Another FBI fumble; the botched Bundy affair

It’s now emerging that the FBI not only pretended that Hillary Clinton didn’t mishandle classified information (deliberately and repeatedly), Democrats likely attempted to swing our presidential election against Donald Trump and then continued to undermine the new administration after they had won with illegitimate claims of Russian collusion orchestrated by sleazy political lowlifes.
 
Shocked? Me neither.
 
This abuse of authority is not simply a one-off by an otherwise highly-principled, trustworthy government agency, it’s part of a very disturbing trend. The FBI’s most recent rogue behavior is far from the first time that they’ve gone KGB on us.
 
Remember Cliven Bundy and sons and the armed showdown in Nevada? As the Free Range Report explained, that fiasco was ~
 
BundyStandoff

… the product of a longstanding confrontation between ranchers and environmental groups over the nature and security of federal grazing rights in the United States […]
 
(G)razing conflicts such as Bundy’s are born out of a federal grazing system that encourages conflict, not negotiation.

 

Briefly, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive, back in 2014 ~

Cliven Bundy, his two sons and Ryan Payne (a Montana militiaman who came to help) them were accused of rallying militia members and other supporters to thwart the court-ordered impoundment of the family’s cattle on federal public land after years of Bundy’s failure to renew a grazing permit or pay resulting fees and fines. Federal officers, outnumbered, retreated.
 

(The Bundys and Payne) faced multiple charges, including federal conspiracy to impede federal officers through intimidation, threat or force, assault on federal officers and extortion.

 
In a development that exposes the Stalinist tendencies of some federal authorities, last month U.S. District Court Judge Gloria M. Navarro declared a mistrial in this high-profile case because the government failed to provide the defendants with their evidence. Ironically, the lead prosecutor told the jury in his opening statement that the case centered on the need to respect the rule of law. Oops ~

(Navarro) methodically listed the prosecution’s six separate violations of the Brady law, which requires turning over evidence potentially favorable to the defense. The judge further ruled that each violation was willful […]
 
Navarro said the evidence withheld was “material” to the defense case and that each of the prosecution’s six “willful” violations resulted in due process violations. The documents confirmed a live-feed camera was aimed at the Bundy Ranch, and armed federal agents were watching the family home before the standoff, which the government had negated. About 3,300 pages of documents were turned over to the defense too late, the judge said.

 

Spying and lying. Who’s disrespecting the rule of law now? Even the left-leaning OPB had to concede ~

Among other items, prosecutors failed to share evidence about the presence of a surveillance camera overlooking the Bundy family ranch, Bureau of Land Management snipers placed just outside the ranch and threat assessments done by federal officials that suggested the Bundys were not dangerous or capable of violence.

 

BundyStandoff2 

Viewed by many as an irrational rebellion by an isolated bunch of anti-government wackos, the Bundy standoff gains a whole lot of credibility in light of previous FBI abuses, most notably, as from James Bouvard points out, the deadly 1992 debacle at Ruby Ridge ~ Government’s Misconduct In Cliven Bundy Case Stems From Ruby Ridge.
 
During the Bundy standoff, FBI snipers surrounded their ranch. The feds originally claimed that wasn’t the case, but evidence in this recent trial proved otherwise.
 
Now, according to Bouvard, “many of the heavily-armed activists who flocked to the scene feared that the FBI snipers had a license to kill the Bundys.” And where would they get such a notion? ~

Their reaction cannot be understood without considering a landmark 1990s case that continues to shape millions of Americans’ attitude towards Washington: the federal killings and coverups at Ruby Ridge.

 
Flashback to 1992 – if you think the FBI was acting within the law when they fatally shot a 14-year old boy in the back, and killed a young mother holding her 10-month old baby in the doorway of her cabin, you need to read this full account of the tragedy. Ultimately ~

(T)he feds paid the Weaver family $3.1 million to settle their wrongful-death lawsuit. A top FBI official was sent to prison for destroying key evidence.

 

Faced with a federal law-enforcement agency that actually seems to be conspiring against a sitting president, various pundits have opined that most of the rank-and-file FBI agents are conscientious, trustworthy civil servants. But if the head of the body is rotten how soon before the rest begins to decay? How long can the honest agents withstand the corrupt influence of the tyranny at the top?
 
Roger L Simon is 100% correct in his assessment of this scofflaw bureaucracy ~

The inside of the FBI, particularly at the higher reaches, seems to have been filled with a band of smug, self-righteous ideologues who would do anything, erase or rephrase anything, to get their way. And then lie about it. Either that or quote scripture. Or form “secret societies.” […]
 

Critics of the FBI often acknowledge, seemingly paying obeisance, that there are many good people at the heart of the organization. Can we assume that to be accurate? Undoubtedly there are a significant number, but how do we determine who is who in an organization so adept at, and wedded to, stonewalling?
 
Moreover, we can assume that the perpetrators at the top will be backed up and supported — some of the time anyway — by leaders of other investigative and intelligence branches, notably the CIA and the NSA, that have been similarly infiltrated over the years.

 

Oh – well that’s encouraging. Mychal Massie summed this crisis of confidence up quite well, shortly after the Bundy case mistrial was announced ~

We seem to be in an age when, if a government bureaucrat has a vendetta against someone, he or she has the power and ability to create hell for that person. It doesn’t matter who is right, government wants to prove to all that it is SOVEREIGN OVER YOU IN ALL CASES WHATSOEVER. Wow, reminds me of the Declaratory Act that Parliament sent to the colonists in 1765. It is no exaggeration to say that this is an issue over which we fought a revolutionary war.

 

It shouldn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum, whether you side with the Bundys or not, love Hillary, hate Trump… whatever. One day you might be on the receiving end of a politicized IRS, vindictive prosecutors, NSA privacy intrusions or FBI partisan intimidation. Every American who cherishes their First Amendement rights should be outraged by these blatant abuses of power.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Related:
Cliven Bundy-FBI debacle: Another example of why the feds need to be leashed Excellent analysis from James Bovard ~

In the Bundy case, Judge Navarro slammed the FBI for withholding key evidence. Unfortunately, this seems to be standard procedure for the FBI — including in their investigations of both the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns as well as the Las Vegas shooter who slaughtered concert goers last October. FBI officials have also been caught routinely twisting the truth to burnish prosecutions. False FBI trial testimony may have helped sentence 32 innocent people to death, as the Washington Post reported in 2015. How many other innocent people have been put behind bars because of federal misconduct?
 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ordering a formal investigation into how the Justice Department went awry in Nevada. Until the feds cease wrongfully abusing their targets, there will be no rebound in trust in Washington. If the Trump administration cannot rein in renegade federal prosecutors, the president should cease-and-desist any and all claptrap about “draining the swamp.”

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