A motion to dismiss the case against Cliven Bundy – the Nevada rancher who was involved in an armed standoff with Federal agents – has been filed this week. This latest legal maneuver is a result of an 18-page document written by Bureau of Land Management Special Agent Larry “Clint” Wooten.
Wooten’s report found widespread misconduct and “incredible bias” according to multiple sources. In short, it chronicled misconduct and perhaps even illegal actions by the BLM in handling the Bundy case.
These violations and abuses were committed by BLM employees under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Dan Love. Included in the investigative report were multiple citations of impropriety and unprofessional conduct including name-calling. Washington state Rep. Matt Shea apparently posted the statement on his Facebook page. Page four of the scathing report was of particular interest and obtained by Redoubt News:
Many times these open unprofessional and disrespectful comments and name calling (often by law enforcement supervisors who are potential witnesses and investigative team supervisors) reminded me of middle school. At any given time, you could hear subjects of this investigation openly referred to as “ret*rds,” “r*d-necks,” “Overweight woman with the big jowls,” “d*uche bags,” “tractor-face,” “idiots,” “in-br*d,” etc., etc., etc.’ Also, it was common to receive or have electronic communications reported to me during the course of the investigation in which senior investigators and law enforcement supervisors (some are potential witnesses and investigative team members) specifically made fun of suspects and referenced “Cliven Bundy felony. . . .just kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wooten went up the government food chain all the way to the Justice Department since the people at the BLM “declined to act on his findings.” All this could prove to be very meaningful in the trial against Mr. Bundy. Liberty Nation has written extensively on the Bundy case that has been taking place in the Las Vegas U.S. District Court of Judge Gloria Navarro. You can read all the gory details here, here, here and here.
In particular, Judge Navarro has come under increased scrutiny of her handling of the trial, and this may be an easy way for her to get rid of the stench and alleged corruption of her conduct and control of the high-profile case. And in fact, Navarro halted the trial “pending her review of separate possible legal violations by the prosecution.” Then this week came the motion for a mistrial from Bundy’s lawyers.
A Big Mess from the Get-Go
Without a doubt, the Cliven Bundy case has been an enormous headache and subsequent mess for the BLM when an armed stand-off occurred. In an article written for American Thinker last year, I summed up the case:
At its core, this story is about land rights, ownership, and power. It is a long, complicated, and winding tale that began back in 1989 over a desert tortoise. Designated as an “endangered species,” the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) designated “hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land” for conservation, as reported by The Washington Post.
This did not sit well with Cliven Bundy, whose family homesteaded his ranch back in 1877 and called the move a government land grab. As well, others were upset and felt the heavy hand of the federal government on their backs. But it was Mr. Bundy who ultimately became the unmovable object that ignited a militia of freedom fighters out to stop the U.S. government.
Thus, the existential question “What happens when an unstoppable object collides with an immovable object?” became a reality as an armed citizen resistance met up with armed federal officials in April of 2014, and the standoff at Bunkerville ensued. Observers of the event say it was nothing short of astonishing that no one was killed.
Freedom fighters who stand with Mr. Bundy are labeled fringe conspiracy theorists the likes of which critics say hearken back to places like Ruby Ridge and Waco. On the other side stand federal officials armed with the law and the sheer force and power of the U.S. government. Some see it as the classic David versus Goliath. Others see this as a case of a vigilante trying to get his way.
Now it seems that the real vigilantes may have been the Federal officials from the BLM who decided to go rogue with their unbridled power against an American citizen. This report by Mr. Wooten is quite damning of the Bureau of Land Management officials involved in the Bundy stand-off. And their conduct just may mean that Mr. Bundy will walk.