It will come as no surprise to many people that US District Judge Gloria Navarro today threw out all charges against Cliven Bundy “with prejudice”, meaning they can never be re-filed.
Navarro ruled a mistrial in the Bundy case last month after prosecutors “willful[ly]” withheld exculpatory evidence favorable to the four men on trial: Cliven Bundy, his two sons and one other person. The judge found that prosecutors had violated the defendant’s civil rights and violated federal law by hiding evidence from the court.
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The Department of Justice, under order from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is currently investigating the federal prosecutors involved in the 2017 Bundy trial for misconduct.
Prosecutors, led by Myhre, dismissed several claims from Bundy attorneys that evidence was being hid from the court during the trial.
The defense claimed FBI snipers and surveillance were monitoring the Bundy household prior to the 2014 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) raid to remove the rancher’s cattle from federal land after decades of unpaid grazing fees. Cliven Bundy sent out a plea for help based on the snipers’ presence, prompting dozens of armed militiamen to meet at the ranch.
Prosecutors said snipers were not involved, called the claim “fantastical” and the defendants’ request for the evidence, a “fishing expedition.” However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office possessed video evidence the entire time, The Oregonian reports.
Prosecutors also withheld federal assessments that found the Bundy family was not likely to be violent, but only “get in your face.” Other federal assessments of the BLM revealed the agency was targeting the Bundy family, “trying to provoke a conflict.”
Defense attorneys asked federal prosecutors to hand over Inspector General reports on BLM agent Dan Love, who directed the agency’s raid on the Bundy ranch. Love was fired from the agency in September for corruption and unethical behavior.
There’s more at the link.
So far, so good. Now, I want to see every one of the Bureau of Land Management agents and supervisors, and every one of the prosecutors, who lied, misled the court, hid evidence, and generally tried to set up Cliven Bundy to take the fall for their misconduct, tried on as many charges as can be laid at their door. Furthermore, I’d like to see them sentenced to at least as much jail time as Mr. Bundy would have received if he’d been found guilty as a result of their machinations.
Well done to Mr. Bundy’s defense team for sticking to their guns; and very well done to Judge Navarro, for refusing to be intimidated and sticking up for the rule of law. It’s about time!