A federal appeals court has put a roadblock in front of the government’s attempt to appeal a district judge’s decision to throw out its case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
Bundy and other family members were charged after an armed standoff at their ranch over grazing fees the government claimed they had not paid. The government confiscated some of the family’s cattle, supporters from across the nation gathered and the standoff ensued. The feds eventually backed down.
But when the government put Bundy and others on trial for their actions, the case collapsed.
The Bundys’ lawyer, Larry Klayman, has written about the DOJ’s actions, in his WND columns as well as on the Cliven Bundy Legal Defense Fund site.
He said it took “chutzpah” for the government to appeal the dismissal of the case by Judge Gloria Navarro, who, he said, was “no friend of Cliven Bundy, his family and the armed peaceful protesters who stood down a tyrannical government at Bunkerville in 2014.”
Klayman said: “Navarro, who was recommended to the bench by Sen. ‘Dirty’ Harry Reid and nominated by President Barack Hussein Obama, and whose hometown paper, the Las Vegas Review Journal, had called a ‘friend’ of the prosecutors, Steven Myhre, Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed, all Deep State holdovers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, did not out of the goodness of her cold heart dismiss the indictment, with prejudice, thereby cutting short the jury trial. The judge could have not cared less about doing the ‘right thing.’ Rather, not wanting to go down with a sinking ship, Navarro had no choice, as the early days of the Bundy trial exposed wholesale lying and obstruction of justice not only by the FBI, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a cover-up by the prosecutors themselves, which resulted in them dishonestly burying exculpatory evidence. If the case had gone to the jury, they would have most certainly entered a verdict of acquittal for Cliven and his sons, Ryan and Ammon, as well at other defendants.”
He charged that “in a paramilitary raid the henchmen of the BLM, assisted by the FBI and the prosecutors, sought to take over their ranch, seize their cattle and put them out of business on land the family had ranched for nearly 150 years. And, if this were not enough, BLM and FBI goons threatened the Bundys with death if they did not accede to the federal government’s demands. When the Bundys held their ground, the feds violently assaulted Cliven’s sister Margaret, throwing her to the ground, tased his sons and killed scores of cattle, burying them in a secret mass grave.”
Klayman continued: “The likely reason for this: Reid and his equally unethical son Rory, a downtown Las Vegas Mafia-connected lawyer, were reportedly attempting to not just seize Cliven’s cattle and take over his ranch, but also sell off the Bundys’ grazing rights to Chinese environmental interests, likely with kickbacks to the Reids from the Chinese buyers.”
He said he wants to get whistleblower Larry Wooten on the record for the appeal.
The 9th Circuit, in a new statement on the case, gave a number of instructions, including appointing counsel for Ryan C. Bundy.
But it also refused the government’s submission of an oversized brief, at 16,634 words. The limit is 14,000, and the government was ordered to submit a new one.
Klayman took the opportunity to move to supplement the record with the testimony of Wooten, whose statements had not been incorporated.
He suggested the appeals court return the case to the lower court, which likely would end the case.
In his motion, Klayman points out that Wooten is a former BLM investigator turned whistleblower who wrote a report detailing the apparently unethical actions of federal agents against the Bundys.
“Mr. Wooten details a pattern and practiced of disturbing behavior by federal agents, carefully calculated to inflict maximum damage, and even death, on Mr. Bundy and his family, as well as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada, Mr. Steven Phyre’s policy of ‘preferred ignorance’ when it came to potential information from the federal land agency that would have been helpful to the Bundy case.”
The judge’s decision to drop the case with prejudice because of misconduct appeared to be supported in Klayman’s motion.
He wrote: “Among the disturbing revelations set forth by Mr. Wooten include (1) BLM Supervisory agents repeatedly mocking and degrading Mr. Bundy, his family, and his co-defendants in an ‘amateurish carnival atmosphere’ that displayed ‘clear prejudice’ against the Bundys personally and their Mormon faith; (2) federal agents bragging about roughing up Mr. Bundy’s son, Dave, and violently grinding his face into the ground; (3) BLM agents failing to turn over required discover evidence to the prosecution team that was helpful to defendants; (4) top agents ‘instigating’ the monitoring of jail phone calls between the defendants and their wives; (5) SSA Dan P. Love, the lead BLM agent conducting the ill-fated paramilitary raid on the Bundy ranch, intentionally ignoring direction from the U.S. attorney’s office and his superiors ‘in order to command the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible;’ (6) SSA Love having a ‘Kill Book’ as a trophy where he ‘bragged about getting three individuals in Utah to commit suicide’; and (7) that a secure command post at FBI headquarters in Las Vegas of an ‘Arrest Tracking Wall,’ where photos of Cliven Bundy and co-defendant Eric Parker were marked with an ‘X’ over them.”
Klayman said that when Wooten pointed out the misbehavior, he was summarily removed from the case and threatened.
In fact, he became aware that his supervisor “was already aware of the issues, participated in, or instigated the misconduct himself.”
Klayman told the appeals court: “This is truly an ‘extraordinary circumstance,’ as Judge Navarro and the district court dismissed the superseding indictment against appellees due to gross abuse of process and prosecutorial misconduct within even the benefit of Mr. Wooten’s testimony.”