A Freedom Outpost Bundy Update


Intro by John R. Houk

Intro © September 4, 2017

 

Whenever I run into some info about the government persecution of ranchers that stood with the Bundy family against Federal government (largely the Bureau of Land Management – BLM) intrusion to enforce bureaucratic rules that act as laws that benefit Eco-Marxists desires over private property and private business.

 

Here is a brief synopsis of the reasons that Cliven Bundy decided to withstand the Law created by the BLM and not Congress from my last post on this situation – “Supporting Bundys in Trials & Tribulations”:

 

A few facts about the Cliven Bundy and the BLM incident

 

For some time, the Bundy’s have owned cattle that have grazed in the Bunkerville, NV area.  Since his cattle grazed on federal land, he paid grazing fees to the federal government. In 1993, the local grazing rules changed when a number of things came together; the Desert tortoise became protected under the species act, and the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that this was one of the areas critical to their long-term survival. Grazing rules were also changed in order to accommodate restoration needed from years of overgrazing and recent fires. These new rules would include Bundy having to reduce his number of cattle. Refusing to comply, he decided to “fire” the BLM, and stop paying grazing fees, while continuing to use federal lands for his cattle to graze. Not only did he not reduce his cattle count, but actually increased them over time.

 

In this latest update that I have discovered, the Freedom Outpost reports the 1/3 of Idaho State Senators and Representatives are urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the DOJ led persecution – er I mean – prosecution of the Bundy Ranch Standoff largely due to a fair amount of the defendants are experiencing second and third retrials after hung juries.

 

The judicial persecution is happening in the Bundy family’s home State of Nevada. Apparently these Idaho legislators are making views known to AG Sessions is because of the defendants are from Idaho.

 

Here is the Freedom Outpost update.

 

JRH 9/4/17

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1/3 of Idaho Reps Call on AG Sessions to Back Off Bundy Ranch Case: This Is “Disrespect for the Rule of Law & the Jury System”

 

By TIM BROWN 

SEPTEMBER 3, 2017

Freedom Outpost

 

Last Friday, following a meeting of Tier 1 and Tier 3 Bundy Ranch defendants in court with Judge Gloria Navarro, a trial date was set for October 10.  That trial will include Eric Parker and Stephen Drexler, who have already been tried twice with hung juries and non-guilty verdicts.  Now, at least a third of Idaho representatives are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put an end to the badgering of these men with trial after trial, a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment’s protections against Double Jeopardy (and yes, I know the “legaleze” about mistrials, but the fact of the matter is that under that thinking, one could try someone indefinitely).

 

Deb Jordan, co-host of the Pete Santilli Show, shared the story of what the outcome of the meeting was with me on Friday’s Sons of Liberty Radio Show.  Eric and his wife Andrea also joined us for the show.  You can download that episode by clicking here.

 

Since then, one-third of the representatives of Idaho, the state in which Parker and Drexler live, penned a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for him relax the pursuit by Nevada prosecutors against four Idahoans who are charged or have been convicted in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada.

 

The letter was authored by State Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley) and signed by 24 Idaho representatives from the House and Senate last Tuesday stating, “We believe that the decision by the current U.S. attorney to Nevada to prosecute these men a third time represents disrespect for the rule of law and the jury system.”

 

The four men these representatives are standing up for are Ammon Bundy, of Emmett; Eric Parker, of Hailey; Scott Drexler, of Challis; and Todd Engel, of Boundary County.

 

“We are tasked with the responsibility to protect our citizens’ constitutional rights,” the letter stated, noting the Idaho Legislatures has a “high respect for the rule of law.”

 

“We believe that the right to a speedy trial and the presumption of innocence are essential pillars to law, order, and a Republican form of government,” the letter continues.  “We also believe that a trial by a jury of one’s peers is the highest form of justice as set forth by our founders.  Ensuring government stays within the bounds of its proper constitutional role empowers the people through a jury’s verdict to give clear guidance as to their will.”

 

They then spoke out about the innocence of the defendants who have already been tried and found not guilty.

 

“We the undersigned believe that in the case of ‘The Bunkerville Stand Off’ trials in the State of Nevada in which Eric Parker and O. Scott Drexler of the State of Idaho were charged with 40 criminal counts in connection with the above case having been found not guilty speaks volumes to the public of their innocence,” the letter states.  “U. S. Attorneys have been unsuccessful obtaining guilty verdicts not once, but twice, establishing criteria for dismissal of charges against them according to our standards of justice.  Further expolitation [sic] of these citizens would be an affront to justice and notice to the public of prosecutorial harassment.”

 

Well, if you ask me, that began when they sought to try the men a second time after failing to prove their case.  After all, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove guilt, not on those charged to prove their innocence.

 

“We believe that the decision by the current U. S. Attorney of Nevada to prosecute these men a third time represents disrespect for the rule of law and the Jury system,” the representatives wrote.  “A third trial would show blatant disregard for tax funds collected from hard working law abiding citizens who are represented by these juries who have found them innocent of 34 of the 40 charges and hung by the very slimmest margins in those where the jury stood deadlocked.  The decisions of 10-2 to acquit in the first trial and 11-1 to acquit in the second trial highlights the narrow margin by which the prosecution hopes to continue their attack.”

 

They then called on Sessions, the court and the prosecutor to consider Todd Engel’s time served as punishment for the minor charges for which he was found guilty.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28.

 

“Ammon Bundy, an Idaho resident, remains in custody awaiting trial directly after the final outcome of the pending prosecution’s decision with Parker and Drexler,” the letter adds.  “Ammon has been in custody since January of 2016 without benefit of bail or the comfort of home and familiy [sic] in spite of being found not guilty of all counts in the Oregon trial.  Ammon has been stripped of normal due process for a prosecution that now seems flimsy as we discover evidence exposed during these previous hung trials of others for similar offenses.”

 

The representatives then added, “This prosecution sends a chilling message to the public who are concerned about federal overreach in their daily lives that is inharmonious to well-established constitutional guarantees.  The percentages of jurors causing the hung verdicts in these trials should send a clear signal to the government prosecutors of the jury’s reticence to further prosecute these defendants as has clearly been received by the public.”

 

The representatives then call on Sessions to “have those in charge of this case end this long enduring action and set Eric Parker and Scott Drexler free, set reasonable bail for Ammon Bundy and allow Todd Engel to use his time served as total sentencing.

 

Among signing the letter include House Majority Leader Mike Moyle; Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane; Treasure Valley Sens. Clifford Bayer and Lori Den Hartog; and Treasure Valley Reps. Judy Boyle, Christy Perry, Brandon Hixon, Greg Chaney, Joe Palmer, James Holtzclaw, Steve Harris and Jason Monks.

 

“I think it is a complete injustice and a waste of taxpayer money and time to continue to go after these guys after two mistrials,” said Rep. Boyle, from Midvale.

 

“Let it go. We are not talking about murders, robberies, druggies, rapists. It is continuing to waste the court’s time and federal taxpayers’ money. I know the federal government wants to make a point, but get over it.”

 

Things do not have to go to a third trial in order for this to be considered exploitation and prosecutorial harassment.  That has and is currently taking place by the prosecution and by Judge Gloria Navarro.

 

I have said since the end of the first trial, if the prosecution had any sense about them, they would drop the charges against the remaining defendants and spare them and taxpayers any further grief and burden by simply admitting the central government was wrong.

 

I’m hoping once things settle that we will see each one of these men come together to sue the pants off the prosecution and the judge in the case, as well as Bureau of Land Management goon Daniel P. Love for their reckless and lawless behavior in this entire process.

 

Seeing that a new trial date has been set, it appears AG Sessions doesn’t care that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments are being violated concerning Drexler and Parker and that other rights are being violated concerning the remaining defendants in the case.  I’m not surprised.  After all, Sessions has demonstrated he doesn’t care about the Fifth Amendments protections of lifeliberty and property when it comes to asset forfeiture.

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A Freedom Outpost Bundy Update

Intro by John R. Houk

Intro © September 4, 2017

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1/3 of Idaho Reps Call on AG Sessions to Back Off Bundy Ranch Case: This Is “Disrespect for the Rule of Law & the Jury System”

 

Tim Brown is an author and Editor at FreedomOutpost.comSonsOfLibertyMedia.comGunsInTheNews.com and TheWashingtonStandard.com. He is husband to his “more precious than rubies” wife, father of 10 “mighty arrows”, jack of all trades, Christian and lover of liberty. He resides in the U.S. occupied Great State of South Carolina. Tim is also an affiliate for the Joshua Mark 5 AR/AK hybrid semi-automatic rifle. Follow Tim on Twitter.

 

Copyright © 2017 FreedomOutpost.com

 

Supporting Bundys in Trials & Tribulations


John R. Houk

© August 24, 2017

 

After the Bundys and most of their fellow ranchers were acquitted over their protest at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge inspired by re-jailing unjustly of a couple Hammond family ranchers because an Obama Administration Federal Prosecutor felt the original time served was not severe enough, the Federal government was in Oregon to arrest them for the Bundy Ranch standoff that occurred prior to Malheur.

 

When you hear or read that Cliven Bundy’s fight to withstand the Bureau of Land Management (henceforth BLM, but not to be with another evil organization with the same acronym Black Lives Matter) was illegal and unconstitutional, then you have to realize you are not getting the entire story. There is some truth to the illegal claim, but Cliven chose to resist the law because bureaucratic rules enforced as Congressional was threatening his ranching business. Here’s a word picture that pro-prosecution people don’t want you to see:

 

A few facts about the Cliven Bundy and the BLM incident

 

For some time, the Bundy’s have owned cattle that have grazed in the Bunkerville, NV area.  Since his cattle grazed on federal land, he paid grazing fees to the federal government. In 1993, the local grazing rules changed when a number of things came together; the Desert tortoise became protected under the species act, and the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that this was one of the areas critical to their long-term survival. Grazing rules were also changed in order to accommodate restoration needed from years of overgrazing and recent fires. These new rules would include Bundy having to reduce his number of cattle. Refusing to comply, he decided to “fire” the BLM, and stop paying grazing fees, while continuing to use federal lands for his cattle to graze. Not only did he not reduce his cattle count, but actually increased them over time.

 

As a result, Cliven Bundy’s cattle have been illegally grazing on federal land for 20 years. Over these 20 years, Cliven Bundy has racked up over $1 million in unpaid grazing fees, and has actually expanded his cattle’s grazing further into federal lands.  He has been taken to court (and defeated) both in 1998 and 2013.

 

 

In response, several protesters (including armed militia members) gathered in defense of Bundy. The standoff came to an end when the BLM, citing safety concerns, decided to stand down.  Supporters of Bundy have of [sic] labeled this successful (and armed, as well as potentially violent) defense of Bundy’s illegal activity as a “win for freedom.” – Long article – READ ENTIRETY (Fact Check – The Bundy Ranch Cattle & The BLM; By Fact and Myth; 4/20/17)

 

Juries are having a difficult time convicting the Bundys and their standoff supporters is because they understand bureaucracy wronged the Bundy Ranch private business and family livelihood in the name of Eco-Marxist rules NOT laws passed by Congress.

 

While I was Gab surfing I ran into a Onehope2016 post notifying readers that four on trial for participating in the Bundy Standoff had four acquittals from a jury. Two of those four received a combination Not Guilty and a hung jury on other charges. I was going to cross post Onehope2016’s link to a Hagmann Report which also linked to further info from The Republic/azcentral.com.

 

These guys had already endured two other hung juries. Today I find out the Federal Prosecutors – undoubtedly holdovers from the Obama swamp – are going to make the two that had a hung jury over some remaining charges, back to court at taxpayers’ expense.

 

Below is that report from azcentral.com.

 

Here is a link to the Review Journal that is a history Bundy Ranch trials and tribulations that begins with latest info but you can trace back to 2014. The Review Journal link makes an attempt at neutrality in reporting but I could tell there was a bit of support for the Federal Prosecutors.

 

JRH 8/24/17

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Prosecutors to retry Bundy Ranch standoff defendants for 3rd time

 

By Robert Anglen

Aug. 23, 2017 Updated 4:28 p.m. MT

The Republic | azcentral.com

 

O. Scott Drexler and Eric Parker will be retried on lesser charges

 

Federal prosecutors who didn’t succeed in the Bundy Ranch standoff trial will retry and retry again.

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas confirmed Wednesday it will go back to court for the third time in an attempt to convict two men accused of taking up arms against federal agents.

 

Less than 24 hours earlier, a jury had acquitted two standoff defendants and dismissed the most serious charges against two others. Now federal prosecutors say they will retry the men next month on outstanding weapons and assault charges.

 

The move pushes back the trials for 11 other defendants in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, including Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who have spent 18 months in prison while awaiting their court date.

 

O. Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, both of Idaho, were released from prison Tuesday night after a jury acquitted them of conspiracy and extortion, which were the key elements of the government’s case.

 

But they found out Wednesday they have been ordered back to court Sept. 25 to face the charges on which the jury deadlocked.

 

“Surprised? No. Disappointed? Yes,” said Parker’s lawyer, Jess Marchese. “It’s clear at this point the prosecution is taking this personally now.”

 

Marchese said Acting Nevada U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre twice called Parker a coward during a court hearing Wednesday.

 

Marchese said it was unprofessional and unnecessary. “This is a business,” he said. “And there’s no need for emotion in a business.”

 

Parker and Drexler face one count each of assaulting a federal officer and carrying a firearm in the commission of a crime. Parker faces two additional counts of using a firearm to threaten a federal officer.

 

Jurors twice reject government claims

 

Jurors dealt government prosecutors their second stinging defeat in the case when, after four days of deliberations, they returned no guilty verdicts against four defendants.

 

Richard Lovelien of Oklahoma and Steven Stewart of Idaho were acquitted on all counts and walked out of court Tuesday night free after spending 18 months in prison.

 

This marks the second time a jury failed to convict the defendants on charges related to the standoff, which pitted armed ranchers and militia members against Bureau of Land Management agents in a dusty wash below Interstate 15 about 70 miles north of Las Vegas.

 

A jury in April deadlocked on charges against the four men. It convicted two other defendants on multiple counts. But it could not agree on conspiracy charges against any of the six.

 

The men were being retried on conspiracy, extortion, assault and obstruction charges for helping rancher Cliven Bundy fend off a government roundup of his cattle in what became known as the Battle of Bunkerville.

 

The government launched its second prosecution last month. The case climaxed Aug. 11 when U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro abruptly ended court by ordering Parker off the stand and striking his testimony from the record as jurors watched.

 

The defendant was attempting to tell jurors what he saw during the standoff over a barrage of objections from prosecutors. Navarro ruled Parker violated court orders by discussing prohibited topics. Parker returned to the defense table and started crying while Navarro dismissed the jurors.

 

Marchese said jurors told him Tuesday the incident was a factor in their verdicts. He said jurors were sympathetic to the defendants and their inability to mount a cogent defense in light of restrictions in talking about why they participated in the standoff and what they were thinking while they were there.

 

The case went to the jury Aug. 15 after lawyers for all four defendants waived closing arguments as part of a protest about court proceedings and restrictive legal rulings.

 

Judge’s rulings limit defense

 

Navarro’s rulings, aimed at trying to avoid jury nullification, severely limited defense arguments. Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict based on its shared belief rather than on the evidence in a case.

 

Navarro barred defendants from discussing why they traveled thousands of miles to join protesters at the Bundy Ranch. She did not allow them to testify about perceived abuses by federal authorities during the cattle roundup that might have motivated them to participate.

 

Navarro also restricted defendants from raising constitutional arguments, or mounting any defense based on their First Amendment rights to free speech and their Second Amendment rights to bear arms. In her rulings, Navarro said those were not applicable arguments in the case.

 

Federal officials did not face the same restrictions. To show defendants were part of a conspiracy, they referenced events that happened months, or years, after the standoff.

 

Federal prosecutors, led by Myhre, argued in court the case wasn’t about the First or Second Amendments; that the Constitution doesn’t give people the right to threaten federal officers.

 

They said the Bundys’ dispute with the BLM was adjudicated and the court issued a lawful order to round up the cattle. When ranchers and the militia conspired to force the release of the cattle, they broke the law, prosecutors argued.

 

Dozens of federal state and local law-enforcement officers testified in the retrial, saying they were outnumbered and outgunned in the wash and feared for their lives.

 

Jurors, however, heard from no defense witnesses. Drexler took the stand and delivered the only defense testimony jurors were allowed to consider.

 

He testified that even though he brought weapons to the standoff, he did not intend to threaten or assault law-enforcement officers.

 

Remaining defendants aimed weapons

 

All four defendants in the retrial admitted bringing guns to the standoff. But pictures of Parker and Drexler aiming their weapons went viral.

 

An image of Parker has come to epitomize the 2014 protest. He is pictured lying prone on an overpass and sighting a long rifle at BLM agents in the wash below. The image galvanized the public and brought international awareness to the feud over public lands and the potential consequences of such a dispute.

 

The Bundy Ranch standoff is one of the most high-profile land-use cases in modern Western history, pitting cattle ranchers, anti-government protesters and militia members against the Bureau of Land Management.

 

For decades, the BLM repeatedly ordered Bundy to remove his cattle from federal lands and in 2014 obtained a court order to seize his cattle as payment for more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.

 

Hundreds of supporters from every state in the union, including members of several militia groups, converged on his ranch about 70 miles north of Las Vegas.

 

The standoff was hailed as a victory by militia members. Ammon and Ryan Bundy cited their success at Bundy Ranch in their run-up to the siege of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, also in protest of BLM policies. An Oregon federal jury acquitted Ammon, Ryan and five others in October.

 

No arrests were made in the Bundy Ranch case until after the Oregon siege ended.

 

Last year, the government charged 19 people for their roles in the Nevada standoff. Two men took plea deals. Trials for the remaining defendants were broken into three tiers based on their alleged levels of culpability in the standoff.

 

Although defendants in the first trial and the retrial were considered the least culpable, all 17 defendants face the same charges. Those convicted could spend the rest of their lives in prison.

 

The second trial, which will include Cliven, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who are considered ringleaders, was supposed to start 30 days after the conclusion of the first trial. But the start date has been delayed because of the retrials.

 

Marchese said Wednesday the remaining 11 defendants remain incarcerated and the delays are wearing on them.

 

“Those guys want their day in court,” he said.

 

Parker plans on returning to Idaho and seeing his family.

“He wants to be a dad,” Marchese said. “He wants to see his kids … and to be a father.”

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Supporting Bundys in Trials & Tribulations

John R. Houk

© August 24, 2017

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Prosecutors to retry Bundy Ranch standoff defendants for 3rd time

 

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