Federal officers should be in jail over this

I’m sure many readers will be familiar with yesterday’s ruling in the Bundy case.

A federal judge on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the criminal case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and three others for their role in a 2014 armed standoff with U.S. government agents, and rebuked prosecutors for withholding evidence from the defense.

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro told federal prosecutors they had willfully violated evidence rules in failing to turn over pertinent documents to the defense, adding that “the failure is prejudicial” to ensuring a fair trial.

. . .

In a stinging rebuke on Wednesday, Navarro said prosecutors knew or should have known of the existence of memos from Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that might have been helpful to the defense.

Those memos and other documents, some 3,300 pages in all, were not turned over until well after an Oct. 1 deadline, and then only after repeated efforts by Bundy’s defense counsel, Navarro said.

Defense attorneys have long argued the Bundy family felt threatened by government “snipers” positioned on a hill above their ranch.
Navarro set a retrial date for Feb. 26, 2018, but whether a new trial will occur is uncertain. Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre said prosecutors have yet to decide whether to pursue the case. Even if they do, defense lawyers will argue for the charges to be dismissed altogether at a hearing set for Jan. 8.

There’s more at the link.

Every Federal law enforcement officer involved swore the same oath I did:

I [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

If they swore that oath, but then violated it in the ways Judge Navarro has ruled that they did . . . their oath can’t have meant much to them.  I think every one of them who betrayed it so disgracefully should face jail time – at least as much jail time as they were seeking for the defendants in this case.  Nothing less would be adequate punishment.



  1. Peter, I took the same oath as a freaking IRS Temporary worker. I still feel I'm bound to it. These law enforcement types who ignore it? LOCK THEM UP and throw away the key.

    Of course, my morality is from a different age. Probably closer to Xenophon and the ancients. I think oaths *MEAN SOMETHING*.

  2. Peter, it's good to see that big outfits like Reuters and the WSJ are covering the story, but the best reporting has been from Maxine Bernstein at oregonlive.com.

  3. Judge Navarro declared a mistrial not to serve justice but to preclude the convictions the feds insist on being overturned on appeal. This is a "Mulligan", a redo. The feds get to regroup and then continue their persecution of the Bundy clan.
    Justice has nothing to do with this decision. The decision was made to benefit the state.

  4. When was the last time a fed was ever held accountable for violating his oath or killing an innocent American especially in a high profile case that actually mattered? Oaths don't matter.
    Truth doesn't matter.
    Justice doesn't matter.
    The Constitution, in the words of our own alcoholic, coked up and Prozaced to the gills Dear Leader aka George W Bush, "It’s just a g*dd#mned piece of paper!” and thus doesn't matter.
    The people exist to serve the State and the Corporate Oligarchy. The courts are little more than theater to enforce and legitimize their control.

  5. This is the second mistrial in this case.

    This time, not only was there the Brady violation, but if I am reading the coverage correctly the prosecutor stated in court that there were no snipers etc. The whistleblower documents apparently refute that. How completely I don't know, and I am not a lawyer, but my impression is that if a lawyer, even a prosecutor, is proven to have lied in her court, a judge tends to get upset.

    And according to Reuters, Jeff Sessions is having "an expert in the department’s discovery obligations … examine the case and advise as to the next steps"

  6. Okay, I did some quick research. The question I ask was, "What is the penalty for violating your Federal Oath of Office?" While it has been codified (Title 5 › Part III › Subpart B › Chapter 33 › Subchapter II › § 3331) I'm not seeing where anybody has been prosecuted for it. So, these people are basically going to get off Scot-free for what amounts to, in yours and my mind, treason.

    What am I missing here?

  7. Unfortunately, this sort of conduct is normal for federal prosecutors. We see it reported all over. The prosecutors, unlike the citizens, have the virtually infinite checkbook of the federal government, which they must think isn't a big enough advantage. As long as they get a "stinging rebuke" – also known as a "sternly worded letter" – and not jail time, prosecutorial misconduct will remain common.

  8. Even at the local level, prosecutors play all kinds of dirty tricks. Knew of a young man that got busted on trumped up felony drug charges to try and make him turn rat on some very dangerous drug dealers. When he refused, the dirty tricks started. No less than four continuances requested at the scheduled time so that it maximized the legal costs to the defendant. The POS prosecutor cost the family $15k in legal costs, the judges allowed the games, and when the family ran out of money, they had to agree to a crappy plea deal. There is no justice. I pray the Bundy's get out of this with their skins and their land.

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