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Malheur II – Ammon Bundy Testifies

The government was not having their best day, but, the defendants were smiling.

Malheur II - Ammon Bundy Testifies
Ammon Bundy during a jailhouse interview. (KATU Photo)

Malheur II – Ammon Bundy Testifies

by Shari Dovale

Ammon Bundy entered the courtroom in his trademark “Political Prisoner” jailhouse scrubs and testified in the second Malheur Protest trial today.

During his own trial last fall, Bundy was on the stand for three days. Today’s testimony was complete in a few hours.

Bundy confirmed Blaine Cooper’s testimony of a meeting held on December 29, 2015 at a private home in Burns. He could not remember everyone that attended the meeting, specifically whether or not Jason Patrick had attended.

However, he did say that he asked everyone to leave their cell phones and computers in a separate room. Though it was not a “secret” meeting, he did not want his discussion to be broadcast.

He admitted that he was the one that originally brought up the idea of the “hard stand” and taking over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

Jason Patrick’s standby attorney, Andrew Kohlmets, took Bundy through the first part of his testimony, beginning in the fall of 2015, when he learned about the plight of the Hammond family.

Dwight and Steven Hammond are a father and son that were sent to prison under the Federal Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 for starting a necessary backfire on their property.

Bundy felt the plight of the Hammond’s were very similar to what his family has been enduring at their ranch in Nevada.

After learning all of the details behind the Hammond’s troubles, Bundy attempted to get them help beginning with the Sheriff of Harney County, David Ward. Ward was a political appointee and immediately asked the FBI to take over for him, as he did not know how to deal with citizens on this level.

Bundy continued to tell the jury of how the Malheur Protest came about and what the actual plans were. These plans included educating the citizens and beginning ownership transfer of the Refuge property back to the citizens of Harney County through a legal doctrine called “adverse possession.”

As Bundy explained what adverse possession entailed, the prosecution objected to the legal premise being described. Judge Anna Brown reminded jurors that interpreting the law was for her alone in the courtroom.

By the time the prosecution questioned the witness, they seemed to be highly agitated. They fired several questions at Bundy intended to confuse his answers, however, he seemed confident and prepared for them.

Questions that Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight asked during cross examination included asking him if the Hammond’s had distanced themselves from “the refuge occupation and you?” Bundy was clear when he answered “No. They were threatened.”

Knight showed a video of protesters firing guns at the boat launch at the refuge and asked him, “That’s an expression of a peaceful assembly?”

“Correct,” was Bundy’s answer.

Knight made the mistake of asking Ammon if Ryan Payne led the group in the video at the boat launch. Bundy said, “No, I believe it was your undercover FBI guy that did that.”

Knight also asked if he thought it was a “Win, Win, Win for the 16 employees that could not go to work in their offices because of your actions?”

Bundy simply told him Yes.

Knight continued to get upset, “No one can work!”

“It is sometimes inconvenient to petition your government,” Bundy replied.

Each time the prosecutor would read quotes from the transcript of Bundy’s previous testimony, it seemed to get thrown back at him. “I would love for the jury to hear the whole audio,” Bundy said at one point.

The next witness was former Harney County Fire Chief Chris Briels. Briels had tendered his resignation when he caught the FBI being less-than-honest while in Burns last year. He was, basically, told to mind his own business by County Judge Steve Grasty.

Briels was also very effective with the jury, connecting with them with a few snarky comments.

At one point, Briels was asked what he first intended to do when he originally went to the Refuge. He told the court he “wanted to chew Ammon Bundy’s butt.” This produced snickers throughout the audience and jury.

Judge Anna Brown had to stop this immediately and threatened anyone that laughed again to be thrown out of the courtroom for the duration of the trial.

The government was not having their best day, but, the defendants were smiling.


5 Comments on Malheur II – Ammon Bundy Testifies

  1. What everybody is forgetting is that the entire prosecutorial demeanor and behavior is in violation of the law and of rules of professional conduct by a government prosecutor. People take for granted that prosecutors job description is to be an adversary to the defendants. It is not!! They are supposed to be neutral, unbiased and impartial according the rules of professional conduct. Why? Because they are paid by the taxpayer, and they work equally for the defendant as they do for the government. There job is to get at the truth, not a conviction.

    • You couldn’t be more wrong. They are called the prosecution for a reason. They are there to expose evidence against the defendants whom the government has found sufficient reason to charge with crimes. The free defense attorneys provided by the government are also paid by tax dollars. Are they supposed to be “neutral, unbiased, and impartial too”? No, that’s the judge’s and jury’s job.

  2. In the midst of this leftist clown circus I have a little reason to find a chuckle or two. I remember “Hogan’s Heroes” the TV comedy hit starring a bunch of US POW’s held in a prisoner of war camp during World War II. I used to think the program was so corny, that really the guys in charge of the camp couldn’t REALLY be that stupid – but now witnessing these trials, I have to reevaluate.
    The self serving motives of evil always provide their own transparency.
    Bundy is a true champion of the truth and seems confident that truth has the ability to prevail over the darkness of the left.
    Stay strong brother.

  3. It is doubtful wether Prosecutor Knight has ever tried to grill a witness of Ammon Bundy’s caliber. We saw a new definition of grace under pressure as Ammon unraveled Knight’s provocative and disingenuous challenges with simple, credible replies. I have witnessed Ammon’s coolness and resolve in the most hair-raising situation – with a gun battle hanging by a thread – and he proved himself again today. Knight could gain no traction, and was left hangin in the wind….

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