In getting up to speed on this story, recall the events in what came to be referred to as the “Oregon Standoff” case. “At issue was whether the court had the right to keep [Ammon] Bundy and his brother in custody since there were still facing state charges in Nevada.” In this case, the jury found all the defendants not-guilty on all charges.
Now we move to Nevada where Ryan Bundy is facing charges for which he will shortly be tried. The purpose of the recent hearing is to determine if he should be released from jail where he has been held for a year pending trial.
Ryan Bundy, accused of leading the 2014 standoff near his father’s ranch in Bunkerville, testified Tuesday that the charges detailed in the 16-count indictment against him describe the actions of federal agents who tried to impound his father’s cattle.
“The wrong people are in jail,” Bundy testified during an unusual, six-hour detention hearing at which the rancher’s son, who has been incarcerated for a year, argued for his release pending trial on extortion, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, and other charges resulting from the April 2014 confrontation.
The hearing began with a 90-minute statement from Bundy in which he declared America a “union of sovereign states,” and denounced a “totalitarian” government. It included hours of bickering between Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Myrhe and Bundy, who in deciding to testify subjected himself to cross-examination by the government. It ended — after tearful testimony from Bundy’s wife about his kindness — with Bundy playing a video about the standoff published by Alex Jones’s Infowars website.
U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley did not immediately rule on Bundy’s request for pretrial release, and said he would issue a written ruling later.
Mr. Bundy insists that it was the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that constituted the real aggressors in this case.
Bundy, who is representing himself, appeared in court Friday dressed in a blue prison jumpsuit and smiled at his wife and eight children sitting in the front row. Throughout the day, he insisted that Bureau of Land Management agents were the aggressors, prepared to “conduct battle” on a peaceful group of protesters. The standoff occurred after a court ordered the BLM to seize rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle as a result of unpaid grazing fees; amid armed protests, federal agents later released the cattle and left.
With reference to Second Amendment rights as well as the “militia,” Bundy argued the wrong people are in jail, and that he and others were acting in self-defense against an aggressive and unlawful attack by government agents.
Whether Mr. Bundy prevails or not remains to be seen. Clearly, this is just the sort of case that elements within the government would like to use to make a point to others with beliefs similar to Mr. Bundy. While it will take some time to sort out, it will be interesting to see what point will actually be made and by whom.
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal