Prosecutors against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy willfully withheld exculpatory evidence in his trial, prompting U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro to dismiss the case against him “with prejudice.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for an investigation of prosecutors involved. Reports indicate several missteps by the Bureau of Land Management as well as the prosecutors in handling evidence that would have favored the Bundys.
The defense claimed FBI snipers and surveillance were monitoring the Bundy household prior to the 2014 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) raid to remove the rancher’s cattle from federal land after decades of unpaid grazing fees. Cliven Bundy sent out a plea for help based on the snipers’ presence, prompting dozens of armed militiamen to meet at the ranch.
Prosecutors said snipers were not involved, called the claim “fantastical” and the defendants’ request for the evidence, a “fishing expedition.” However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office possessed video evidence the entire time, The Oregonian reports.
Prosecutors also withheld federal assessments that found the Bundy family was not likely to be violent, but only “get in your face.” Other federal assessments of the BLM revealed the agency was targeting the Bundy family, “trying to provoke a conflict.”
There was a time when I believed those who felt the government was oppressive were being dramatic. Those days are long gone and this is a perfect example of a law abiding citizen being pushed to activities the government deemed illegal so they could burn him down.