Witness Tampering by the FBI
by Shari Dovale
Duane Schrock took the witness stand on Friday to testify for the defense in the Malheur Protest Trial currently being held in Portland. Schrock, a rancher from Crane, Oregon took the stand affirming to tell the truth “As God is my witness.”
Schrock testified that FBI Agent Ben Jones visited him one day after Jones testified for the prosecution. Schrock told Jones that he did not want to talk, however, Jones pressured him to testify to things he did not see.
Agent Jones, a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormon Church, testified previously that he and another Mormon agent had gone to the LDS Church in Burns partly to see if the Bundy’s were recruiting members there. He testified they attended “in part to see what you were doing but also to worship.”
“He was asking if there was something that I saw and wanted me to say that I saw it,” Schrock said. Testimony also confirmed that Jones wanted him to say that he saw someone in the watchtower and that Ammon Bundy was the “Leader” of the occupation.
Schrock was nominated as a member of the “Committee of Safety” at the December 15th meeting in Burns. When asked if he participated in the January 2nd rally and parade, he responded that he “absolutely did! They [the Hammonds] are my friends and neighbors.”
Schrock also testified to a meeting he took part in that discussed a video of the Hammond fire and the BLM setting other fires. Additionally, Schrock told of the BLM having a “shredder truck” at their office in Burns to shred documents.
Schrock told the court that Agent Jones wanted him to testify to “all the guns” but Schrock admitted that he did not see them during his multiple visits to the Refuge. “I saw one long gun,” he said. The rancher visited the refuge at least 3 times a week during the month of January.
“I felt intimidated,” Schrock said in court. He said that he felt the FBI were trying to coerce certain testimony from him. He also said that he has had ramifications in his personal and business dealings since he was listed as a defense witness in this case.
As Schrock was leaving the witness stand, he placed his cowboy hat on the table in front of Ammon Bundy. It was delivered back to him a few minutes later.