Michele Fiore Testifies for Political Prisoners
by Shari Dovale
Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore took the stand in the Malheur Protest Trial in Portland today.
As a member of the Coalition of Western States (C.O.W.S.) she explained that their organization has a couple of divisions. Part of the Legislative division, she said they “help promote liberties against a tyrannical government.” They also work on restoring property rights for individuals.
Fiore testified about going to Bunkerville in 2014. When many of her constituents called her complaining of the overreaching Bureau of Land Management, she said she did not believe them. She went there, she testified, “Like a Mom whose children were complaining of a monster under the bed.” When she got there, she realized there really was a Big monster!
Fiore also told of visiting the Malheur Refuge in January 2016. First, she verified through Oregon officials that no laws were broken. This prompted the prosecution and Judge Anna Brown to admonish this lawmaker to stop making statements interpreting the law. Judge Brown explained that only she, as the judge, can explain the law to the jurors. Fiore was told not to express her ‘opinion’ on whether laws were broken.
Fiore did make a powerful statement during one portion of her testimony when she stated that LaVoy Finicum was murdered. This threw the prosecutors and the judge into fits, where Fiore was, again, admonished by the judge and told not to characterize Finicum’s death in that manner.
Fiore, a popular legislator, became even more so as she waved to the jury while walked out of the courtroom.
Next on the stand was Brandon Rapolla, one of the founders of the Pacific Patriots Network (PPN). Rapolla was called in to dispute the prosecutions claims of Ammon’s group being heavily armed and dangerous, based mostly on the photograph shown here.
Rapolla said that this was a photo of the PPN arriving to deliver “Articles of Resolution” to Ammon. Threats had been made against the founders of the PPN, so as the tactical officer, he made the decision to have an armed security detail available.
No member of the ‘Citizens For Constitutional Freedom’ were present, or a part of the group pictured. This photograph was entered into evidence by the prosecution in the Malheur Protest Trial.
Thursday should bring several more witnesses to the stand for the defense, as well as cross examination of Ammon Bundy by the prosecution.