January 2, 2018
Liz Writes Life
It will likely take me several weeks to type or write the correct 2018 date as old habits are hard to break! But I like the idea of a New Year — to enjoy a new beginning or a fresh start with 2018! May the New Year be happy and prosperous to you all!
Several weeks before Christmas, I was standing in the toy section of WalMart, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Father Lawrence, who was quite pleased with himself that he recognized me – from the back. Ugh! He is a native of Yreka and served the Catholic Parish in Fort Jones for many years. Then, he went down to Redding and served a parish there, but I believe Father Lawrence retired last year and is now living back in Yreka. He introduced me to his mother, who did not look her age. It was wonderful to see him again and he told me that he expected the encounter to be related in my column. So “Happy New Year” to you Father Lawrence! And to your beautiful mother!
I apologize for not writing a column last week, but between a frustrating sinus cold and trying to get Christmas accomplished, I ran out of time and energy. This week’s column brings some positive news regarding the Cliven Bundy situation. Many people have been praying the truth will set the Bundys free. It looks like those prayers are working.
A lot has happened. The federal judge in Las Vegas declared a mistrial on Dec. 20, 2017. She had to finally admit that the federal prosecutors were withholding evidence that defended the Bundys. Yep, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, BLM and FBI have generated lies and cover-ups.
What is even better is that the abuse is so bad that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered an investigation into the case, so hopefully the atrocities will be fully exposed.
But, let’s go back to Dec. 20, 2017, when U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro was presiding over the trial of USA v Cliven Bundy. Bundy defense attorneys had moved for dismissal of the trial claiming the federal prosecutors committed Brady violations and misconduct – which are quite dire. She spent two hours detailing the violations made by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed. She said the evidence withheld was “material” to the case for the defense and that they were “willful” violations resulting in due process violations. She declared a mistrial, said at this point a fair trial was impossible, thanked the jurors for their time and sent them home.
The Bundy defense team hopes the judge will dismiss the case “with prejudice,” so all charges will be dropped and the Bundys can not be taken to court again.
But, already U.S. Attorney Myhre is asking the judge to let him have another chance at prosecuting the Bundys and the supporters that were arrested. What arrogance! The next court date to complete the dismissal is Jan. 8, 2018, when the judge will make these decisions.
Several things were brought to light through cross-examining federal witnesses. Bundy defense attorneys had continually asked for reports, documents, audio and videos from the prosecution – which is the way court cases work. Both sides get to know what information the other has. In this case, the feds would not release their information to the tune of over 3,300 pages of documentation in this last go around! It was finally released in mid-December.
One violation was regarding the surveillance cameras that were placed around the Bundy home ranch. The defense asked for the videos and audio and BLM denied the existence of the cameras, until a U.S. Park Service Chief Investigator testified to their existence. Oops!
The defense also asked for the FBI reports on snipers that the Bundy’s claimed were surrounding the home ranch. The FBI denied there was snipers and suppressed those records. But, when they came to light, it was shown there were at least 197 paramilitary personnel from SWAT and FBI teams on high ground surrounding the home ranch! Those documents also showed the BLM had contracted cowboys to roundup Bundy’s cattle. Another oops!
The before-April-2014 “Threat Assessment” BLM report was finally made public that claimed the Bundy family was not a threat. But, because the FBI would not make this report available to the defense, it allowed the feds to hold the Bundys and arrested supporters in prison detention for nearly two years.
Another BLM assessment was also finally released that stated cattle grazing had not harmed the desert tortoise. My goodness! That shows the government lied when it claimed the roundup was to protect the tortoise.
Yet another BLM witness was found to be lying, when she said the BLM was not concerned with the Bundy’s water right. Then a document was released that proved the BLM witness, who was a District Ranger, had actively tried to get the water right away from Bundy. Boy, this stuff is outrageous.
After the mistrial, jurors waited outside the federal courthouse and the defendants visited with them. Most were quite friendly with several telling Ammon Bundy they had seen through the federal prosecutors and believed they were “not guilty”. Jurors were also impressed with Ryan Bundy’s representation of himself and opening statement.
But wait, there’s more! There are new allegations about misconduct by the federal prosecutors. These have been made by Washington State Representative Matt Shea on Dec. 14, 2017.
A BLM Agent, Larry Wooten, was a former lead investigator of the Bundy case and he has become a whistleblower. Wooten claims his supervisor and federal prosecutor Myhre cooperated to withhold evidence in the case. It looks like Myhre and his staff suppressed Wooten’s report documenting BLM and FBI gross misconduct and Wooten was even relieved of his investigation position. Wooten disclosed that BLM and FBI had put the Bundys on a “kill list,” mocked their religion and bragged about trying to harm them.
Many eyes will be watching Judge Navarro at the Jan. 8, 2018 court date.
Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.
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