A federal judge in Las Vegas threw out criminal charges against Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant in their 2014 standoff with federal agents, citing “flagrant misconduct” by prosecutors and the FBI in not disclosing evidence before and during trial.
A judge threw out criminal charges against Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant in their 2014 standoff with federal agents, citing “flagrant misconduct” by prosecutors and the FBI in not disclosing evidence before and during trial, the Oregonian reports. “The government’s conduct in this case was indeed outrageous,” said U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas on Monday. “There has been flagrant misconduct, substantial prejudice and no lesser remedy is sufficient.” The judge issued her ruling before a packed courtroom with nearly 100 spectators inside and more than a dozen others waiting outside the doors.
The dismissal with prejudice, meaning prosecutors can’t seek a new trial, marked an embarrassing nadir for the government, which now has failed to convict the Bundys in two major federal cases stemming from separate armed standoffs. The second stunning victory for the Bundys and their followers may serve to bolster their fight against federal control of public land. The three defendants have spent most of the last two years in jail. Ammon Bundy, who led the 2016 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, owes at least $180,000 in legal fees in that case and said most of the national clients for his business, a vehicle fleet service, have left out of fear. He promised to keep working for his cause. “I’m not done fighting by any means,” he said. Cliven Bundy called himself a “political prisoner” for 700 days and said his argument lies with local authorities, not the federal government. “I come in this courtroom an innocent man and I’m going to leave as an innocent man,” he said. “I raised my cattle only on Clark County, Nevada, land and I have no contract with the federal government. This court has no jurisdiction and authority over this matter.”