Bundy sues judge in Nevada standoff case, wants her removed

Carol Bundy, left, wife of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks with Joel Hansen, center, attorney for Cliven Bundy, and Larry Klayman outside of the federal courthouse, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in Las Vegas. Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is suing the federal judge handling his criminal case with a complaint that accuses President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and one of Reid's sons of plotting to steal his property. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is suing the federal judge handling his criminal case stemming from an armed standoff with government agents, with a complaint that accuses President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and one of Reid’s sons of plotting to steal Bundy’s property.

Bundy lawyer Joel Hansen handed a copy of the lawsuit to U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in open court in Las Vegas on Tuesday, and he told her that because she’s a named defendant, she should remove herself from Bundy’s case.

The judge responded that case law doesn’t let a defendant create such a scenario.

But Navarro invited Hansen to try to identify whether her work as a prosecutor in the Clark County district attorney’s office before she was nominated to the federal bench created for her a conflict in the Bundy case. She set a May 25 date to rule whether she’ll step aside.

Hansen said that Navarro is beholden to Reid because the then-Senate Democratic majority leader recommended her for the judgeship. Obama nominated her, and she was confirmed by the Senate on a 98-0 vote in May 2010.

Hansen complained also that Navarro won’t let outspoken conservative attorney Larry Klayman represent Bundy in Nevada until disciplinary proceedings against Klayman are resolved in Washington, D.C.

The filing of the lawsuit came during a detention hearing at which Hansen, with Klayman in the audience, argued that Bundy’s constitutional rights are being violated and that charges against the 70-year-old cattleman should be dismissed.

The judge said she’ll decide that question if she remains on the case.

Bundy and 18 other defendants have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, obstruction, weapon, threats and assault charges that could get each the equivalent of life in prison for the tense gunpoint standoff in April 2014 near Bundy’s ranch outside Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

See the criminal complaint filed by U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden in the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, Feb. 11, charging Cliven Bundy with six counts (enumerated below) here: 20160211 Criminal Complaint – USA v Cliven Bundy

In court, Hansen accused Reid of tainting public opinion against Bundy by branding him a domestic terrorist after the April 2014 standoff, which Hansen alleged followed a Reid order for the federal Bureau of Land Management to round up Bundy cattle from the scenic Gold Butte area near Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville.

Reid owns property nearby, Hansen said, on which he wants Chinese interests to build a solar power plant. Hansen alleged that Reid’s son, attorney Rory Reid, is negotiating that deal. Rory Reid declined to comment about the lawsuit.

In a statement, Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman dismissed the lawsuit as “baseless and absurd,” and repeated the “domestic terrorist” label.

“Bundy, his sons and their believers have endangered the lives of federal officers, have defaced and damaged public lands and squandered public resources for their own benefit,” the statement said. “They are deadly and dangerous and will be brought to justice.”

Officials at the White House didn’t immediately respond to messages.

Federal prosecutor Steven Myhre dismissed as “outrageous, irrelevant and offensive” the idea that there was “some grand conspiracy by political leaders to take over the land.”

Written by Ken Ritter, Associated Press. Ritter reported from Las Vegas.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,rewritten or redistributed.

Resources

  • 20160211 Criminal Complaint – USA v Cliven Bundy
  • Criminal complaint (above), filed Feb. 11 in U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, includes six counts against Cliven Bundy as follows:
    • Count 1 – Conspiracy to Commit An Offense Against the United States
    • Count 2 – Assault on a Federal Officer By Use of Deadly and Dangerous Weapon & Aiding and Abetting
    • Count 3 – Use and Carry of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence & Aiding and Abetting
    • Count 4 – Interference with Commerce by Extortion & Aiding and Abetting
    • Count 5 – Use and Carry of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence & Aiding and Abetting
    • Count 6 – Obstruction of the Administration of Justice & Aiding and Abetting

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9 Comments

  • CDub May 11, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Must be frustrating for Cliven that he can’t use guns to intimidate the judge while he’s in jail.

  • tcrider May 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    the federal government is not stealing, its called being held accountable for your tax debt. and there will
    be other deadbeat bundies on the news in the future, it must be the in-breeding that causes the all the confusion.

  • Roy J May 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

    That Joel Hansen, he’s quite the legal eagle…

  • Roy J May 11, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Additionally, these counter-suits are a wonder to behold, and serve to undermine the defendant’s divinely right position. I would think that the super-moral, god-fearing, Constitution-in-the-pocket wearing, native geniuses of American Law and Order could hardly have need of a change of venue. Oh well.

  • anybody home May 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    The Bundys and their gang, including Cliven, are an amazing group. Nothing, absolutely nothing, they do is wrong. Ever. If you don’t believe me, just read about or listen to the dozens of videos they made bragging, bullying, threatening or whining and complaining about all the things other people are doing to them–and how badly they’re treated no matter what jail they’re in. Apparently the Bundy’s have confused jail with a 5-star hotel in Vegas and want all the comforts therein.

    They are a complete laughing stock in the Northwest with their whimpering demands, complaints, and claims of acting because the Lord and/or Moroni told them what to do. This will not be the strongest defense when it comes to trial. And they are really really annoyed that they have strong female judges in both Oregon and Nevada. The Oregon gang is also working to get the judge removed. (And the entire case thrown out.)

    As for Klayman and Hansen, all they need is one more to be the millennial Three Stooges.

  • Jerome May 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Just a thought. Look at Count 1 – Conspiracy to Commit An Offense Against the United States.

    Definition: “If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

    If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.”

    …And you think they cant come get you for anything they want? I don’t care if you agree with how the Bundy’s did it or not, how do you fight that charge? Who decides what “any offense” really means? This should scare any citizen.

    • fun bag May 11, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      we live in a modern police state. that was the plan since 9/11. we lose more freedoms every year

    • KarenS May 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Unless you are in the mafia, a drug cartel, a terrorist, executives of Enron, and now, the gun-toting Bundys, I wouldn’t worry too much about a federal conspiracy charge. It is a difficult charge to prove and is reserved only for those sorts of people. And, fun bag, we don’t life in a police state. Try visiting a real police state and you will see the difference. Now, get a good night’s sleep.

  • Roy J May 11, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    But, the US government can’t just come and get you for whatever it wants, and it doesn’t. Citizen, breathe a sigh of relief!

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