A federal judge Monday threw out criminal charges against Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff, citing “flagrant misconduct” by prosecutors and the FBI in not disclosing evidence to the defense before and during trial.
“The government’s conduct in this case was indeed outrageous,” U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro ruled. “There has been flagrant misconduct, substantial prejudice and no lesser remedy is sufficient.”
The judge issued her ruling before a packed courtroom with nearly 100 spectators, as more than a dozen other spectators had to wait outside the courtroom doors. As Navarro dismissed the case, Cliven Bundy’s lawyer put his arm around his client. Supporters in the public gallery held hands, wiped tears from their eyes and hugged. One looked up and whispered, “Thank you Lord.”
The dismissal with prejudice, meaning a new trial can’t be pursued, marked an embarrassing nadir for the federal government, which now has failed to convict the Bundys in two major federal cases stemming from separate armed standoffs.
The second stunning victory for the Bundys and their followers may serve to bolster their fight against federal control of public land, but it’s not clear how their movement has fared. The three have spent most of the last two years in jail. Ammon Bundy owes at least $180,000 in legal fees in the Oregon case, and he said most of his national clients in his vehicle fleet service business left out of fear.
After the judge’s ruling, the senior Bundy…Read More