This was posted on Facebook on Ammon Bundy's page. Nov. 16, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
November 16, 2017
Re: USA v. Cliven Bundy Et Al (Update and Request for Additional Help)
If you've been watching social media, or some of the local news, you may have an idea of how things have been going since the start of trial with Cliven, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, as well as co-defendant Ryan Payne. This email is an insiders update - and also a request for additional help.
First and foremost, thank you so much for your past support and donation to Ammon Bundy's legal defense team! Without you we would not only have been unable to be here in Nevada, but we would not have accomplished all that has been accomplished in the last several weeks. So, again, thank you - you are making a difference.
For those who have made prior donations, we want to give you an insiders look at the progress that has been made within the last few weeks. In general, we feel very confident about our defense, and the work we've accomplished, and how the District Court of Nevada has responded so far. But, besides our general confidence, we want to give you some important details, including details that have not been apparent to court observers, the media, or social media viewers.
Insider Update Details
1. Joint Defense Work.
We have received a lot of questions about our work, and the work of other defense attorneys on the case. You should know that over the last several weeks there has been a marked increased in cohesiveness, cooperation and collaboration across the defense team. Ryan Payne is being represented by attorneys Ryan Norwood and Brenda Weksler of the Federal Defenders office here in Las Vegas, and they (and their office) have been tremendously helpful. They are some of the highest caliber attorneys any defendant could ask for, and they have invested far beyond just the interests of Ryan Payne, recognizing that "we are all in this together." Bret Whipple is representing Cliven, and immediately upon our team being fully present in Las Vegas, we started working closely with Bret and his staff, including Mike and Roger Roots, and several others. Bret has been instrumental over the last few weeks, and both he and Rick have visited with Cliven, have coordinated strategically, worked jointly to file motions, and prepare arguments, etc. Ryan Bundy is working on his own, but his stand-by counsel Maysoun Fletcher is a great addition to the legal team. Ryan has openly expressed his confidence and satisfaction with her assistance, and she has repeatedly gone the extra mile to help Ryan and the joint defense team. Dan Hill, Morgan Philpot and Rick Koerber are all working on Ammon's defense team, and over the last several weeks this work has been both demanding, and successful - for Ammon and the joint defense. Frankly, the cohesiveness of the joint defense is made possible by Ammon's defense team, and that should give you some satisfaction - because you have helped to make that possible.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Dan Love testimony.
Before trial started, the defense team had persuaded Judge Navarro to allow an evidentiary hearing on the government's alleged destruction of evidence. A motion to that end had originally been filed by Ammon's defense team last year, and new work by the FD office has re-opened the issue. All of the defendants participated in the hearing. For the first time, the defense was able to question former BLM Agent Dan Love, under oath. And what we learned was astounding and very helpful for the trial defense efforts going forward. We can't go into detail here, but that was an enormous gain.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Live Video Feed Camera.
Ryan Bundy had early filed a motion to get discovery information on a surveillance device that was positioned outside the Bundy home in April 2014. The government would not admit its existence, mocked Ryan, and refused to provide any information. During the last day of the evidentiary hearing (Friday, November 3, 2017) (discussed above - and after jury selection had been completed), wile the last witness testified several attorneys, Ryan Bundy, and especially Morgan Philpot asked questions that surprisingly confirmed the existence of the camera (admitted by the government employee witness) and the fact that it was a) run by the FBI, b) broadcasting live video feed to Dan Love's command trailer, and c) it had been in place for at least 4 days. This set off a chain of events that has been tremendously helpful to the defense.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Whipple's Motion to Dismiss.
As you probably know, the trial was supposed to begin with opening statements last Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Up to that point Ammon's legal team had been primarily working with all the rest of the defense in preparing for opening statements and cross-examination of initial witnesses. Bret Whipple (Cliven's attorney) however, had sent a letter to the government requesting more information about the live feed camera, and had filed a motion to dismiss the case for prosecutorial misconduct prohibited by the Fifth Amendment as explained in Brady v. Maryland . On Tuesday morning, with the jury waiting in the other room, just before opening statements, Mr. Whipple arose and made a passionate argument about the failure of the government to previously disclose the camera information, and the fact that the government had been involved in surveillance of the Bundy home for at least 4 days during the critical time covered by the indictment. All of the defense joined, and Judge Navarro agreed that the Court was concerned. The government prosecutors were clearly not happy with the result. Judge Navarro did not dismiss the case, but she ordered the trial continued for one week - and required that the government investigate its records and produce the requested information to the defense.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Info on November 7 and Nov 8.
While the defense team (minus Ryan since he was still in custody) met throughout the evening on Tuesday, November7, the government turned over critical - previously undisclosed information. After Morgan wrote (and all the defense attorneys signed) a detailed and strongly worded demand to the United States Attorneys Office, the additional disclosures continued throughout the week, and during a hearing on November 8, Judge Navarro ordered the government to produce even more information. We can't go into detail here, but it was significant and important and led to several of the events below.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Three More Hearings Before Trial
Once you crack open government misconduct, sometimes the crack keeps growing. The Judge scheduled three hearings for the week of the continuance. On November 8, there was a follow-up hearing on the government's misconduct and the camera information. On November 10, the Court set a hearing to re-open the question of whether the defendants should remain incarcerated during trial. On Nov. 13, there was a hearing on a seperate motion to dismiss based on Dan Love (which motion has been filed by Ryan Payne's attorneys, but was originally scheduled to be heard in December).
On Nov. 10, all of the defendants were given a time to argue for their release. It was looking hopeful and many friends, family and supporters came to the final hearing on that issue - Judge Navarro denied release to Ryan Payne, but appeared to be leaning towards releasing Ryan Bundy. But, the government made a series of last minute complaints about Ryan's alleged dangerousness based upon several prior encounters Ryan had with law enforcement, years ago. At the end of the day in a huge and bitter disappointment, the judge ruled that Ryan Bundy would still be detained. As far as Ammon Bundy goes - his defense team had burned the midnight oil and filed a detailed 18 page motion for his release. The government was caught off guard and asked for more time over the weekend to respond. It never did (they were obviously quite busy with other things as described below) and Ammon's issue was scheduled for Monday.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Weekend Discovery Re Ryan Bundy
Many people in Court during the November 10 detention hearings were shocked by Judge Navarro's last minute decision not to release Ryan Bundy. It wouldn't have been shocking except that throughout the day she seemed to be telegraphing that she was leaning in the direction of letting him out of detention. The government's last minute complaints about past conduct seemed un-credible. For example, the government claimed that Ryan had failed to disclose a prior arrest where he had been "tazed" by the police. The government also claimed that Ryan had been involved in Richfield, Utah incident that caused a disturbance of the peace, and showed him to be dangerous, etc., and the government argued that his discipline report while he has been incarcerated showed he was dangerous. None of this sat well with Ryan, his family and supporters - and it didn't sit well with the defense team. Several members of the defense team, including specifically went to work to help Ryan, since he was still in custody. Morgan made some Utah contacts, obtained the actual records in both the arrest and Richfield instances, and proved that government prosecutors had been outright lying to the Court. Ryan obtained the names of at least 4 guards that would testify favorably, and contradict the alleged "danger" he posed while in the jail.
1. Ryan Bundy's Release.
On Monday, November 13, even though he represents Ammon formally, Morgan sent a strong letter to the government telling them he had proof of the lies that had been told to the Court, and that if they didn't correct the record with the judge - he would. Well, they didn't - and he did. That all happened in sealed proceedings so we can't discuss the substance of what happened - except that as you all know, Ryan was granted release. Amazing! The sad part is that Ammon was denied release - but there is much more going on there, stay tuned for updates. We can't go into those details, yet.
1. Defense Gains and Positive Results - Additional Government Misconduct.
Over the weekend (November 11 and November 12) additional information was discovered that the government had previously been suppressing. Ammon and Cliven's defense teams had filed an updated motion to dismiss prior to Friday's hearing - and the government had been ordered to produce even more information. All of this related to exculpatory information that the government had kept back, proving that certain allegations in the indictment were factually - exactly false. Several additional motions were filed (these are under seal, and can't yet be discussed) but the hours of work that went into them - are significant, and the outcome could be very important because the issue is additional Brady v. Maryland style misconduct by government prosecutors.
10 - Opening Statements
In advance of the start of a new week, Rick visited for hours with Ammon and Ryan in the jail, Morgan prepared and gathered information (as you'll see below) and all of us met regularly, and strategized. After the hearing on Monday, and additional motions and more orders for the government to continue producing information, Tuesday arrived for opening statements. As everyone was arriving to Court, prosecutors sent out an email informing the defense team that it had re-read one of the extensive motions filed by Ammon's team, and admitted it needed more time before going to trial, to produce even more information, and review prior records it now admits it was withholding. That was a shock. As the saying goes, "hit hard, good things happen." The Court acknowledged it was concerned, but primarily because the jury had been asked to wait so long already, and because the defendants were still in custody - she declined to grant the government's request for a continuance.
The government made its opening statements. Surprisingly, Acting US Attorney Myhre seemed much different than before, and to many observers the government's presentation was surprisingly weak. In contrast, Bret Whipple opened for the defense, speaking on behalf of Cliven Bundy, and his presentation was much different. His explanation, for the first time during all of the legal proceedings from these past years, created a full picture of what actually took place in April 2014 and why. He was also able to inform the jury of several facts that had not been disclosed. For example, that prior to any threats, while there was no reason to expect any conflict, the government had set up a confidential Forward Operating Base as part of a Joint Terrorism Task Force related team of FBI SWAT agents - far from the cattle impound site, but less than two miles from the Bundy home in April 2014. Kind of odd for a cattle round up eh? He was also able to inform the jury that the evidence expected at trial will confirm, for the first time, that contrary to the government's repeated denials, they had armed BLM SWAT officers with AR-15 rifles surrounding the Bundy home, and providing 24x7 surveillance, at least a week before the events of April 12, 2014.
The next day, Ryan Bundy gave his own presentation to the jury. It is hard to describe that experience. The courtroom was electrified by Ryan. He spoke calmly, passionately, and with conviction. He left everyone in the room with a much different impression and feeling than anyone expected, and his defense of his father, his father's Ranch, his family, and the principles of liberty brought many people in the courtroom to tears. He invoked God, the Spirit of God, the Founding Fathers, the history of land rights, basic principles of liberty, and a convincing explanation of how out of control government agents had provoked events in 2014, and how the people who came to protest, protect and aid the Bundys and their ranch in 2014 were motivated by "what it means to be an American." He openly explained how the government had been suppressing the truth, how the prior to Bundy Ranch trials had been prevented from getting to the truth, and much, much more. This one event will be a topic for much more in-depth consideration - stay tuned.
Suffice it to say, that all this was the result of the defense team working together, and the above highlights leave out MUCH and only briefly touch on things that, for legal and strategic reasons, have to remain private for now. But, the point here is to let you see how much your donations and your support and your awareness is helping.
11 - Another Motion for Mistrial and Dismissal
Mid-day on Tuesday, Ammon's defense team filed a second motion for mistrial, etc. This motion did not include prior exhibits, so it was not filed under seal and you can read it hear. Between the two links in this email, you should be able to catch a glimpse of the seriousness and dedication being advanced in defense of these mean, and this cause. Your support is making that possible - and the great bulk of the fruit of this effort, and of all this work, is still to come.
Request for Additional Help
In the subject of the email we have directly asked for more help. Ammon's defense team is the only defense team in the current trial that needs your financial support. Whipple, Weksler, Norwood, Fletcher, and Hill are all being paid by the government. Morgan and Rick are relying 100% on donated funds and support. So, we are still raising funds for Ammon's Defense team. It is difficult for the outsider to imagine the financial resources being used against the Bundy Family and these other Defendants - the United States is spending millions of dollars to prosecute these men.
If you can't donate again, please consider encouraging a friend, or spreading the word on social media. If you can, please consider donating again, an amount similar to what you've donated before. Your help has enabled us to get this far, and our work is essential and instrumental to what is happening. Some of you who have followed this topic since we secured the acquittals in Oregon, have noticed - the for the first time here in Nevada, the defense is gaining some ground. Please help us continue that, by continuing to support our efforts with donations. Make a donation now, while you're thinking about it. .
Donations to Ammon Bundy’s defense can also be made at AmmonBundyDefense.com
*Morgan Philpot was part of Ammon's legal defense team in the dramatic and shocking trial victory in Oregon. He is admitted to practice law in Utah and Oregon and has been admitted Pro-hac Vice in Nevada as part of Ammon's legal team. Rick Koerber is working (as he did in Oregon) as Morgan's trial strategist and paralegal.
We apologize here for any typos or other errors or omissions above, trial is ongoing, and time is precious, so if that has caused this email to suffer from a few flaws, please forgive that while we continue to focus on the trial, preparations and additional motion practice. Stay tuned - much more existing information will come forth in the coming days and weeks.
From everything we have seen and read over this past year or more I would say that Cliven, Ammon, and Ryan are very lucky to even be alive at this point. At this point the only person killed in all this has been Robert Lavoy Finicum, who was killed by FBI agents and the Oregon State police.
The BLM and the FBI were all working in conjunction to facilitate and complete the confiscation and subsequent sale of rancher's lands in Oregon and Nevada all in connection to Hillary Clinton's Uranium-One scam.
The BLM went to Bundy's Nevada ranch in April 2014 with the full intention of killing the entire Bundy family if they had too. The only reason that didn't happen was specifically BECAUSE those friends, neighbors, and men showed up in sufficient numbers that the Federal agents could not get away with it like they had in Waco Texas, (The Waco massacre).
The Bundy's may be lucky to be alive, but Judge Gloria Navarro has been tasked with making sure they never get to return to their ranch. Senator Harry Reid is making sure of that.