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.
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