later, it ended with Navarro angry, the feds humiliated and Bundy – at least to his supporters – vindicated.
In fact, 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 [it’s actions were] so grossly negligent as to be tantamount to lying,” Napolitano said. “This happened over and over again.”
Navarro offered a handful of examples of the prosecution’s failure to disclose. One had to do with a video showing government surveillance of the Bundy ranch, as well as government snipers, before the standoff.
“Timing is everything when it comes to these documents,” said Napolitano. “The tapes show that the defendants were telling the truth when they said they brought a militia to the property to protect them from snipers, rather than the government’s version, which is that the snipers came to protect the government agents from the militia.”
Other instances of the government holding back included the failure to produce an internal affairs report on BLM misconduct, which the defense requested and the government denied existed, and threat assessments by federal agents declaring the Bundys were not likely to use violence.
“The court does regrettably believe a mistrial in this case is the most suitable and only remedy,” Navarro said in declaring a mistrial.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested. LaVoy Finicum was dead. The standoff in Oregon between ranchers and the federal government seemed to be at an end as the leaders of the revolt had either been killed, or were in custody. Four holdouts remained at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, though. Negotiations were underway for their surrender.
The son of famed preacher Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, said he would meet with the four holdouts at the national refuge, presumably to bring the revolt which has captivated Americans nationwide to a peaceful resolution.
Elected officials joined in the fray, telling the holdouts to “stay alive” so their story could be told. While this was happening, Cliven Bundy announced he would come to Oregon to bolster the holdouts stand against the federal government. As the holdouts somehow managed to break an FBI “block” of internet and cell communications, and stream audio, and video of what was happening, Cliven Bundy landed at Portland International Airport, and was immediately surrounded by SWAT teams.
USA Today reports that the elderly rancher was arrested, and booked into Multnomah County Jail.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been arrested after flying into Portland International Airport. The father of Ammon Bundy, the leader of the occupation at an Oregon wildlife refuge, was detained by the FBI and booked into Multnomah County Jail on Wednesday night, the prison’s records show.
A post on Bundy Ranch’s Facebook page said: “Cliven Bundy just landed in Portland; we are being told by eyes on ground that he was surrounded by SWAT and DETAINED.”
The 74-year-old, who intended to travel to Burns, close to the wildlife refuge, faces federal charges related to a standoff at his ranch in 2014, The Oregonian reported. The newspaper said he faces a charge of conspiracy to interfere with a federal officer and weapons charges.
The elderly Bundy was good friends with Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum, who was killed by authorities during the Oregon standoff. During the standoff, Finicum told reporters that he just wanted to go home. Finicum was a foster parent to 4, and hosted 50 foster children at his ranch in Arizona.
Finicum explained in a video why he disliked the federal government so much. The Bureau of Land Management stole his water.
The “Oregon Standoff” began because Amanda Marshall, an Obama appointee for U.S. attorney for Oregon, recommended that the government sentence Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond as terrorists for a controlled burn on their land which reached federal land.