Cliven Bundy, the embattled cattle rancher from Nevada – whose property was surrounded and stormed by armed Bureau of Land Management agents over the course of several days in 2014 – has filed a complaint in federal court against President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and others, alleging his constitutional rights were infringed.
The suit filed Tuesday and posted on Larry Klayman’s website names Obama, Reid, Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid – who is Harry Reid’s son – and U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro, accusing them of violating his constitutional rights and seeking a release from solitary confinement, as well as a dismissal of his indictment.
Cliven was arrested in February enroute to a wildlife refuge site, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, which had been taken over by his supporters. The gist of the long-running Bundy-BLM affair was the rancher’s alleged failure to pay more than $1 million in grazing fees and fines – something Bundy contested, saying the federal government didn’t rightly own the land.
The court filing stated in part: “Defendant Harry Reid’s hand-picked Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Neil Kornze, a longtime Reid aide, at the direction of Defendant Harry Reid ordered and sent the equivalent of federal storm-troopers to Plaintiff Bundy’s ranch to seize his and his family’s land and capture and/or harm his cattle, at the direction of Defendant Harry Reid. These so called federal agents proceeded to threaten the lives of Defendant Bundy and his family at gunpoint, abuse and kill their cattle, including burying bulls in secret mass graves, and assaulting and tasing various Bundy family members to force them off the land.”
The suit goes on to say the reason for the raid was to boot Bundy and his family from the property so federal authorities could sell it “for profit and/or kickbacks by and to Defendants Harry Reid and his son Rory Reid, a Las Vegas lawyer in a secret under the table deal, being then negotiated by Defendant Rory Reid on behalf of himself and his father.”
The complaint alleged the elder Reid, “acting in concert with defendants Rory Reid and Obama, each and every one of them, jointly and severally, issued what in effect were public threats to and made false defamatory statements about Defendant Bundy and his family to further his under the table negotiated deal to seize and sell the Bundy ranch and its chattels, including any remaining cattle, for profit and/or kickbacks from the purchaser, some of whom were reported to be communist Chinese.”
The court documents then refer to Reid’s public references of the Bundy family and supporters as “nothing more than domestic terrorists,” a statement that was widely reported by various media outlets back in April of 2014.
“Following the legal and constitutional stand-off, whereby plaintiff Bundy, his sons and other family members and supporters exercised their Second Amendment right of self-defense against the government, and succeeded in having the BLM agents and representatives leave the Bundy ranch unharmed, Plaintiff Bundy publicly equated his and his family’s situation to the plight of ‘Negroes’ in the old South, whereby they were enslaved by a tyrannical government as he and his family believed they were given the threats and violent attacks on his family members, his cattle and the Bundy’s supporters,” the court documents state. “He chose the word ‘Negro’ believing that this was a proper term for African-Americans, having looked up the word in Webster’s dictionary. He meant no disrespect and insult to African-Americans, particularly since he was equating his and his family’s plight with them. Indeed, the Reverend Martin Luther King referred to his people as ‘Negroes’ and he is recognized as the greatest African-American civil rights leader in American history.”
The suit then accuses Obama of “threatening, mocking and disparaging Plaintiff Bundy at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner on May 2, 2016, just days after the Plaintiff BUNDY’s successful standoff … [and making a] public statement, which while he couched it as humor, was not in fact humor but a threat to prosecute Defendant Bundy and his sons and other family members for the successful standoff. This despicable disrespectful mocking threat was made to further the false and threatening statements of Defendant Harry Reid.”
The suit claims Obama in 2016 worked with both the elder and younger Reids to “make good on his threat against Plaintiff Bundy and his sons and had the [Bundy] sons Ammon, Ryan, Dave and Mel Bundy, arrested and charged with criminal acts by and through his Justice Department, now under the auspices of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, for a peaceful but armed protest at a game reserve in Oregon, again over the BLM’s illegal and unconstitutional acts in attempting to seize land and chattels of fellow ranchers. The only one hared at this protest was a protester who was without cause shot and killed by a federal agent.”
Bundy in his suit then accused Obama of ordering “Lynch [to have Bundy] arrested at the Portland airport and charged and then indicted with 17 counts of criminal acts in Nevada and incarcerated in prison in solitary confinement, where he remains to this day,” and Bundy’s sons indicted for “their alleged criminal acts during the March/April 2014 standoff, in addition to the indictment in Oregon over their peaceful protest there.”
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And that indictment was ultimately assigned as a case to Navarro, who “was recommended for appointment to the federal bench by Defendant Harry Reid and then nominated by Defendant Obama,” the suit states.
Bundy’s 19-page court filing wraps with a request for compensatory and punitive damages “in excess of” $50 million and a demand for a jury trial to determine several constitutional issues.