Bundy Bunch Update – Updated at 8:50

For those who want to listen to it, here’s the 90 minute audio recording of the meeting between the Coalition of Western States folks, Harney County Judge Gratsy, and Sheriff Ward:

Oregon Public Broadcasting has reported that the Coalition of Western States people, who are state and county officials in a number of western states, knew that the Bundy’s planned to occupy a federal site well in advance of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Occupation. Specifically:

(Greenlee County, Arizona Commissioner) Corbell told OPB that coalition leadership knew Ammon Bundy planned to take over U.S. government property in Harney County before it happened, but were unsure which federal outpost it would be. The federal government owns about 75 percent of the land in Harney County.

“We knew he was going to do something,” Corbell said, “because something had to be done.”

OPB is also reporting that the State of Oregon’s Department of Justice has begun an investigation into Grant County Sheriff Palmer. This is in addition to the Oregon State Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s looking into the complaints against Sheriff Palmer that it has received.

Finally, as several commenters in other threads have mentioned, Cliven Bundy refused to plead at all, has been denied bail, and is claiming he was not involved in the standoff at his ranch against the BLM in 2014. He seems to be claiming that he was just there, hanging out at home, when the whole thing happened, but it didn’t really have anything to do with him. Regardless of this line of legal reasoning, he will remain in custody through his trial in Nevada.  His sons Ammon and Ryan, as well as several others, have convinced the Federal judge in Oregon currently handling their case that they should not be extradited to Nevada until the Oregon case is resolved as it would prevent them from receiving a speedy trial.

—–Update at 8:50 PM——-

Here’s a horrifying tale of both abuse of power and just what happens when one of these “Constitutional” Sheriffs is allowed to run amok.

Bundy Bunch Update: Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Major Incident Team Investigative Report

Bundy Bunch

The Bundy Bunch

Yesterday the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Major Incident Team released their 360 page report into the shooting death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum by the Oregon State Police. Apparently this is not the entirety of the investigative record. Les Zaitz has reported that the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesman has indicated that more material will be released as redaction work is completed. The entire report is below:


The report includes forensics diagrams and photos, as well as interviews with law enforcement personnel. Some of the most interesting details were law enforcement’s concerns that militia supporters of the Bundys had infiltrated into Burns and other Oregon municipalities and created a unique type of threat as they appeared to be locals or tourists going about their daily lives. There was also concern with the rhetoric used by the Bundys, Finicum, and the other leaders and outspoken members of the standoff. Law enforcement recognized the passive-aggressive nature of the rhetoric that both asked law enforcement to come and assist them in their peaceful and lawful stand for the(ir interpretation of the Constitution) and simultaneously threatened the use of force and violence against anyone, including law enforcement, that disagreed with them and attempted to stop the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. There was also concerns expressed about infiltration in Grant County, specifically collusion between Sheriff Palmer and the leaders of the standoff.

The Oregonian also has an interesting article into the investigation of the FBI’s HRT as a result of a team member taking two shots at LaVoy Finicum and not reporting that he had done so.*

And in what is sure to make LAO happy, a sovereign citizen tried to intervene in the Bundy Case by filing a motion with the Federal Court. The judge issued an order throwing out the motion.

Finally, High Country News has an excellent piece of long form journalism on Federal law enforcement’s move to bring the Bundys and their supporters to justice after two years.

* Full disclosure: Professor Brian Levin, quoted in the article, is an old friend of mine. We have been on panels together at meetings of the American Society of Criminology.

Balloon Juice Bunker Standoff: Superseding Indictments Edition

Earlier today the US Attorney’s Office in Oregon issued superseding indictments for the 25 individuals that they had previously indicted in the occupation Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Today’s superseding indictment includes charges of damaging part of the refuge, specifically an archeological site sacred to the Burns Paiute Tribe. Also of interest is that there is a 26th name on this superseding indictment, however, it is currently redacted (blacked out). The superseding indictment can be found here or at the bottom of the post below the fold.

In other Bundy news, Ryan Bundy has informed the court that he will be representing himself. And a Federal Magistrate in Utah has ordered that David Bundy remain in custody and be transferred to Nevada where he has been indicted. Also, Jerry DeLemus has been denied bail and will also remain in custody. There is no word on when he will be transferred to Nevada.

As announced yesterday, Jeannette Finicum held a press conference regarding her husband’s death earlier today. As expected Mrs. Finicum announced she intends to sue.

Finally, in regards to the ongoing investigation into the shooting of LaVoy Finicum, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General released a statement today.


Oregon Public Broadcasting also has an interesting slideshow of some of the evidence that was evaluated in the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Major Incident Team’s investigation. These include not only diagrams, but the photo’s of LaVoy Finicum’s truck where it is clear that only four bullets impacted the vehicle: the three fired by the Oregon State Police and the one fired by the FBI HRT team member.

Finally, the written transcript of yesterday’s press conference has been posted on the Deschutes County Sheriff’s website.


The full superseding indictment is below the fold:

Read more

Balloon Juice Bunker Standoff: The US Government Responds to Peter Santilli’s Request for Bail

Yesterday the US Attorneys in Oregon and Nevada responded to Peter Santilli’s request to get bail. Santilli’s argument is that he’s not a party to either the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Occupation, nor the Bundy Ranch Standoff of 2014. Rather, he’s a journalist and was at both locations in that capacity and is therefore protected by the 1st Amendment. The US government’s response to this request is in the pdf below and its an interesting read. The government’s argument is that Santilli was not at Bunkerville as a journalist, but was rather a major participant, planner, and leader of the standoff.


Among other interesting and related cases, Schuyler Barbeau, who is alleged to have been one of Cliven Bundy’s bodyguards, has filed his own pleading in his case in Washington state. The pdf of his handwritten pleading is below*:


Finally, and thanks to commenter Trollhattan in the comments in my earlier thread, the High Country News has posted a rundown on what is going on with and around the Bundy arrests and arraignments. This includes a nice summary biography of each of the major individuals indicted to this point. It also points out that there is significant concern among members of the “Patriot” movement that anyone who was at the Bundy Ranch standoff to show their support or provide security are at risk for arrest. And here’s a great article by Les Zaitz on how the eyewitness reports to LaVoy Finicum’s shooting matched up with the evidence, including both the FBI’s surveillance footage and the eyewitness’s own footage. Short answer: not well.

——–Update at 9:25 PM——-

Here’s an interesting article on emails sent, expressing concern, about Grant County Sheriff Palmer and what he might or might not do in regards to the Malheur occupiers (h/t: Judy Thomas on twitter). And here’s a link to a YouTube video where LaVoy Finicum’s widow claims that Sheriff Palmer invited the Malheur occupiers to visit him (h/t: Ryan Haas on Twitter).

* I’m pretty sure I found this last week linked to on JJ MacNab’s twitter feed.

Balloon Juice Bunker Standoff: The Investigation into the Shooting of LaVoy Finicum Has Concluded

Earlier today at a press conference in Oregon, the Deschutes County Sheriff briefed the results of his office’s Major Incident Team’s investigation into the shooting of LaVoy Finicum by Oregon State Police on 26 January 2016. The investigation determined that the shooting of Mr. Finicum was justified and that he was shot three times. Much of the new information and evidence presented today came from video that Shawna Cox took from inside Mr. Finicum’s truck, information that contradicts statements that she and the other passenger’s in the truck have been making since Mr. Finicum was shot.

What is strange is that the forensic investigation determined that, despite their statements to the contrary, one member of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) fired two shots at Mr. Finicum’s vehicle, one of which lodged in the truck’s roof. The five HRT members on site in Oregon on 26 January are now being reinterviewed and a determination will be made by Federal authorities as to what charges, if any, will be brought against them for giving false and/or inaccurate statements made by the HRT members during the investigation.

Below is the video of today’s press conference in its entirety (h/t: RawStory). This includes the previously released FBI aerial surveillance video of the events of 26 January with Ms. Cox’s video overlaid on the FBI’s surveillance video. On the video you can clearly hear Mr. Finicum threatening law enforcement and making threatening statements about what would happen if they didn’t stand down.