Today’s coverage of the case against We the People, otherwise commonly known as The Bundy Trial, continues. Kelli Stewart gives a quick lunch update, followed by the same from John Lamb. Then, the after court update. No court tomorrow so John said he will do a noon live stream to catch up details from today’s session then.
Closing arguments continued today given by Ryan Bundy; TIffany Harris for Shawna Cox; Per C. Olson for David Fry; Robert Salisbury for Jeff Banta; Matt Schindler for Ken Medenbach; Lisa Maxfield for Neil Wampler.
Maxine Bernstein tweeted one of Ryan Bundy’s comments to the jury, “At some point the people have to insist the govt. is not our master , they are our servants.” As Maxine’s tweet confirms, Judge Anna Brown ONCE AGAIN forbade Ryan Bundy from quoting from the US Constitution. (See what those gold fringed flags really mean, folks?) “Judge sustained 2 objections, preventing Ryan B from reciting sections of the US Constitution to jurors.”
Ryan also said he found it ironic that the government that didn’t respond to their “redress of grievance” is now charging them with preventing federal officials from completing their duties. Ryan Bundy said it makes sense the government would want to put down the occupation because “it’s a threat to their power.” Despite being shot at numerous times, despite being shot myself, I still did not return fire,” Ryan Bundy said. “Only one side – the government – conspired to use violence.”, Ryan Bundy said.
Shawna Cox was not a leader as much as an administrative volunteer, stated her lawyer TIffany Harris. “It’s the government that picks and chooses who they will prosecute and on what charges.” Also that the refuge is a public place, the staff are public employees. Seated at their desks is a symbolic act.
Ken Medenbach’s lawyer, Matt Schindler, told the jurors that Medenbach has been protesting federal control of public land since Ammon Bundy was in high school, and David Fry was in diapers. Then, Schindler asked the jurors, “What more perfect place to stage a protest than a completely closed and empty refuge in the middle of nowhere? What are they going to do stand in a cow pasture? … the government’s lack of enforcement action reinforced the defendants’ beliefs that what they were doing was legitimate. ” It was also stated that Sheriff Ward shaking Ammon Bundy’s hand on January 7th was a photo op for Ward. Matt Schindler asked the jury, “If this was an armed criminal conspiracy why was Ammon Bundy allowed to go home, get a haircut in Burns and eat Chinese food?” “I just sat through five weeks of a trial about threatening federal employees without hearing a single threat,” Schindler said.
Per C. Olson, attorney for David Fry said the government charge against his client is almost as ‘improbable’ as how the Oregon standoff ended. He stated that David’s conspiracy charge “stretches reality.”
Jeff Banta, one of the final four, was said to be innocent because he hadn’t even met any of the defendants before January 25. Salisbury said, “Before LaVoy Finicum was killed, it was an occupation. After his death, it should have been called survival“ Evidence presented by the government against Jeff Banta contained Jeff’s attending the firearms “training” informant “Fabulous Fabio” conducted as part of his 3 day tour (sorry, couldn’t help it) at the refuge. Pictures of the firing range were used as photographic evidence by the Feds against Jeff Banta. So here’s where it gets shady as far as informants, or entrappers, as far as I’m concerned. I appreciate how Salisbury asked the jury, “Why didn’t the government tell the truth about Fabulous Fabio?” Indeed. There were more informants than defendants in this case.
Defense lawyer Lisa Maxfield said her client was the assistant cook at the refuge but pointed out that the lead cook was never charged. Maxfield said Neil Wampler never had a gun, didn’t destroy property or enter into any agreement to threaten employees; and that he was “being prosecuted because he has a big mouth.” She then pointed to a photo of Kevin Rhodes with an assault rifle on the road leading to refuge and said, “… but, he was never charged.”
And now for the Prosecution. AUSA Craig Gabriel gave the Prosecution’s rebuttal. He said many words, some of them possibly true. I’m just going to fair use Maxine’s tweets on this one and let the court observers fill in the rest. Mr. Gabriel - ‘this was not a redress, this was retaliation for what refuge workers & BLM had done to the Hammonds’, ‘This was a dangerous & armed standoff,’…’you saw the defiance,’ referring to Finicum’s traffic stop. Gabriel said case is not about the FBI or informants but about the defendants who relied on their armed guards to stay, and live on refuge. Conspiracy can have many objects , even legal ones but 1 was illegal to prevent USFWS OR BLM from coming to work. Adverse possession is not a defense to the crime, ‘it’s an admission to the crime.’ Gabriel said David Fry , at refuge from 1/8 to 2/11, was on video rifling thru artifacts w/ Finicum at refuge. …’by living there , by working there,’ he intended to prevent fed employees from returning. Once jurors find there was a conspiracy, statements of 1 impacts all others -’it’s as if they said it themselves.’ Gabriel said FBI wasn’t going to go up to heavily guarded refuge gate and ask the occupiers to go home. ‘The FBI was trying to avoid another Bunkerville.’ Even their hero, Sheriff Mack, thought this was a ‘misguided ‘ effort. Gabriel also said it was impractical for the defendants to suggest that the FBI just needed to show up and and ask them to leave.”
Kelli Stewart posted, “Court is adjourned. The jurors begin deliberation in the morning. We do not return until they have a verdict. They could have a verdict by the end of the day tommorrow but its not likely. They will not meet Friday so Monday will be the next chance. Gabrial dis closing rebuttal. He was aggressive and annoyed and agitated and pulled out all the stops. Pray.”
Judge Brown thanked jurors: ‘Your work is noted. It’s appreciated and it’s necessary…It’s extraordinarily important what you’ve done.’
Matt Schindler, attorney for Ken Medenbach.
Morgan Philpot, assisting in Ammon Bundy’s defense, posted this comment, “I’ve not yet commented about the trial that I am now engaged in as Defense Counsel for Ammon Bundy but I needed to post a paraphrase from Attorney Matt Schindler’s closing argument for Kenneth W Medenbach.
“This conspiracy case is different than those I’ve been in before. In those previous cases there has not been a constitutional dimension. I’ve never stood before a jury and mentioned the Constitution or Declaration of Independence, no one had to consider the 2nd Amendment. This case is different. There’s something that unifies all of those other people in those other cases; self-interest. For the life of me I cannot figure out the self-interest that was served by any of these defendants from serving in this protest; the protest against the death of rural America. This case is different.”
Indeed. It’s called love.
So there you go, listen to the reports from the real court observers. Court resumes tomorrow for the jurors who have been instructed to begin deliberation.
And now, we wait…
Kelli Stewart’s after court update -
Wikileaks Shows Hammond, Bundy, Malheur Minerals Sold by Clinton to Russia China – Judge Into Hedge Funds – /alternative/2016/10/wikileaks-shows-hammond-bundy-malheur-lands-sold-by-clinton-to-russia-china-judge-into-hedge-funds-3426020.html
John Lamb’s live streams can be found here https://www.facebook.com/john.lamb.16121
Kelli Stewart’s live streams can be found here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011813922844
Meanwhile, Judge Anna Brown’s petition for impeachment stands at 2662 and can be found here https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-impeach-judge-anna-j-brown