THE ARREST OF GARY HUNT NOT ONLY
THREATENS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,
IT THREATENS ALL OF US
A few days ago, I had the privilege of talking to Angie Bundy, wife of imprisoned Ryan Bundy, who told me that she had received a call from a woman in a state of panic because Gary Hunt had been arrested. She heard that the government was going after other co-conspirators who supported or aligned with Gary in any manner.
Unfortunately, there are grounds for her concern. Given the revelations that came out in the trial of the political prisoners in which the government noted that over a thousand (1,000) individuals, either employees or contractors of the FBI, were working on infiltrating the Bundy circles to discover who is showing support for the Bundys, et al. on social media through comments, likes and shares. They were building a database of potential co-conspirators or, as Harry Reid called them, “domestic terrorists”.
In other words, like many constitutional protections, the First Amendment right to freedom of speech seems to be flushed down the proverbial toilet. This woman was in fear of being arrested because she had liked what Gary Hunt had to say and expressed sympathy for his cause.
I have to pinch myself as a reality check that I am not in some nightmare even as I write this. The fact that this woman even had basis to fear being arrested and condemned to pretrial detention, is illustrative of the awful situation in which we find ourselves and serves as motivation for writing this article.
Gary Hunt is known for his insightful and thoroughly researched subject matters, as any competent and responsible journalist should do. He has written extensively on the subject of federal Judge Anna Brown’s cease and desist order regarding his discovery and publication of the informants in the Oregon refuge case. He has also included the subsequent show cause order to appear before her in Oregon. Gary has set forth in these posts his rebuttal and position on the matter and I don’t wish to repeat the work he has already done.
I would like to cover a few areas based on my own research and personal viewpoint:
Federal District Courts are set up according to a geographical area, hence the name “District”. If District Courts have jurisdiction over any geographical area within the United States, then there is no need to have districts and they can be called Federal Courts and step on each others toes. Personal jurisdiction in a criminal case is established when the defendant is accused of committing a crime in the geographic area in which the court sits. If a crime results in federal charges, the federal court that sits in the state where the offense was committed has personal jurisdiction over the defendant. http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/law/law-divisions-and-codes/jurisdiction
The physical and geographical site of the offense must be within the borders of the state that has jurisdiction. Anna Brown’s professional colleagues and co-workers, the federal prosecutors, were unable to show by any evidentiary standard that Gary Hunt committed any crime within the geographical area of her jurisdiction.
Gary was accused of violating the gag order placed by Anna Brown on the defendants and their attorneys to not reveal the names of federal informants, but the gag order did not apply to Gary Hunt and he was not subject to its scope or purview. Gary has stated that he obtained his information from sources unrelated to the gag order.
Moreover, Gary was a member of the press with a long and proven record of being a bona fide journalist and was exempt from the the restrictions of the court, as set forth in the Pentagon files case New York Times Co. v. United States 403 U.S. 713 (1971).
This case accused Daniel Ellsberg and the New York Times of criminally revealing confidential information in defiance of a government order to cease and desist. Yet, in spite of this well settled supreme court case, the government prosecutors, facilitated by the conflict of interest relationship they have with a federally employed judge, Anna Brown, insisted that Gary Hunt not publish his information. They contend that his refusal to comply obligated him to appear before Anna Brown in her District.
The long arm statutes require that for another District to have jurisdiction, there must be substantial attachments or minimum contacts by the defendant to the geographical area of the District seeking jurisdiction.
To obtain personal jurisdiction over the parties, a federal court follows the procedural rules of the state in which it sits. For example, a federal court in Michigan follows the Michigan state court rules governing personal jurisdiction. The court examines the usual factors in establishing personal jurisdiction, such as the physical location of the parties, the reach of the state’s long-arm statute, any consent to personal jurisdiction by the defendant, or the location of real property in a dispute over real property. http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/law/law-divisions-and-codes/jurisdiction
Oregon, like all states, have very similar rules regarding the long arm of the law reaching into another jurisdiction and hauling someone into their jurisdiction. In every respect Gary does not meet the long arm statute’s test and therefore, the Oregon District over which Anna Brown presides, does not have jurisdiction.
Unless the defendant is served with a summons within the jurisdiction of the issuing court, the act of serving the summons and complaint on the defendant is usually not enough to support a finding of personal jurisdiction over the defendant. To support a finding of personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant, the defendant typically has to have certain “minimum contacts” with the forum state (Int’l Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326 U.S. 310 (1945)).
I am not sure to what degree Gary Hunt gave an answer or responsive pleading to the Show Cause Order, but if he did not answer, he had good reason not to:
An appearance to deny the jurisdiction of the court over the subject-matter is, according to the weight of authority, a general appearance. Hale v. Campbell, 40 F. Supp. 587 (N.D. Iowa 1941).
A general appearance means that he waives objection to Anna Brown jurisdiction. Therefore, Gary was right to err on the side of caution and not waive his right to object to personal jurisdiction by making a general appearance.
The Right to Bail and a Presumption of Innocence Until Proven Guilty
The language from his arrest order is the same language that the judge used to deny the Bundys, et al. bail and force them into prison for over 15 months awaiting trial. The court has ruled that because there was a protest in which people brought arms, she is falsely accusing the Bundys and others of “avoiding the execution of court orders and/or arrest by engaging in armed confrontation with law enforcement.”
Anna Brown is declaring guilt of the defendants prior to any trial and thereby, eviscerating the bedrock principle of innocence until proven guilty. She has declared that her pretrial finding of guilt is sufficient cause to deny bail because they are too dangerous and are a flight risk. She, the judge, is using the same language with Gary Hunt to set up a scenario for denying him bail and placing him in pretrial detention.
Even if he did, her reasoning is flawed because it in no way proves he is dangerous or a flight risk sufficient to deny pretrial liberty. But he didn’t. Yet she is lumping Gary into the same category as the rest of the political prisoners, as she did with Pete Santilli. Santilli is another journalist with a long history of reporting the news and a proven record of being a bona fide member of the press.
All she has to do is declare “I find that there is clear and convincing evidence that Gary Hunt will disregard any order from this court as he did with the show cause order and therefore, he is a flight risk and a danger to society and no condition or combination of conditions can reasonably assure to the contrary.” With her mere declaration, without the necessary trial and opportunity to examine and cross examine, he is thrown into jail and subject to all the atrocities that the Bundys and others are going through. If he appeals, he faces the “Nutty Ninth”, the 9th circuit court of appeals that has her back and will affirm her order.
The judge is declaring that people like Gary Hunt dare not defy the court’s order even if there is abundant case law and evidence that the judge does not have jurisdiction. Gary Hunt, by not appearing for the show cause order hearing, was thus asserting his right to question the authority and jurisdiction of the court. The court then did an Arnold Schwarzenegger and flexed its muscles by ordering marshals to go into a foreign jurisdiction and forcibly arrest Gary Hunt. None of Gary’s actions are illegal but are supported by case law and definitely in no way justify his pretrial detention. But, the bottom line is: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT
I hope I am wrong. If I am right, then the real danger to society is the judge and not Gary Hunt and the growing list of political prisoners. Like the woman who called Angie Bundy in a panic, we should all fear for our welfare while an unrestrained and corrupt federal court is running amok among us.
Please visit your congressional representatives office. Don’t just call them but visit them and explain your fear that you too, or a loved one, face arrest for sympathizing with Gary Hunt and the Bundys et al.