Bundy denies leading refuge occupiers

STEVEN DUBOIS, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) 10/07 — Under a brief, but rapid-fire cross-examination, Ammon Bundy denied leading the occupation of a national wildlife refuge and defended receiving a U.S. Small Business Administration loan.

Bundy, 41, who’s on trial for conspiring to impede Interior Department workers from doing their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was quickly reminded Thursday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight that he had earlier testified that he was the leader.

Bundy said he was not a leader in the way Knight considers him to be. The man who led followers to the refuge for the 41-day standoff with law enforcement said he teaches “core principles” to people and lets them govern themselves.

Those principles, spoken of in great detail during three days of testimony this week, include Bundy’s belief that the federal government can’t own land within a state’s borders, except for limited purposes.

Knight closed his 15-minute cross-examination by getting Bundy to acknowledge receiving a $530,000 U.S. Small Business Administration loan, a move to show Bundy isn’t opposed to the federal government when it can help him profit.

Bundy said he supports the federal government, but not its management of land within states.

Bundy has said he came to Oregon’s high desert to help locals deal with an overreaching federal government that has abused people’s land rights for decades. The immediate issue was the case of Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers who Bundy felt were unjustly returning to prison on arson convictions.

Earlier Thursday, Bundy was questioned by his own attorney and lawyers representing the other six people charged in the alleged conspiracy. One was his brother and co-defendant Ryan Bundy, who’s acting as his own lawyer.

“How you doing, brother?” Ammon asked Ryan at the start of the testimony.

The pair discussed their relationship, from childhood to the start of the occupation. Ammon testified that the pair spoke by phone in the run up to the occupation, but never discussed the refuge or impeding federal workers.

Ryan Bundy did not arrive in southeast Oregon until the morning of the occupation, his brother said.

“I know you were not very prepared, didn’t have much of a jacket,” said Ammon Bundy, showing his brother had planned to attend a rally in support of the Hammonds but did not intend an extended stay.

Co-defendant Shawna Cox, also acting her own lawyer, briefly questioned Bundy. Lawyers for the other four defendants — Kenneth Medenbach, Jeff Banta, Neil Wampler and David Fry — asked questions designed to show they had only brief interactions with Bundy and were not involved in key decisions.

Medenbach’s lawyer, Matthew Schindler, asked Bundy how a federal employee was supposed to work when Bundy was using her office and sitting in her chair.

“I didn’t really think of it,” Bundy said.

Answering questions from his own lawyer, Bundy repeated statements from earlier in the week that the group planned to take ownership of the refuge by means of adverse possession, which is a way to gain title to land by occupying it for a period of time. The defense displayed videos that showed Bundy lecturing on the topic at the refuge.

Bundy testified he did not visit the refuge before the occupation and had to use GPS to find it.

The prosecutor returned to that statement during his cross-examination, asking Bundy if he really needed GPS to find a place in which he intended to stay until 2036. Bundy responded that he expected the government to try to evict him — not arrest him — and the land dispute would be settled in civil court.

Prosecutors allege the conspiracy began two months before the occupation, when Bundy and another activist arrived in Harney County and gave Sheriff Dave Ward an ultimatum — protect the Hammonds from returning to federal prison or face extreme civil unrest.

Knight reminded Bundy that he told Ward during a Nov. 19 meeting that he wasn’t bluffing.

Bundy said he couldn’t remember a conversation that happened 11 months ago.

“Didn’t we listen to a recording of it two days ago?” Knight asked.

“Yeah, bits and pieces,” Bundy said.

Early Thursday, Bundy testified that he moved freely during the occupation, giving law enforcement plenty of chances to arrest him and end the occupation early. He said he traveled to nearby Burns for a haircut and Chinese food, and made three trips to see his wife and six kids in Emmett, Idaho.

Bundy also described the Jan. 26 traffic stop on a highway north of the refuge that ended with his arrest. He said he feared getting shot if he made a move and was too afraid to pick up his hat. He said armed police were in trees and everywhere else.

“I had red dots all over me,” he said.

Police fatally shot Robert “LaVoy” Finicum after he fled the stop in a different vehicle.

When Bundy called it an ambush, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown halted further mention of the topic, reminding the courtroom that Finicum’s death isn’t being litigated.

Finicum’s wife, Jeanette, testified late Thursday. In tears, she recalled how she repeatedly asked LaVoy to come home early in the standoff.

https://www.apnews.com/8ab866fcce824e80a06a2e61ccf661bc/In-turnaround,-Bundy-denies-leading-refuge-occupiers

Posted in: Protests/Civil Unrest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 + eighteen =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.