Excellent piece on the out of control tyranny of the various actors, federal agents and agencies, that constitute our government.
These actors believe they are not only above the law, but even the governing document which is our guide to everything government literally does not apply to them.
Hubris is not a substitute for lawlessness. Never was. Never will be. These people are off the reservation, they believe the rules do not apply to them, that they are so special they can literally make or discard all concepts and color of rule of law to suit whatever justification for whatever reason pleases and protects them.
This my friends is the long reach of the “deep state” which is possible because of the golden rule in all institutions, shit rolls down hill, leadership no matter its type starts at the top.
Jury Nullification scares the crap out of these scalawags. It should. Just as us dirt people armed to the teeth, exactly because we have every reason, every just cause, to be armed exactly because of how out of control these people are and what they have done to our dirt people brothers & sisters.
The Bundy’s are made of some strong character. They have indomitable spirit and Faith. It speaks volumes that a jury nullified the feds persecution and attempted annihilation of true American legacy, this family and their fellow ranching families.
Someone is watching over us dirt people.
The feds also belatedly turned over multiple threat assessments that revealed that the Bundys were not violent or dangerous, including an FBI analysis that concluded that the BLM was “trying to provoke a conflict” with the Bundys. As an analysis in the left-leaning Intercept observed, federal missteps “fueled longstanding perceptions among the right-wing groups and militias that the federal government is an underhanded institution that will stop at nothing to crush the little guy and cover up its own misdeeds.” As the case collapsed, the feds “seemed to succeed most in lending support to the various conspiracies the Bundy family and their supporters believed to be true — that a land-hungry, out-of-control federal government was victimizing Western ranchers,” the Intercept noted.
Steven Myrhe, the lead federal attorney, cast “the 2014 standoff as an armed uprising, not a peaceful protest over federal control of vast stretches of land in the U.S. West, as the Bundys claim,” the Associated Press reported. Myrhe’s opening statement of the trial stressed “that the case centered on the need to respect the rule of law,” the Oregonian noted. But the government itself was somehow exempted from both the law and the Constitution in its crusade against the Bundys.
As their case began unraveling, federal prosecutors insisted that, regardless of withholding evidence, the judge must prohibit the Bundys from claiming the feds provoked the confrontation or that the Bundys acted in self-defense. Myrhe declared, “The Court needs to put a stop to these illegal theories and defenses in order for the government to receive a fair trial. The government, too, is entitled to a fair trial.”
But fair trials are the last thing that high-profile federal targets such as the Bundys are likely to receive. In the early 1990s, the federal government decided to take down Randy Weaver, an outspoken white separatist living on a mountaintop in northern Idaho. After Weaver was entrapped by a federal agent, U.S. Marshals trespassed on his land and killed his son. An FBI sniper killed his wife, Vicki. The Justice Department claimed that Weaver conspired to have an armed confrontation with the government. Bizarrely, the feds claimed that his moving from Iowa to an area near the Canadian border in 1983 was part of that plot. After a jury found Weaver not guilty on all major charges, federal judge Edward Lodge issued a lengthy catalog of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s misconduct and fabrication of evidence in the case. A top FBI official was later sent to prison for destroying key evidence in the case.
When Boundary County, Idaho, sought in 1998 to prosecute the FBI sniper who killed Vicki Weaver, the Clinton administration torpedoed their lawsuit by invoking the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (which blocks local and state governments from challenging federal power). Seth Waxman, the solicitor general of the United States, absolved the FBI agent because “federal law-enforcement officials are privileged to do what would otherwise be unlawful if done by a private citizen.” Federal judge Alex Kozinski was dumbfounded by Waxman’s claim, asking, “If the Constitution does not provide limitations for federal agents’ actions, then what does?” Waxman did not have a good answer but, despite Kozinski’s eloquent dissent, the federal appeals court rode to the rescue of the FBI killer.
Thanks in part to Ruby Ridge, many of the heavily armed activists who flocked to the Nevada ranch venue feared that the FBI snipers had a license to kill the Bundys. After the case was thrown out of court, Ammon Bundy told a television interviewer, “They basically came to kill our family; they surrounded us with snipers. And then they wanted to lie about it all like none of it happened. And they were caught.” The mission of the federal snipers around the ranch was unclear but it is understandable that their targets did not assume they had benign intent. And the years of federal falsehoods after the confrontation ended did nothing to build confidence.
The Justice Department legal strategy in the Bundy case may have been shaped by the 1993 drubbing it took at the hands of an Idaho jury that was appalled at federal conduct at Ruby Ridge. A Justice Department brief in the Bundy case submitted days before the judge declared a mistrial showed that prosecutors feared jurors’ passing judgment on federal conduct. Prosecutors dreaded jury nullification — “not guilty” verdicts due to government abuses. Their brief stressed that “jury nullification is illegal” — but the Founding Fathers did not think so. The Justice Department told the judge,
To the extent defendants seek to offer evidence of surveillance cameras, uniforms, number of officers, weapons carried, and training the officers receive, none of that is relevant to show excessive force or a reason to assault officers. This type of evidence amounts only to nullification arguments — putting the victims [federal officials and prosecutors] in this case in the position of having to justify their every move when no force was used. The defendants’ intention to state that they believed they had a good reason for their conduct is not admissible evidence — it is jury nullification.
The specter of enraged jurors spurred prosecutors to withhold key evidence from both the judge and the defense counsel. “They feared jury nullification, they got judge nullification,” as one online commenter quipped.
Renegade federal prosecutors
The dismissal of charges was only the latest Justice Department disaster in a series of clashes involving the Bundy ranchers. Last August, a Nevada jury, in what the Associated Press labeled a “stunning setback to federal prosecutors,” found four supporters of Cliven Bundy not guilty for their role in the 2014 confrontation. Even though Judge Navarro had, acceding to prosecutors’ demands, muzzled defendants, and prohibited them from invoking their constitutional rights, jurors scorned federal claims that the men were part of a militia conspiracy against the government…
More here: Renegade federal prosecutors