The federal government is preparing to appeal the dismissal of charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons and supporters for the 2014 armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents.
The Bundys faced charges of conspiracy, obstruction, threats and assault for squaring off with federal agents and contract cowboys enforcing court orders to round up the family’s cattle.
The case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro, who scolded the government’s conduct in the case as “outrageous” and “flagrant,” asserting prosecutors concealed evidence favorable to the defense.
The case was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning the government is not allowed to retry the defendants regarding the standoff.
Now, Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, has told WND that Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth White of the district of Nevada informed him the federal government has prepared an appeal brief.
Klayman said he asked for confirmation in a letter to the Justice Department solicitor general, Noel Francisco.
“In light of the history of this case and the gross injustice which has already been meted out against my client Cliven Bundy, his sons, and family by rogue Obama-era prosecutors,” Klayman wrote, the only reason for an appeal would be to cover up for “corrupt prosecutors.”
And he noted that the behavior of prosecutors in the case remains “under review” by the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General.
“It is time to allow my clients to go on with their lives and not continue to be persecuted by a Department of ‘Injustice,’ which rather than meting out justice, ‘circles the wagons’ to try to unethically and unlawfully protect its own,” he wrote.
Klayman included with the letter a lengthy statement by whistleblower Larry Wooten, a special agent with the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management, who detailed alleged misconduct in the case.
His description begins: “I routinely observed, [in the case] and the investigation revealed a widespread pattern of bad judgment, lack of discipline, incredible bias, unprofessionalism and misconduct, as well as likely policy, ethical, and legal violations among senior and supervisory staff at the BLM’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security.”
Wooten said the issues he uncovered put “our agency and specific law enforcement supervisors in potential legal, civil, and administrative jeopardy.”
When he went to superiors, he found they either knew of the issues already or had “instigated the misconduct.”
He charges “gross mismanagement,” “abuse of authority,” violations of the merit system principles and “prohibited personnel practices.”
The standoff between federal agents and Bundy supporters stemmed from the government’s contention Bundy had been grazing his cattle on publicly owned land and was therefore responsible for substantial past fees. Klayman, among others, has insisted the prosecution of the Bundy family was politically motivated.
Bundy and his supporters contend the federal government has no authority over state lands.