Bundy Case Dismissed, Judge Orders Rancher Released

From left, Ammon Bundy, 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 in Las Vegas, in this Dec. 20, 2017, file photo.

By Published on January 8, 2018

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled Monday the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy would be dismissed “with prejudice,” and ordered the rancher set free after federal prosecutors willfully withheld exculpatory evidence during the 2017 trial.

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.

After the mistrial, Navarro set a Jan. 8 date to decide whether the case against Bundy would be retried or dismissed “with prejudice,” barring a retrial over the same charges.

Prosecutors requested the court grant another trial against the Bundys, calling their missteps and violations “inadvertent.”

“The Brady violations found by the court are regrettable and benefit no one,” Nevada’s Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre wrote in legal brief, according to The Oregonian. “But because the government neither flagrantly violated nor recklessly disregarded its obligations, the appropriate remedy for such violations is a new trial.”

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.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

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.

Prosecutors had dismissed the allegations and investigations of Love as an “urban legend,” but ended up handing over 500 pages worth of reports on Love in December, according to The Oregonian.

 

Follow Tim Pearce on Twitter.

Copyright 2018 Daily Caller News Foundation

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • fullerhonda

    Would someone tell me the difference between the above mentioned prosecutors and, say, Iranian or Venezuela despots? I know the time in prison was likely more comfortable, but other than that these government yahoos have the same mindset as the numerous despots through out the world. Despots United?

  • Paul

    great news!!

Inspiration
Don’t Let a Pit Become a Grave
James Robison
More from The Stream
Connect with Us