John Lamb's Coverage of the Bundy Trial
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Once again, Ryan Bundy had the gallery holding back their tears. But, before he came to the lectern, Myhre tried to get Judge Navarro to remind him that he would not be allowed to share his beliefs related to the Constitution and that he wasn't to give his personal testimony of the events that led up to the standoff.
Ultimately Judge Navarro to the Prosecuting Attorney to from refraining from objecting to statements mad by the defendant Ryan Bundy. In the previous trials the defendants were denied the right to tell their side of the story. Today, Ryam was able to tell his family's position without objections.
Ryan began by thanking the jury and saying that he wanted them to get to know him. He showed the jury a Christman card him with Angie and their children. He felt that is was important that they knew about his heritage and how he was raised.

Next he spoke about the beauty and the freedom of the desert, the sunsets and sunrises and the mountains and the river. He asked them to feel the freedom, to imagine themselves on horseback. He said  were called the river rats because as kids they spent so much time swimming in the Virgin River.

He told them about how his ancestors settled on the banks of the Virgin River one hundred and forty one years ago. He explained how the Bundy family was granted water and grazing rights Laying out the history of land rights and the Nevada Water Registry, he made it clear that they were rights and not privileges as the government was claiming. The analogy he used was that of owning your home vs renting your home. As the Bundys have made clear for years, we only have the rights that we claim, use and defend. This was mixed with his explanation of how our rights are God given to us- before the establishment of government.

He countered the argument that his family is anti-government by explaining the true role of government- to protect rights not trample them. He also gave a brilliant explanation of militia and asked the jury how many of them fit the description.

The build up to the Stand Off was eloquently covered. The fact that the government had surrounded the ranch and had snipers trained on them, Davey's arrest for being peaceably on the side of the road taking photos, Margaret Houston being thrown to the ground, Ammon tazed etc. Myhre had made a big deal of Ammon stopping the dump truck with his quad.

Ryan unwound that and said that the court order only gave them permission to impound cattle, not tear up the Bundy's water infrastructure. And they had a right to know what they were doing. Answer simple questions would have avoided the entire confrontation.  Of course, the Founding Fathers and their struggle to establish freedom was highlighted. Ryan himself held back tears when he said that America should be a land of Liberty and not tyrannical government actions.

He repeated several times that this conflict wasn't about money. Reeling off the figures- that the paramilitary Impoundment operation cost a reported $6 million and that these trials probably ran $100 million- he hammered home that this conflict with the BLM was not about $100,000 in grazing fees over 25 years as the government lies.Dan Hill, Ammon's attorney, later said in the elevator that he was wondering how he was going to bring up the millions that had been spent.

The jurors were paying rapt attention. I felt one's head was going to explode when he heard about the banners in the BLM's office in Las Vegas. "No More Moo By '92" and "Catlle Free By 93". Myhre has consistently made a big deal of the protest the Bundys made about their cattle being sold at the auction barn in Ritchfield, Utah saying that the sheriff had to be called. Ryan demolished that stating that he's the one who called the sheriff.

He pointed out that the day of the stand off, he was always in the presence of Metro officers. How much of a crime could I have been committing when I was with Metro officers and then Deputy Sheriff Lombardo all day? I could go on and on- it was a wonderful opening statement.

Before this started- I thought a hung jury might result. Now I see a complete acquittal- if in fact,  it ever goes to the jury. I don't see a mistrial- but a dismissal is possible after all the collusion between the US Attorneys and BLM, Brady violations and the rest. Ammon has reserved to right to for his team's opening statement after the government's case.

First witness was supposed to be the head of the BLM's Las Vegas office. I left while they were still looking for her. Afternoon court only tomorrow. Then Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wed. But there will be a big break after that. Scheduling conflicts. 

Thanks for your prayer and intentions. It was a good day in court Submitted by Patricia Aiken an eye witness

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