Has There Been A Loosening In Navarro’s Iron Grip?
By Norton II
The much anticipated opening statement by Ryan Bundy dominated today’s morning session.
Haltingly at first, Bundy, who is representing himself in this important trial, introduced himself as a child in the Nevada desert, then moved on to the long history of his family as Nevada pioneers and ranchers.
Tracing the Bundy landholdings back to shortly after the Civil War, He emphasized his family’s legal standing, water rights and “Beneficial Use” of the land, activities that had established their prerogatives under Nevada State Law.
To this observer, Bundy’s occasional forays into Constitutional law could have best been left out of this criminal trial, but his refrain of “Claim, use, and defend” in regard to our constitutional rights was entirely on point in this setting.
That the Bundys had claimed and used this desert landscape to good purpose is undisputed, but the necessity of defending their rights, so courageously implemented by them in 2014, is the core and cause of this trial. There might be some question about “Educating” the jurors on the Constitution, it being unlikely that many of them have concerned themselves with it, but surely this Claim, Use and Defend concept is understandable to them, and struck a chord.
The jury was visibly engaged by Ryan’s presentation, and his occasional awkward transitions, while lacking polish, helped to identify with them.
Having come to expect an obstreperous and vocal prosecution after the first trials, we were greeted by a new phenomenon today – silence, Despite their past record for Pavlovian objections, Myhre and Co remained somnolent, allowing Bret Whipple yesterday, and Ryan today, free scope.
After the debacle – for them – of the first trials, speculation was rife as to a possible change of tactics by the Govt. Would they “Keep doing the same thing, but expect a different result” ? This pulling in their horns and ending the jack in the box routine may signal a new regimen.
Withal, a one – two punch is in the offing, the first delivered by Ryan. As I have mentioned elsewhere, Ammon Bundy has proven himself a witness very dangerous to obfuscating prosecutors. His grace under fire, presence of mind, and gift for simple succinct answers to hostile questions has been seasoned by long experience with the press. He flummoxed Prosecutor Gabriel in Portland, and has already frustrated Myhre in Vegas. Tread carefully Mr Myhre !
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