lewrockwell.com / By Roger I. Roots, J.D., Ph.D. / October 28, 2016
Just days ago, I reported on the federal trial of the “Malheur 7” (Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, Jeff Banta, David Fry, Neil Wampler and Ken Medenbach,) in Portland, Oregon. I was privileged to have a front-row seat at the trial as a volunteer paralegal and legal researcher for Ryan Bundy, who represented himself throughout the proceedings.
Almost everyone who followed the “Oregon Bundy case” predicted convictions all around. A dozen co-defendants pled guilty before the trial began. Virtually every attorney I spoke with expressed the sentiment that defending the accused was a lost cause. Coverage of the case in Oregon’s largest circulating newspapers presented the case wholly from a prosecution perspective. My inbox contains more than one email urging me to abandon my efforts to help the defense.
As I sat at the table between Ryan and the Ammon Bundy team throughout the six-week trial I was able to discern that evidence at the trial was diverging sharply from the prevailing narrative outside the courthouse. The defendants were accused of conspiring to prevent employees of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management from performing their duties at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural eastern Oregon. Yet federal prosecutors failed to produce a single piece of evidence of any specific threat aimed at a USFWS or BLM employee.
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