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Bundy Prosecution Found Guilty

Some jurors said that if they had gone into deliberation at that point, the verdict would have been ‘not guilty’,

Bundy Prosecution Found Guilty
From left, Ryan Payne, Jeanette Finicum, widow of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, Ryan Bundy, Angela Bundy, wife of Ryan Bundy and Jamie Bundy, daughter of Ryan Bundy, walk out of a federal courthouse Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP)

Bundy Trial Weekly Update
Prosecution Found Guilty

by Terry Noonkester

The last days of the Bundy trial were no longer about the protest between the ranchers and BLM over grazing rights.  The courts attention was drawn to how the prosecution and the agency’s they represented have disregarded the Constitutional rights of the accused.

On December 20th, 2017, Judge Navarro presided over a hearing for the USA v Cliven Bundy trial to give her decision on the defense’s motions for dismissal due to prosecutorial misconduct.  The prosecutors committed Brady violations when they failed to turn over evidence favorable to the defense.

Judge Navarro spent nearly two hours detailing six Brady violations made by the prosecution team.  The team is comprised of Acting U.S. Attorney, Steven Myhre, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed.  Myhre had been a federal prosecutor for more than 25 years. Navarro said the evidence withheld was “material” to the defense case and that each of the prosecution’s six “willful” violations resulted in due process violations.

One prosecution violation was in regard to the surveillance camera or cameras that captured images, and possibly audio, of the Bundy home, and at other times, surveillance of two other locations.  The defense had repeatedly asked for any documentation regarding the surveillance, but the prosecution denied the existence of these camera’s until a government witness, U.S. Park Service Chief Investigator, Mary Hinson, testified to their existence.

Another violation was about the existence of snipers positioned around the Bundy home.  The defense needed the FBI reports on these snipers to rebut the governments charges that claimed the Bundy’s and Ryan Payne made false claims that snipers were surrounding the Bundy home.

These FBI reports on snipers were denied and suppressed.  The records now show there were at least 197 paramilitary personnel at the Bundy Ranch in April 2014. There were pictures of snippers on the high ground near the ranch.  The paramilitary personnel were from the Las Angeles SWAT, The Las Vegas Metro SWAT and the FBI Hostage Rescue Team along with the BLM law enforcement and their ‘contract cowboys’.

There were several threat assessment reports made by the FBI throughout an extended timeframe of several years.  The prosecution claimed the Bundy family was assessed as being dangerous, but failed to make the reports available to the defense.  The Bundy’s and several supporters were denied bail because of these assessments until the prosecution’s witness, Mary Jo Rugwell, former head of  the BLM district office in southern Nevada, testified that the reports classified the Bundy’s as not a threat or as a low threat.  These assessments were then released to Judge Navarro, who then ruled that the defendants could be released from prison, to be monitored with ankle bracelets at host homes in Las Vegas.  The defendants may have spent 20 months in prison because of false statements made by the prosecution.

There was also a BLM assessment that grazing had not harmed the desert tortoise.  This refutes the governments claims that the cattle roundup was done to protect the tortoise.

Navarro repeatedly referred to the date that production of the evidence was required as October 1st, 2017; the discovery date for this trial.  Although the withheld evidence was also needed by the defense in the first two Cliven Bundy et al trials, violations for those trials are not covered by violations confirmed in this trial.

Navarro declared a mistrial because of the government’s “willful failure to disclose information” to the defense. She said; “A fair trial at this point is impossible.”

Ryan Bundy asked the Judge if that meant all the defendants would be released.  She told him that he would have to go through Pre-trial Services to  get any modification of his release.  Ryan asked if Todd Engel, and Greg Burleson would be released.  She said that was not up to her, a jury had convicted them.  She made it clear that the first two Bundy Trials in Las Vegas were not covered by this mistrial.

The jury was then brought into the courtroom for the first time in 9 days,  Judge Navarro told them that there had been a lot of new evidence in the trial; 3,300 pages of new evidence.  The attorneys would need a lot of extra time to go through all the new evidence so the trial had to be declared a mistrial because it was going to take too long.  She thanked them for their services and sacrifices several times and dismissed them as jurors.  She never mentioned that the prosecution was the party late with the evidence, nor did she say anything about Brady violations.

The procedure to be followed now is for lawyers for the defense and the prosecution to file briefs explaining to Judge Navarro how they think the trial should be concluded.  The prosecution would normally try to convince the judge that the case should be retried. The defense wants the judge to dismiss the case with prejudice; meaning all charges would be dropped and the prosecution would be barred from trying the case again.  December 29th is the deadline for the lawyers to file their arguments regarding how the trial should end.  Navarro has set the date for her decision as January 8th, 2018 at the courthouse.

At the end of the hearing on December 20th, Navarro instructed the prosecution to go through all the evidence that was covered by a protective order and remove any evidence that does not need to be under such a restrictive court order.  The judge also requested that any unnecessary redactions be removed.  The only sanctions imposed on the prosecution from Navarro’s court will be the mistrial or dismissal of the case.  Navarro has also followed court protocol to set a “calendar call” for February 15th,  and a new trial date for February 26th, 2018; but these dates are not expected to be needed.

After the courtroom was adjourned, the defendants were able to visit with the jurors.  Ammon said all the jurors he talked to were friendly and some wished to visit the ranch.  Some jurors said that if they had gone into deliberation at that point, the verdict would have been ‘not guilty’, one saying that he could see what the government was doing to them.  The Bundy’s, their defense team, supporters and even a few jurors met outside the courthouse main entrance.  The jurors had been impressed by Ryan Bundy’s representation of himself, one of the jurors calling it ‘awesome’.

Bret Whipple, the attorney for Ammon Bundy said; “All we need to do is point out her findings that the evidence was ‘material,’ and the violations were ‘willful,’ and attach the Chapman case. In my mind that seals the deal…I’m confident we’ll get a mistrial with prejudice. One step at a time. We’re getting close.”  The Chapman case, like the Bundy case, was headed by Steven Myhre and ended in a mistrial due to the prosecutions failure to disclose exculpatory evidence.

Judge Navarro has not considered the new allegations about prosecutorial misconduct that were made public in an email leaked to Washington State Representative Matt Shea on December 14, 2017.  The email was written by the former lead investigator of the Bundy case within the BLM, Agent Larry Wooten.  Wooten wrote of cooperation between his supervisor and prosecutor Steven Myhre to withhold evidence and his own dismissal as case investigator after his own failed efforts to supply evidence to Myhre.

Larry Klayman, a former Justice Department prosecutor and the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, sent a message to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on December 21, 2017. “In the last week, through an ethically troubled BLM whistleblower who came forward as a matter of conscience, Larry “Clint” Wooten, it was also disclosed that BLM and the FBI had put the Bundys on a “kill list,” mocked and disparaged their Mormon faith, and bragged about assaulting and waging a violent invasion of their land, as well as harming them.

To make matters ethically and legally worse, Myhre and his staff also suppressed this whistleblower report documenting BLM and FBI gross misconduct and indeed criminal behavior. In short, your prosecutors in Nevada not just condoned the hiding and destruction of evidence that could lead to my client’s acquittal, but they themselves engaged in obstruction of justice through a cover-up. Importantly, Myhre and his staff committed crimes in furtherance of attempting to falsely convict Cliven Bundy. Incredibly, if convicted on all counts, Cliven and his sons would be sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment.”

Klayman’s letter continued; “…it is incumbent that you also direct the Department’s OPR and the IG to now conduct an ethics investigation and mete out appropriate strong disciplinary sanctions against Myhre and his staff, as well as the involved complicit FBI agents”.  Klayman has requested an investigation of the Bundy prosecution several times in the last year, and filed formal complaints against Sessions, the Inspector General (IG), and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) when an investigation was not conducted in a timely manner.

Spokesman for the United States Justice Department, Ian Prior, said Jeff Sessions takes this issue very seriously and has personally directed a review and report of the case against Cliven Bundy.  When a judge makes a finding of misconduct by a prosecutor, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigates and determines if discipline is warranted. That can range from a reprimand to a suspension.  At this point, it is even possible for the government to call an end to the case.  It is disturbing that Sessions used the phrase “review and report” rather than investigation.

Not included in the violations committed by the prosecution are any issues that had not “ripened” when Judge Navarro declared a mistrial.  The ripeness refers to the readiness for litigation; “a claim is not ripe for adjudication if it rests upon contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or not occur at all”.  Although the ‘Wooten materials’ make many allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, there must be an investigation and possibly litigation before there can be sanctions or other punishments.

Also not covered is another violation in regards to testimony given by Mary Jo Rugwell regarding the Bundy’s water rights.  It seems Rugwell has perjured herself when she testified that she knew nothing about the Bundy’s water rights, but evidence was found that she had previously tried to have those water rights cancelled.

Defense lawyers said the violations in this Bundy trial are more extensive, involving thousands of pages of documents deliberately withheld.

At a roundtable discussion later in the day of the hearing, Ammon Bundy described how the prosecution of the Hammond family in Oregon paralleled the Bundy case in Nevada.  Ammon said the Hammonds did not have the benefit of a good defense team, so they are in prison.  He continued by saying that we need to act to get the Hammonds out of prison now.

Cliven Bundy is still ‘resisting release’ by not accepting an ankle bracelet monitoring device and a halfway house as a condition of release, and he is also insisting that all the men that came to his ranch in his defense be freed before him.

This article is offered to all other media under the Creative Commons License, when proper credit is given to Terry Noonkester, The Roseburg Beacon and Redoubt News.

 

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17 Comments on Bundy Prosecution Found Guilty

  1. Judge Navarro was as much a participant in railroading these defendants as the prosecution team. When their scheme started falling apart, she tried to distance herself from them and even portray herself as one of the “good guys”. Her actions in all of these trials need to be examined and, in my opinion, charges should to be brought against her as well as the prosecutors.

    • YES! The judge and prosecutor decide before trial on how to conduct the case and meet regularly during trial to discuss issues. If she was not aware of the obvious dirty tricks being pulled on the defense, then she has to be the dumbest jurist in the country! I am not buying it. SHE KNEW. She should be arrested, disbarred and tried for obstruction and gross malfeasance. And that goes for the entire prosecution team. Sessions? He is still sitting on his ass and doing nothing. He needs to go. The DOJ and the FBI has lost all semblance of legitimacy and need to be cleaned out from top to bottom.

      • Quint : I heartily agree with your statement, as do many. I doubt, however, if a Federal Judge would could be prosecuted as you describe. As far as cleaning up DOJ and FBI, not to mention the District of Criminals in general, how practical is this idea ? Bon Chance ! We must start at the local and State level where we can get our hands on the problem and make a difference. This is Ammon’s solution, and I agree with him 100%. If state and local Govts refuse to assist these Feds – and most Federal agencies would be hamstrung without this assistance – and if they are determined to keep Federal power at bay, the citizens would be protected.

  2. I heartedly agree with D.M. on this Judge. She was outright prejudicial in her rulings. Her statements about these men as being “violent” with no evidence clearly shows collusion with the prosecutors.

  3. I appreciate the information in this article. It was obvious to me that the Bundys had been grossly mistreated, and unfairly imprisoned. I am still mad about Cliven Bundy being unjustly shot and killed. I hope that the author – Terry Noonkester – will read this comment, because I have some advice for you.

    I want to share this article with some people, but I hesitate just a bit, because it is not quite up to professional standards. Specifically, a few misspelled words and punctuation errors caught my eye. It lessened the credibility of the otherwise great content. The one error that I saw many times was apostrophe abuse. Apostrophes are never used to make words plural, unless there is no acceptable plural form, but that is extremely rare. When I see apostrophes used in the way that you did, it is an immediate red flag.

    For example: “the agency’s” should have been written as “the agencies”, and “the Bundy’s” should be “the Bundys”.

    I only mention this to help you increase the credibility of future articles.

    Thank you for your excellent reporting.

  4. To D.M., I totally agree with your comment. Thank you.

    To Jay Eubanks. Thanks for the advise, I appreciator your help. Feel free to correct apostrophes, commas and spelling. The more publicity there is on the corruption in our courts, the better.

    To Maritha and Quill, thanks for commenting.

  5. “Las Vegas Metro SWAT and the FBI“ had snipers on the hills. Didn’t they conspire to hide the truth of the las vegas shooting as well. Hum … seems they work well together.

  6. Smoke screen on her part. She caught wind of the DOJ investigation and thinks she is smoothing the road that leads right to her bench.

  7. I GOT TO GET MY STRESS LOSE –
    from all the violent, conspired, attempted murders; extortion, kidnapping, trespassing, eaves dropping, money laundering, wire fraud, and other RICO violations, onto perjury & obstruction of justice that these gov’t agencies have testified in trial, that have entrapped & maliciously prosecuted against US farmers & ranchers in Clark County, NV, & the West.
    Are we destroyed, or shall we the People declare the feds stay in DC from taking life, liberty & property rights issued from our States?

    • And don’t BS me, Metro was only there to protect the BLM “Kill List”.
      And Sandoval (picked by dirty Harry) refused to send in his NV National Guard to protect citizens. NO. He was in on Reids’ contract with ENN Solar Energy on their BLM “Gold Butte Impoundment Operation”.

  8. When will we know who gave the ‘kill order’ to assassinate Robert LaVoy Finicum? When will SAC Daniel P. Love get indicted and arrested for attempted murder? Why haven’t all of those still being held released without restrictions?
    Why? Why? Why?

  9. They must teach prosecutors his to secrete exculpatory evidence when they are put through orientation at the doj.

    It is endemic.

    Kathryn Ruemmler, who signed the Brady letter in the Merrill Lynch prosecution, which omitted the crucial yellow-highlighted statements of the person she herself said was the “key” to the prosecution, was promoted to Assistant Attorney General, and then became Obama’s longest serving chief White House Counsel. She recently returned to the prestigious firm of Latham & Watkins.

    To wit:

    As a senior member of the Enron Task Force, Ms. Ruemmler prosecuted four Merrill Lynch executives and sent them to prison on an indictment that was “fatally flawed.” The conduct the prosecutors alleged was not criminal. At the same time, she deliberately hid exculpatory evidence—that is, evidence she was constitutionally compelled to hand over to the defense. Indeed, the prosecutors not only acknowledge the evidence as exculpatory, they yellow-highlighted it as such—then buried it.

    While still denying there was any Brady ( exculpatory) evidence, the Federal prosecutors in the Dallas Merill Lynch case mailed to defense attorney, Sidney Powell, a disc of documents they did not realize revealed crucial notes of government agents’ interviews of the person that lead prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler herself had called the “key” to their case. Not only did these long-hidden notes reveal clear, declaratory statements that directly contradicted everything Ruemmler, Friedrich, Hemann and their hearsay-only witnesses had told the court and jury, but the prosecutors had actually yellow-highlighted the notes as Brady information favorable to the defense—and still hid it.

    She signed the false and misleading “disclosure letter” to defense counsel. Ms. Ruemmler then elicited hearsay testimony from witnesses that was directly contradicted by the first-hand evidence she and her Task Force hid. She capitalized on and compounded the injustice, repeatedly telling the court and jury “facts” that were directly refuted by the evidence she hid.

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately reversed 12 out of 14 counts of conviction against the executives, acquitting one entirely. All the defendants were released, after having spent up to a year in prison on a sham indictment, while Ms. Ruemmler and her cronies continued both to hide the evidence that defeated the government’s case and to demand that the Merrill executives be prosecuted a second time on the same indictment.

    http://observer.com/2014/06/all-the-presidents-muses-obama-and-prosecutorial-misconduct/

  10. Andrew Weissmann was appointed lead counsel in the conspiracy by James Comey, Rod Rosenstein & Robert Mueller, to manufacture evidence & entrap (Mueller’s only tactic he ever uses) POTUS TRUMP, ALL HAVE BEEN PAID OFF IN THE MILLION$, laundered by an hourly rate, while they go to the gym, travel to the tropics & ski slopes in Switzerland for family holidays, & do their personal errands during the business day. Any accountability for their earnings will not be reported, & Con-gross will pay whatever they bill.

    Backstory:

    “Weissmann, as deputy and later director of the Enron Task Force, destroyed the venerable accounting firm of Arthur Andersen LLP and its 85,000 jobs worldwide — only to be reversed several years later by a unanimous Supreme Court.

    Next, Weissmann creatively criminalized a business transaction between Merrill Lynch and Enron. Four Merrill executives went to prison for as long as a year. Weissmann’s team made sure they did not even get bail pending their appeals, even though the charges Weissmann concocted, like those against Andersen, were literally unprecedented.

    Weissmann’s prosecution devastated the lives and families of the Merrill executives, causing enormous defense costs, unimaginable stress and torturous prison time. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the mass of the case.

    Weissmann quietly resigned from the Enron Task Force just as the judge in the Enron Broadband prosecution began excoriating Weissmann’s team and the press began catching on to Weissmann’s modus operandi.

    Mueller knows this history. He tapped Weissmann to target Paul Manafort.

    http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/356253-judging-by-muellers-staffing-choices-he-may-not-be-very-interested-in

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/robert-mueller-andrew-weissmann/2017/06/07/id/794685/

    http://bigleaguepolitics.com/reaching-prosecutors-run-country/

  11. A bill was sent to the Senate for consideration:

    The Department of Justice opposed the “Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act.”

    http://www.constitutionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/callforcriminaldiscoveryreform.pdf

    The bill died. And the Department of Justice continues to hide evidence.

    Holder’s view: Only prosecutors can decide what is “material to the defense,” and if they decide it’s not material, they don’t disclose it—even if it is obviously favorable to the defense.

    Eric Holder’s Department of “Justice”i wanted to change the ethical rules in each state to comport with the Department’s view and make it easier for prosecutors to hide evidence. Mr. Holder’s view of the Brady rule puts the prosecutor in total and sole control of the outcome of the case. It licenses him to lie.

    Prosecutors can even think THEY should decide who is guilty or innocent. The mentality is, “These guys may not have done it but they’re bad guys and they have to go to prison.” In fact, a prosecutor has actually been quoted as saying just that.

    We see what’s called “Brady violations” all the time in cases of wrongful conviction, but there never seem to be any consequences. And prosecutors are protected from being sued by defendants who have been wrongfully convicted by “prosecutorial immunity.” In Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court established absolute immunity for district attorneys or prosecutors from civil suits resulting from their government duties.

    “Prosecutors are rarely disciplined or criminally prosecuted for their misconduct, and the victims of this misconduct are generally denied any civil remedy because of prosecutorial immunities.” Margaret Z. Johns

    “Prosecutorial misconduct is alarmingly common, and there is no corrective mechanism, no accountability, no effective deterrent, and—because of prosecutorial immunities—often no civil remedy.”

    http://globalwrong.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/unsupportable-and-unjustified_-a-critique-of-absolute-prosecutori.pdf

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