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Cliven, Ammon and Ryan Bundy walk free after Judge Navarro dismisses case with prejudice

Judge Gloria Navarro of the Nevada District Court dismissed "with prejudice" the case against Cliven Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and Ryan Payne on Jan. 8. This means federal prosecutors will not have the option to reopen or retry the case.

Ryan Payne will now travel to Oregon to await trial for charges related to the Malheur Refuge protest that he, the Bundys and others staged in 2016. While other participants in that takeover were found innocent, Payne pled guilty and continues to await trial.

Judge Navarro set Feb. 26 as the date to begin the trial for four more men involved in the standoff – Dave Bundy, Mel Bundy, Joe O'Shaughnessy and Jason Woods, known by the court as "tier 2 defendants."

It was discovered in December that the prosecution violated the "Brady Rule" at least seven times, by willfully withholding evidence that it should have shared with the defense. The revelation of these violations eventually led Navarro to dismiss the case, Bryan Hyde, a reporter with "Who's Next" news reported that the judge said the prosecution, led by Steven Myhre acted in ways that were "especially egregious," "grossly shocking," and she also talked about "flagrant prosecutorial misconduct," "reckless disregard" and more. She said the only fair recourse was not to have another trial but to dismiss it because it involved a serious constitutional violation and there was a need to preserve judicial integrity and prevent future misconduct on the part of the government.

The judge was referring not only to the fact that evidence was withheld, but the blatantly arrogant way with which it was withheld, said Hyde.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, late last month, said he was calling for an investigation into the government's handling of the case – including multiple instances of mishandling of evidence.

The investigation probably will be conducted by investigative attorneys, said Roger Roots who serves on Cliven Bundy's legal team. While there is no way of knowing how long the investigation will last, the investigators will be looking at then-acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre's Brady violations. Myhre, who was appointed acting U.S. attorney by President Donald Trump about a year ago, recently was replaced because his one-year appointment ended.

Sessions made the call to look into Myhre's handling of the case when Judge Navarro last month declared a mistrial, saying it would have been "impossible" for the four co-defendants to receive a fair trial because of the willful witholding of evidence in at least seven instances by the prosecution.

Ryan Bundy said the Jan. 8 dismissal with prejudice was not unexpected.

"We're not surprised by the judge's decision. It's been a long time coming," he said. "We knew we were not guilty of these crimes, we knew that the truth would be revealed."

Judge Navarro, who from the beginning prevented the defense from talking about the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the BLM's use of force and other such matters, showed bias against the Bundy family early on, Ryan Bundy said.

"It's terrible, judges are supposed to be neutral but she was decidedly on the side of the government. I believe it is that way in most cases. The government has a 98 or 99 percent conviction rate. Many judges are past prosecutors and they have the mindset that everyone is guilty."

Bundy said he doesn't think that the judge necessarily believes in the innocence of the Bundy family but that "the truth was out so plainly that she could not deny it. She couldn't rule any other way without being in gross misconduct. She had to protect herself."

Social media did help the Bundy family garner support and keep those interested in their situation informed.

Ryan Bundy said that he had been out of prison, albeit with an ankle bracelet to track his movement, since mid-November but that his father Cliven had not been released until the day of the dismissal, Jan. 8. "He already ditched me," Ryan said of Cliven."He's ready to get home."

Ryan, who ranches with his father (some of the children, including Ammon, no longer live or work on the ranch), does not fear the federal government or any future attempts to collect money.

"We own the rights. That's what we've been saying. Grazing fees are a fabrication of the federal government. They don't own the land. We aren't going to make a contract with the federal government. Why would we pay a grazing fee?" he asked.

Cliven Bundy said if the BLM shows up again to take his cattle, he will call on the local authorities for protection.

"I will call our county sheriff. It is his duty to protect our life liberty and property," he said.

Ryan said he and his father paid a visit to their county sheriff this week, but he avoided them.

"We will have a talk with him. If he won't do his job then we'll replace him. That's the good thing about this kind of government."

Charges against the Bundy men ranged from conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede and injure a federal officer to use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and interstate travel in aid of extortion.

The indictments are not directly related to money the Bundy family owes the federal government for grazing Bureau of Land Management land. The charges stemmed from a "standoff" in April of 2014 when the BLM attempted to gather Cliven Bundy's cattle and the Bundy family along with hundreds of supporters from around the country protested the government's removal of family's cattle from the ranch.

The BLM said they were gathering the cattle to sell them, to settle a debt they said the Bundys owed for about 20 years of unpaid fees on BLM land. The BLM turned the cattle loose and left the Bundy ranch after the actions escalated to a "standoff" between federal agents and Bundy supporters, many of which were armed on both sides. F

Coyotes and Wolves and Bears, Oh My! Predators can have a serious effect on ranchers’ bottom line

Kristy Wardell knows what it looks like when a coyote kills a sheep. And when a wolf kills a sheep. And when a grizzly bear kills a sheep. She'll tell you she's had entirely too much experience with the remains of predator attacks on livestock.  

Wardell's family has raised sheep and cattle near Fontenelle, Wyoming for decades, running on private land and government allotments.  

Wolves have recently become more of a problem. Wardell suspects two wolf attacks this summer and fall, each resulting in the deaths of eight to 10 ewes. "Coyotes don't kill eight to 10 in one night and just leave," she said. Staff from the USDA Wildlife Service never made contact with the sheepherder, so the attacks weren't confirmed, but two neighbors who had similar attacks had them confirmed as wolf kills.  

When they were on the Upper Green, Elk Ridge complex of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, allotment, the largest allotment in the Forest Service system, they had a lot more trouble with all predators, but especially grizzly bears. "If we didn't have them in an electric fence every night they'd (grizzly bears) scatter sheep everywhere. They'd hit them and just slaughter them there," Wardell said.  

The Forest Service began requiring an electric fence, which had to be moved every day. "The fence was a good thing," Wardell said, in spite of being required to move the 1400 to 2100-foot electric fences every day. 

When they were running sheep in that allotment they lost as many as 300 ewes and 200 lambs per year. Last year they gave up that allotment because of increased regulation. In an attempt to get something out of a situation that was rapidly degenerating, Wardell's family sold it in a deal put together by the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation. "They [the government agencies] were micromanaging and they were going to violate us off [keep finding violations until they could cancel the permit], then we wouldn't have anything," Wardell said. 

This year, without the allotment, they lost 33 ewes and 65 lambs, thanks to wolves and coyotes. "We almost went into shock because we haven't had near the predator losses because of where we were at," Wardell said.  

Predator Problems 

While many ranchers don't have to worry about grizzly bears when they're out night-checking, some have to worry about mountain lions, and the concern over coyotes is nearly universal. 

"The coyote is the number-one predator since it's so common," said John Steuber, Montana state director/supervisory wildlife biologist for U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Wildlife Services. "Although the larger predators like the wolves and grizzly bears receive more attention, coyotes are the main predator, especially of sheep and young calves. They are wide-ranging carnivores who range all over the state (and almost all states) and cause damage in every area." 

Steuber explains that wolf depredation varies from year-to-year, but has been dropping. "Some of this can be attributed to the hunting and trapping season in Montana, as the state's Fish, Wildlife and Parks has more than 200 wolves legally harvested with a wolf license." 

In Wyoming, landowners in some areas can kill wolves at any time without a license, and in other areas a license is required from Oct. 15 to the end of February, but no license is required for the rest of the year. In another area hunting is allowed only with a license and during the hunting season.  

Wardell said only one wolf has been killed from the pack they think attacked her sheep and the neighbors'. "They're so smart it's hard to shoot them. The wolves are hitting in the middle of the night. It's pretty hard to do anything with them when it's like that." 

One of the reasons cattle numbers killed by wolves may be higher than sheep is because of the sheer number cattle vs sheep on summer range. "There are a lot more cattle allotments than sheep allotments," Steuber says. 

Grizzly bears are expanding their range, so predation is increasing. "They are moving east of the Rocky Mountains and some have been seen near Tiber Damn, some by Sanford. One was just seen in the Big Belt Mountains," Steuber says. "They are heading east. Historically they were east of the Rockies, but haven't been there for 100 years. A grizzly is not as apt to kill for food as they eat roots, plants, moths and other dead stuff. As you get the bears moving into cattle country, however, there will be increasing predation." 

Wardell has seen that first-hand. "We have an overabundance of both wolves and bears. There are just too many. We have wolves clear down where we live. That's bad news. They shouldn't be down there. They need to be thinned down. I'm not sure what the answer is or how to do it."   

 

Finding the culprit 

Wildlife predation determination takes detective work. The first step is finding out how an animal was killed, which may lead to the predator. "Coyotes generally grab an animal by the throat, causing their victim to die of suffocation.  Then they will start feeding on the animal. Sometimes there won't be a big wound from the outside because they grab onto the throat and hold it. Sometimes there is nothing harmful visible until the dead animal is skinned and you can then see the trauma at the throat." 

"Remember not all animals are the same or kill the same," says Steuber. "The main thing we will look for is to make sure the animal was alive when it was killed. All of these predators will scavenge a carcass. You look to see if the animal bled or look for tissues that shows bruising where the bite marks are. The distance between canines can help identify the killer, as well." 

The grizzly will grab and animal by the face and crush the nasal area. Often they will bite along the backbone when attacking something large, like adult cattle. Attacks by cougars/mountain lions are usually on the underside of the neck as they crush the windpipe and puncture the neck. With smaller animals, they attack the base of the neck or top of the skull. 

Knowing animal tracks and feces may help to identity the predator, but may not be entirely accurate.  

If you find a dead animal you suspect has been killed a predator, it's important to protect the carcass. Cover it with a tarp to keep magpies and eagles away, then call the USDA Wildlife Services, who conduct all the investigations.  

"The USDA Wildlife Service is the only group who can confirm the kill for compensation," says Steuber. "You don't need to call you state fish and wildlife department—call USDA Wildlife Services in your state. They will interview the resource owner, travel to the site and conduct an investigation, performing a complete necropsy. The animal will be skinned from nose to hoof. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell because predators are also scavengers. Say coyotes kill a calf, but a grizzly bear came along and took it over. Or sometimes wolves will kill a cow and a grizzly will take it over. Maybe the animal died of natural causes, then the wolves got it and then the grizzly came along. It really is quite an art and science to identification." 

Other predators include mountain lions/cougars, black bears and birds of prey. 

Depredation by birds such as ravens or eagles tends to be localized, and is more common in high-density situations, such as calving pens. According to Steuber, birds tend to prey on very young calves, often while it's being born not only killing the calf but doing extensive damage to the cow. 

There are ways to try to mitigate losses. More sheep producers are bringing their ewes into a lambing shed, resulting in a reduction in predator control. This especially saves the animals from depredation by eagles and ravens. Steuber says if you can keep newborn calves close to home until they are two to three months old, it helps reduce predation. If possible, bringing the animals into a night pen can help. Herders can keep predators at bay, as can guard dogs.  Guard dogs can be very effective against coyotes, but are less effective against wolves.  

"We just completed a study on different breeds of guard dogs that are effective against wolves," says Steuber.  

The agency is looking at an electric fence system called turbo fladry—an electric fence with flags on it— in the northwest part of Montana. "It's novel and different, and wolves are afraid of it. "Of course, when the novelty wears off, the wolves may then approach the fence, but it's electrified. We're hoping that will reinforce the wolves staying away and give very young animals time to mature." 

"Last year, we put fladry out on nine properties with assistance from some wildlife groups," says Steuber. "This is for use with small 40-60-acre pastures. It's not practical for large pastures, as it costs $3,000 per mile. However, you can use it year after year. You can get about 3-4 years out of the flags and wire, but the posts and solar charger go longer. We're seeing success with this." 

Judge dismisses Bundy case: Charges dropped, Cliven, Ammon, Ryan go home

Judge Gloria Navarro of the Nevada District Court dismissed “with prejudice” the case against Cliven Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and Ryan Payne. This means federal prosecutors will not have the option to reopen or retry the case. The Bundy men are free. As of about 1 p.m. today, Cliven was already on his way to the ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada.

Ryan Payne will now travel to Oregon to await trial for charges related to the Malheur Refuge protest that he, the Bundys and others staged in 2016. While all other participants in that takeover were found innocent, Payne pled guilty and continues to await trial.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, late last month, said he was calling for an investigation into the government’s handling of the case – including multiple instances of mishandling of evidence.

The investigation will probably be conducted by investigative attorneys, said Roger Roots who serves on Cliven Bundy’s legal team. While there is no way of knowing how long the investigation will last, the investigators will be looking at then-acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre’s brady violations. Myhre, who was appointed acting U.S. attorney by President Trump about a year ago, was recently replaced because his one-year appointment had ended.

Ryan Bundy spoke with Tri-State Livestock news after Navarro’s announcement today.

“We’re not surprised by the judge’s decision. It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “We knew we were not guilty of these crimes, we knew that the truth would be revealed.”

Judge Navarro, who from the beginning prevented the defense from talking about the First Amendment or the Second Amendment or the BLM’s snipers, and many other topics, showed bias against the Bundy family early on, Ryan Bundy said.

“It’s terrible, judges are supposed to be neutral but she was decidedly on the side of the government. I believe it is that way in most cases. The government has a 98 or 99 percent conviction rate. Many judges are past prosecutors and they have the mindset that everyone is guilty.”

Bundy said he doesn’t think that the judge necessarily believes in the innocence of the Bundy family but that “the truth was out so plainly that she could not deny it. She couldn’t rule any other way without being in gross misconduct. She had to protect herself.”

It was discovered in December that the prosecution violated the “Brady rule” at least seven times, by willfully withholding evidence that it should have shared with the defense.

Bryan Hyde, a reporter with “Who’s Next” news reported that the judge said the prosecution, led by Steven Myhre acted in ways that were “especially egregious,” “grossly shocking,” and she also talked about “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct,” “reckless disregard,” and more. She said the only fair recourse was not to have another trial but to dismiss it because it involved a serious constitutional violation and there was a need to preserve judicial integrity and prevent future misconduct on the part of the government.

The judge was referring not only to the fact that evidence was withheld, but the blatantly arrogant way with which it was withheld, said Hyde.

Ryan Bundy said that he had been out of prison, albeit with an ankle bracelet to track his movement, since mid-November but that his father Cliven had not been released until just today. “He already ditched me,” Ryan said of Cliven.”He’s ready to get home.”

Ryan, who ranches with his father (some of the children, including Ammon, no longer live or work on the ranch), does not fear the federal government or any future attempts to collect money.

“We own the rights. That’s what we’ve been saying. Grazing fees are a fabrication of the federal government. They don’t own the land. We aren’t going to make a contract with the federal government. Why would we pay a grazing fee?” he asked.

“Why do any ranchers pay grazing fees? Why don’t they stand stand upon the rights that they have and cancel the contracts with the federal government? The land belongs to each state and her people. Read the constitution,” he said.

Ryan Bundy said he and his family do not own the dirt but they own the grass. “We don’t claim ownership to the land, we claim ownership the feed that grows upon it, and of course the water. Feed without water is no good and water without feed is no good.”

He said they also own the improvements they have financed on the BLM land.

Ryan and Cliven Bundy intend to make a visit to the local sheriff’s office soon, maybe tomorrow (Jan. 9). “We’d like to talk to him about him doing his job,” Bundy said.

Ryan looks forward to enjoying his family’s company later today.

Charges against the Bundy men ranged from conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede and injure a federal officer to use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and interstate travel in aid of extortion.

The indictments are not directly related to money the Bundy family owes the federal government for grazing Bureau of Land Management land. The charges stemmed from a “standoff” in April of 2014 when the BLM attempted to gather Cliven Bundy’s cattle and the Bundy family along with hundreds of supporters from around the country protested the government’s removal of family’s cattle from the ranch.

The BLM said they were gathering the cattle to sell them, to settle a debt they said the Bundys owed for several years of unpaid grazing “fees” on BLM land. The BLM turned the cattle loose and left the Bundy ranch after the actions escalated to an armed “standoff” between federal agents and Bundy supporters, many of which were armed on both sides.

 

Judge rules mistrial in Bundy case

Judge Gloria Navarro sent the jury home and declared a mistrial in the Bundy "standoff" case involving Cliven, Ammon, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne and several others. The judge said she believes the prosecution willfully withheld evidence about BLM snipers and marksmen, surveillance cameras, logs and maps, threat assessments regarding the Bundys, and more said reporter Brian Hyde. In each of these cases, the government, in the judge's opinion, willfully withheld information that weakened the defense's case. The judge also commented that there was too much potential prejudice for the trial to be fair. The prosecution may still decide to re-try the case.

Attorney Roger Roots who serves on Cliven's defense team said that Cliven remains incarcerated. Although he was offered pre-trial release at the end of November, he declined, and she rescinded the offer. Roots said the Cliven does not want to be released with any conditions such as an ankle bracelet, etc., and the judge is not willing to release him without conditions.

While a second trial is set to begin Feb. 26, there is also a possibility that there will not be another trial.

In the case of a mistrial, the prosecution can decide whether or not to initiate another trial.

Roots expects the judge to dismiss the case. He said that the attorneys on both sides were given until Dec. 28th to provide briefs to the judge to argue for dismissal "with prejudice" or "without prejudice."

"The defense will be arguing that the whole thing needs to be dismissed with prejudice and it should be over after all of these violations," said Roots.

If the judge dismisses "with prejudice," the case is closed, and can't be re-tried, but if she dismisses "without prejudice," the indictment is dismissed, but the prosecution could initiate a new trial with the same charges.

The briefs will be discussed in the courtroom on Jan. 8, along with a hearing on a motion by the Las Vegas Review Journal to open up all of the sealed documents and transcripts of all of the sealed hearings, said Roots.

The attorneys and defendants have been under a gag order for the secret hearings secret orders, which is highly unusual, said Roots. It appears that from now forward the judge will not allow as much secretive activity. "The judge more or less ruled that from now on everything should be in a public document. I think the judge has been under a little pressure because she'd been doing so much behind the scenes that the public hasn't been able to see what's going on in the last month."

Roots said the case was declared a mistrial based on a number of "Brady violations" or instances of the prosecutors – federal attorneys – withholding evidence that could have been used to prove the defendants innocent.

He said Ryan Bundy alleges that there is information being withheld that would prove that the BLM tried to eliminate Cliven's water rights in 2008. "The Brady violations that the judge found are just the tip of the iceberg and there are more coming down the pike that are even more embarrassing for the government," said Roots.

Bundy case declared mistrial

Judge Gloria Navarro sent the jury home and declared a mistrial for the Bundy “standoff” case involving Cliven, Ammon, Ryan Bundy and several others. The judge said she believes the prosecution willfully withheld evidence about BLM snipers and marksmen, surveillance cameras, logs and maps, threat assessments regarding the Bundys, said reporter Brian Hyde. In each of these cases, the government, in the judge’s opinion, willfully withheld information that weakened the defense’s case in her opinion, he reported, and said that the judge had commented that there was too much potential prejudice for this to be a fair trial. The prosecution may still decide to re-try the case.

 

From Carol Bundy, posted on Bundy Ranch Facebook page:

Today our prayers were heard and that the current trial against my husband, sons and other defendants was declared a mistrial. We wanted a dismissal but are grateful that the truth is getting out. We are a step closer to freedom.

Although the case is not over and there will continue to be lots of legal back and forth I needed to thank you, on behalf of our entire family for your prayers and support.

You stood with my family when it would have been easier to look the other way. You shared our message so the media eventually had to begin covering the truth.

It's been almost two years since my husband has been home, had a home cooked meal and was able to wear his cowboy hat. I'm hopeful that soon we'll be able to enjoy those simple things that so many times we simply took for granted.

I consider you family.

Merry Christmas,

Carol Bundy

 

Bundy Trial: Jury sent home for now

Yesterday, Dec. 11, Judge Gloria Navarro sent jurors home for several days to give herself, the defense the time to gather evidence it has been withholding.

According to Brian Hyde, who has reported on the trial from the beginning, reported that Judge Navarro said in the courtroom that the jury will be out until at least Dec. 20 because of several alleged instances of the prosecution withholding evidence.

Roger Roots, who serves on Cliven Bundy's defense team, said that this case is being handled very strangely and that appears that it could be "heading toward being dismissed on prosecutorial misconduct."

In his experience, just one "Brady Violation" or instance of the defense withholding evidence from the prosecution in enough to have a trial "thrown out" or declared a mistrial. Roots said that the prosecution – in this case the federal government's attorney team – is always required to provide to the defense any exculpatory evidence, or evidence that could help prove the defendant innocent of the charges, even if the evidence is not requested by the prosecution.

The judge, on Dec. 11 acknowledged seven "Brady Violations."

Judge Navarro has, throughout the multiple trials of the Bundy standoff participants, denied the defense the right to talk about self defense, the first amendment, the second amendment or even to mention the word "Constitution" in her courtroom.

Three of the main instances of the federal government's attorneys withholding evidence are these:

1. The prosecution made claims that the Bundy family's recollection of snipers surrounding their ranch was false. But the defense presented evidence proving that indeed, snipers were present on the ranch.

2. The prosecution claimed that the FBI wasn't involved in the roundup of the cattle but the defense proved that the FBI and an anti-terrorism SWAT team was on their ranch prior to the cattle roundup.

3. The prosecution said that the government did not place surveillance technology on the Bundy ranch but the defense showed that this, too was false.

"There are no less than seven alleged Brady violations which are instances of the prosecution withholding evidence that could have been provided to the defense ahead of this time," said Hyde.

Hyde said that the judge mentioned the word "mistrial," but that her uttering the word was in no way a sure sign of a mistrial, but that could be a possibility.

"The judge has seen enough of a problem that she's sent the jury home until at the 20th. We don't even know of they will be back on the 20th," he said.

Roots explained that if the judge decides the trial won't continue, she could declare a mistrial or a dismissal.

If she calls a mistrial, the prosecution could decide to walk away from the case, or to reopen it. If they reopen it they can do so using the same indictments.

The judge has two options when declaring a dismissal – "with prejudice" or "without prejudice."

According to Roots, if the judge declares it "with prejudice," the prosecutors are not allowed to revive the case but if it is declared "without prejudice," that means the defendants could be retried.

Roots also said that Judge Navarro has called for more "secret hearings" – at least four – in this trial than he's ever seen before. Most of the secret hearings have been in regard to the former BLM staffer who called for and oversaw the cattle roundup – Dan Love, who has since been fired by the BLM after it was discovered that he was using the power of his position improperly.

On Dec. 4 the AP reported that the remaining Bundy standoff participants had been granted pretrial release – and that all of them are now allowed to be out of prison during the trial.

Mel Bundy, Dave Bundy, Joseph O'Shaughnessy and Jason Woods were the final four given pretrial release.

Bundy family patriarch Cliven Bundy has chosen to remain in prison to call attention to the issue until it is resolved, he said. Roots said that although Judge Navarro gave Cliven the opportunity for pre-trial release she later rescinded it.

“Get off my Lawn” Interview with Carrie Stadheim

Tri-State Livestock News editor Carrie Stadheim addresses the monument shrinkage, the Bundy issue and the Hammonds’ imprisonment with Gavin McInnes on his show, “Get off my Lawn.”


Stewards of the Land: Ranchers, Livestock and Federal Lands
Editor’s Note: We have compiled a list of all the articles we have published, as well as a timeline of the events, surrounding the Bundy Standoff and other incidents relating to government control of public lands such as the Hammond Fire Trial and the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Click here to read more. 

Bundy trial upset: Judge dismisses jury for days to meet with defense and prosecution

Yesterday, Dec. 11, Judge Gloria Navarro sent jurors home for several days to give herself, the prosecution and the defense time to sort out several issues.

According to Brian Hyde, who has reported on the trial from the beginning, reported that Judge Navarro said in the courtroom that the jury will be out until at least Dec. 20 because of several alleged instances of the prosecution withholding evidence.

Judge Navarro has, throughout the multiple trials of the Bundy standoff participants, denied the defense the right to talk about self defense, the first amendment, the second amendment or even to mention the word “Constitution” in her courtroom.

Three of the main instances of the federal government’s attorneys withholding evidence, according to Hyde are these:

1. The prosecution made claims that the Bundy family's recollection of  snipers surrounding their ranch was false. But the defense presented evidence proving that indeed, snipers were present on the ranch.

2. The prosecution claimed that the FBI wasn’t involved in the roundup of the cattle but the defense proved that the FBI and an anti-terrorism SWAT team was on their ranch prior to the cattle roundup.

3. The prosecution said that the government did not place surveillance technology on the Bundy ranch but the defense showed that this, too was false.

“There are no less than seven alleged Brady violations which are instances of the prosecution withholding evidence that could have been provided to the defense ahead of this time,” said Hyde.

Hyde said that the judge mentioned the word “mistrial,” but that her uttering the word was in no way a sure sign of a mistrial, but that could be a possibility.

“The judge has seen enough of a problem that she’s sent the jury home until at the 20th. We don’t even know of they will be back on the 20th,” he said.

On Dec. 4 the AP reported that the remaining Bundy standoff participants had been granted pretrial release – and that all of them are now allowed to be out of prison during the trial.

Mel Bundy, Dave Bundy, Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Jason Woods were the final four given pretrial release.

Bundy family patriarch Cliven Bundy has chosen to remain in prison to call attention to the issue until it is resolved, he said.

 

White House plans to reduce National Monument designations in Utah, restoring public lands grazing

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Public Lands Council applauded the White House's plan to reduce the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The decision – which follows an extensive review of monument designations by the Department of Interior – is a clear win for rural communities who have suffered the consequences of egregious federal overreach.

"Previous administrations abused the power of the Antiquities Act, designating huge swaths of land as national monuments without any public input or review," said Dave Eliason, president of the Public Lands Council. "Rural communities in Utah and across the West have paid the price. Sweeping designations locked up millions of acres of land with the stroke of a pen, undermining local knowledge and decimating rural economies."

The President's decision means that traditional uses of the land, including livestock grazing, will be restored on public land in Utah.

"We are grateful that today's action will allow ranchers to resume their role as responsible stewards of the land and drivers of rural economies," said Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "Going forward, it is critical that we reform the Antiquities Act to ensure that those whose livelihoods and communities depend on the land have a voice in federal land management decisions."

Ranchers who hold grazing permits on public land do vital work that benefits public land including the improvement of water sources, conservation of wildlife habitat, and maintenance of the open space that Americans enjoy. Limitless power to make massive designations under the Antiquities Act poses a serious threat to that noble mission and rich heritage.

Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy given prison release, Cliven declines. Trial continues

November 29, 2017 – The Bundy Ranch Facebook page and Fox5 Vegas reported today that Judge Gloria Navarro has granted pretrial release to Cliven Bundy and Ammon Bundy.

The Bundy Ranch made the following comment on its Facebook page: “This does NOT mean the trial is over. The Court Order allows Cliven and Ammon Bundy the right to go to a court approved ‘home’ during the pendency of their trial.”

According to the Bundy Ranch Facebook page, Cliven declined the release and will remain incarcerated.

Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy are on trial in U.S. District Court for their role in the “Bunkerville Standoff” wherein the BLM gathered Bundy cattle with the intention of selling the cattle.

Opening statements began Nov. 14.

While all 3 men have been in prison for nearly two years without bond, Ryan was released from prison earlier this month but remains on trial for conspiracy, extortion and more.

Bryan Hyde who has been providing video updates from Las Vegas on the Facebook page Who’s Next, said Judge Gloria Navarro declared a “sealed session” this morning and dismissed everyone but the defendants, their counsel and the prosecution. “What we are understanding is that the information that came forward during that hearing is likely what precipitated this reversal on the part of judge Gloria Navarro. Just 10 days ago she was saying that Cliven and Ammon were too dangerous.” Hyde said that in the hearing, the issue of the government prosecutors possibly withholding evidence was discussed, which may have precipitated the pretrial release of the Bundy men.

Hyde also said there are rumors that co-defendant Ryan Payne may be released soon.

Hyde went on to describe the high level of security that has surrounded Cliven throughout the trial. “When they move him from the courthouse to the detention center, it’s a five or six car caravan with lights, and a helicopter overhead. It’s a big show of security as if these are very dangerous men.”

The trial continues tomorrow and is expected to go on for several months.

Editor’s note – this story was updated Nov. 30.