Why All These Bundy Cases Ended up Jury Nullified

As Dave Hardy pointed out, this is a doozy. BLM agent accuses his superiors of numerous illegal abuses and misbehaviors in the Bundy Ranch case:

The investigation also indicated that on multiple occasions, former BLM Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) Love specifically and purposely ignored U.S. Attorney’s Office and BLM civilian management direction and intent as well as Nevada State Official recommendations in order to command the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale, and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible. Additionally, this investigation also indicated excessive use of force, civil rights and policy violations. The investigation indicated that there was little doubt there was an improper cover-up in virtually every matter that a particular BLM SAC participated in, or oversaw and that the BLM SAC was immune from discipline and the consequences of his actions.

If BLM regularly deals with ranchers in this manner, it would explain why the Bundys were jury nullified even though they were guilty as hell.

All in all, it is my assessment, and the investigation showed that the 2014 Gold Butte Trespass Cattle Impound was in part a punitive and ego-driven expedition by Senior BLM Law Enforcement Supervisor (former BLM Special Agent-in-Charge Dan Love) that was only in part focused on the intent of the associated Federal Court Orders and the mission of our agency (to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the multiple use and enjoyment of present and future generations).

Retaliation against dissidents and whistleblowers is endemic in the “civil service.” The fact that everyone so up in arms over Trump doing the kinds of things that has been routinely done in the federal bureaucracy for years has been, for me, a source of laughter and frustration. How often do you find yourself thinking about something a friend, colleague, or family member wrote: “You didn’t give a shit about X until biased news site Y just told you that Trump did X and now it’s the worst. thing. ever. Even though Obama and everyone that came before him did X all the time.”

We have some real serious issues about how the federal government runs, but we all need to be operating in the same reality to do something about it. We all increasingly don’t operate in the same reality. I’ve heard concerns for the “deep state” being dismissed as right-wing paranoia. I don’t care what you call it, this is the truth: the federal bureaucracy is a branch of government onto itself, which has very little accountability to the elected officials that under our system are supposed to lead it.

13 thoughts on “Why All These Bundy Cases Ended up Jury Nullified”

  1. Dan Love is widely loathed in Utah. Prior to his bungling of the Bundy case, he led an investigation in southeast Utah that ended with multiple senior citizens’ homes being raided by FBI agents; in the ensuing legal battles, multiple citizens as well as the BLM informant committed suicide, while Dan Love distributed “evidence” seized from the deceased to his colleagues at the BLM.

    That’s one of the many reasons few people in Utah wanted to see Bears Ears established; it would have granted wide latitude to the likes of Dan Love to investigate and imprison people. If you’re looking for an answer to the question “Why don’t people in rural Utah and Nevada like the federal government,” Dan Love – who imprisoned doctors and dentists while letting the wild horse population (which was his responsibility) explode – is a one-man answer.

    Which doesn’t make Bundy any less of an asshole, but most people tend to believe Dan Love belongs in prison just as much as any of the people he investigated.

    1. All in the very highest ideals of the civil service, I’m sure. And yet people here on the east coast will lecture you all up and down about How Things Are.

  2. It is worse than that. The Bundy case up in Oregon didn’t involve the BLM at all. It was the Fish and Wildlife Service. Different investigator, different prosecutor too. Same result except for the guy who got killed in the standoff. I gather the problem was that instead of trespass which would have been a slam dunk, they went for the felony of carrying guns into a Federal building which the protesters almost certainly did. But they didn’t present any evidence about that even though a lot of the protesters were informants. They couldn’t have gone for interfering with governmental operations since the occupied building was closed for the winter.

    1. If it’s closed for the winter, I submit there are no operations to be interfered with.

      1. That was my point. I have actually been in that building. Small front office, mini-store selling T-shirts, hats and bird books and some areas in the back which are probably offices. Not a lot of operations to interfere with even if they were open. It is about 25 miles out of the metropolis of Burns, OR. The area, like many wildlife refuges is mostly marsh which freezes solid in winter there.

      2. It’s actually more than that — the statute prohibiting firearms in federal facilities defines them to be places that federal employees are “regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.”

        If the park was closed for the season, the level of staffing in the buildings they occupied was likely not sufficient to meet the relevant definition.

        TLDR: I don’t believe that the prohibition on bringing firearms into federal facilities applies in that case.

    2. As an aside, given that the building was closed for the season, it’s actually arguable that the federal statute prohibiting firearms in that building didn’t even apply.

      18 U.S. Code § 930(g)(1) reads: “The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.”

      In other words the prohibition only applies if federal employees are “regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.” The prohibition would clearly apply in an NPS visitor center staffed year-round, but it arguably would NOT apply in a non-staffed standalone bathroom in the same park.

      Since the park in question was closed at the time, and the building was not a place where “Federal employees [were] regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties” it’s arguable that they didn’t actually violate federal law by bringing firearms into the buildings they occupied.

    1. Jury nullification is a tool, nothing more, nothing less. It can be used for both good and bad.

      I like it, though, because it (should) keep judges, prosecutors, bureaucrats and lawmakers on their toes!

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