The Bundys are Headed Back to Court

Cliven Bundy Speaks out Prior to the Upcoming Hearing before the 9th Circuit

The criminal trial of Cliven Bundy will be back before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the coming months.(1) On January 8, 2018, Federal prosecutors were handed a humiliating dismissal with prejudice by Supervising Federal Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas, NV. Judge Navarro dismissed the case against Cliven Bundy and three other defendants, citing the prosecutors’ “flagrant misconduct.”

This surprise ruling brought the anticipated six-month trial to an abrupt end after a little more than fifteen days in front of the jury.

 

READ MORE ABOUT THE MISTRIAL NOT TOLD BY THE MEDIA

 

As I reported in my book, Cliven Bundy: American Patriot, in her mistrial ruling the month before her dismissal of the case, Judge Navarro: listed six types of evidence that she said prosecutors deliberately withheld before trial, including information about the presence of an FBI surveillance camera on a hill overlooking the Bundy ranch and information concerning issues outside the ranch, maps, an FBI log with entries about snipers, threat assessments that indicated the Bundy’s were not violent, and that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was trying to provoke a conflict by antagonizing the Bundy’s and their supporters.

She also said: “The failure to turn over such evidence violates due process” – and further, she pinned the misconduct on both the prosecution and the investigating agencies.

That seemed to have been the end of it. But the Prosecutors couldn’t let their humiliation stand and in 2019 they filed an appeal of the dismissal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – the most liberal court in the United States. Doubling down on their previous misconduct.In the appeal, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth White asserted that the government’s failure to provide these documents was only the result of: “simple inadvertence” or because prosecutors “weren’t aware they existed or couldn’t find them” or they “didn’t think they were relevant to the defendants’ case.” This appeal refers to “a handful of documents” in an obvious attempt to minimize the ruling.

 

 

Still in Jeopardy

The Bundy’s fate continues to remain in jeopardy almost six years after the alleged “Standoff” with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and several other federal agencies at Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014. The ruling by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has only a few possible outcomes.

 

First, the Ninth Circuit could let Judge Navarro’s dismissal stand and, in essence, would be the end of the case. In light of this decision, the prosecutors could appeal again to the United States Supreme Court; for the Supreme Court to even to hear the case is an extremely high bar to clear.
 
Second, the Ninth Circuit could simply send the case back to the Judge Navarro for another hearing, allowing her to decide if the prosecutors should be allowed a new trial. She is likely to deny this.
 
The final, and most likely result, is that the Ninth Circuit could change the dismissal from a Dismissal with Prejudice to a simple dismissal, which allows the prosecutors to refile the case and start again new. In this event, it is likely new charges would be incurred if the prosecution desired. The result of this decision could put the four defendants, Cliven, Ammon, Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne, at risk once again of decades in prison. It would also be a significant setback to any relief the three men who remain in prison, imprisoned as a result of their convictions months before the Bundy’s case was dismissed and misconduct brought to light.

 

Recently, I asked Cliven about this third and dreadful outcome,

“Well, we just need to trust God that it’ll be made right somehow down the line.” he said without a note of hesitancy in his voice. “I mean this fight on the 23rd is really between that judge and ‘em prosecutors. I have been considering not even going, except to see some good friends and supporters.”

Surprised by this, I replied, “Not going!?”

“Yeah, so far this court has never allowed me to make my true defense. I am grazing my cattle on Clark County land and the feds have no jurisdiction. So, why even concern myself with this here proceeding?”

“Except that you may end up in prison for the rest of your life if it goes bad.” I replied.

“Well, then maybe I can actually judicate the entire matter before a jury of my peers and get it settled. There’s a lot that never got heard in court. Things like the whistleblower's memo and our witnesses of what happened. I wouldn’t mind if all came out. Maybe we could make things right over the government stealing our property rights.”

Protest v. Standoff

In 2014, Cliven Bundy protested the lack of response by the Clark County Sherriff over the seizure and sale of his cattle by the Bureau of Land Management. What started out as a small protest of local friends and neighbors, quickly became a national cry of “ENOUGH!” as thousands of supporters descended upon a small community in Bunkerville, Nevada, after the BLM escalated a violent response toward the protesters in a series of events. From every corner of the country, many families—and a few private militia—arrived to stand with the Bundy family. Ultimately, this gathering lead to an armed confrontation, including the threats of violence by multiple government agencies against the protesters, even after the order to pull out of the operation was given from Washington and the return of the Bundy’s cattle.Cliven Bundy American Patriot | Cliven Bundy.net

Local law enforcement later expressed how truly dangerous the situation had become. “If you just have a backfire, somebody pops a firecracker, then it’s over. We’re done. We are going to lose that battle that day,” recollects then Undersheriff Lombardo.

Nearly two years later 19 men were swept up with federal indictments, landing each of them in federal holding for as much as 700 days before Judge Navarro saw through the Federal prosecutors’ misconduct and began to release the Bundy19, as they became known. But this release did not avert the damage done in two previous trials convicting two men, Todd Engel and Greg Burleson, to prison for 14 years and 68 years respectively. A third man, Jerry DeLemus, accepted a 7 year sentence under a plea bargain under duress. None of these defendants were aware of the deep misconduct by the prosecutors against the Bundy 19. As a result of the new revelations of misconduct, the three have each asked the Court to review their cases. Todd Engel’s case will be before the Ninth Circuit on March 23rd, the same day as Cliven Bundy’s and his co-defendants case. How Bundy’s case is decided will significantly impact those three men who remain incarcerated, but also could ultimately raise new charges against many of the other Bundy19 should a new trial be awarded to the prosecutors.

No matter how the court rules on the criminal trial, the civil judgements against Cliven Bundy and his alleged trespass cattle—still grazing on the range since their release after the 2014 impound attempt—could be renewed and another impound conducted.

The Bundy’s fight is long from over.

1. Court date was originally set for March 20th. It was postponed due to the Covid-19 virus shut down order.

About Michael Stickler

Mike is an author, radio host, ex-felon, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. He wrote his best-selling book, Cliven Bundy American Patriot after spending sixty days with Cliven in federal holding. Mike continues to write and speak regarding Life in the Red States and the Bundy saga. (MikeStickler.com)

Cliven Bundy American Patriot | ClivenBundy.net

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10 comments

  • Dont Ever Forget “LaVoy” a damn good man, who lost his life because of his support. Know this, i, and many others knew what we were up against & WOULD DO IT AGAIN

    Toni Lopez
  • I completely support you and your family! I think the standoff in 2014 was a good event to let the government know that “We the People” are not afraid to stand up for what is right!! I will be praying for you and your family!

    Gail Powers
  • until you guys make a stand as your Constitution states you can and you physically remove these tyrants out-of-office this means your Governor your chief of the Oregon State Police and the rest of her administration needs to be physically removed and thrown in jail when are you people going to do what you are required to do to protect your state and your rights how much longer are you going to sit around and let these people screw with it it’s time for you to make a stand and exercise your constitutional rights against these folks there is nothing illegal or immoral about standing for your Constitution grow a pair of balls and go do what you’re supposed to do as an American citizen Kate Brown and her entire administration must go down and must be apprehended jailed and tried for treason it’s your constitutional right and it’s your constitutional obligation people wake up!!!

    Ryan Ellis

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