- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they plan to appeal their demoralizing defeat in the Nevada standoff trial, which saw a federal judge rebuke prosecutors for “flagrant misconduct” and dismiss all charges against rancher Cliven Bundy and two of his sons.

Elizabeth O. White, assistant U.S. attorney for Nevada, assured the court that the appeal would be filed by Feb. 6 after asking for a 14-day extension, saying the “review process is complete and the Solicitor General has authorized the government’s appeal.”

“Undersigned counsel further advises that the draft brief is nearly complete, editing of the completed portions has begun, and she has begun the laborious process of preparing the excerpts of record and updating the record citations in brief to the excerpts of record,” Ms. White said in the motion.

The Justice Department already had requested and received two extensions, but it was unclear until Wednesday whether prosecutors would go forward with the appeal.

Bundy attorney Larry Klayman condemned the decision to file the appeal, which would go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He accused the government of “circling the wagons” to protect prosecutors, including former Acting U.S. Attorney for Nevada Steven Myhre.



“It’s an outrage. I think they’re just buying time. It’s all about protecting their own,” Mr. Klayman said. “They’re hoping for a Hail Mary at the 9th Circuit, because otherwise, Myhre and company, their careers are over.”

Last January, U.S. District Chief Judge Gloria Navarro threw out the charges after finding prosecutors had withheld evidence from the defense in their case against Mr. Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and Ryan Payne.

She dismissed the case “with prejudice,” meaning that the defendants cannot be tried again on the felony weapons and conspiracy charges from the armed 2014 standoff over grazing fees with the Bureau of Land Management in Bunkerville, Nevada.

The stunning rebuke prompted then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to order an expert examination of the case, although the Justice Department has never said whether any prosecutors were disciplined.

Mr. Myhre was demoted after being replaced by Dayle Elieson, the current U.S. attorney for Nevada.

Larry Wooten, a BLM investigator, filed a blistering report in November 2017 accusing agents of misconduct, bias and religious bigotry against the Mormon ranching family, which has long tangled with the federal government over public-lands issues.

Cliven Bundy spent two year behind bars before and during the trial. His sons joined him in jail after being acquitted by a jury in October 2016 on charges stemming from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon.

Mr. Klayman said the family has started the Cliven Bundy Defense Fund to help defray the legal costs.

“They believe they will prevail, but it’s obviously emotionally difficult to have this hanging over their heads,” said Mr. Klayman.

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