Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, October 03, 2016
Ammon Bundy says he feels the court has left him no choice but to take the witness stand
Ammon Bundy Monday told the court he has no choice but to take the witness stand in his own defense because of the judge's repeated rulings limiting defense testimony about the principles he and his co-defendants stood for to strictly evidence regarding their "state of mind.''
"I do not feel that I have a choice to testify here or not,'' Bundy told U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown, who wanted to make sure his decision to take the witness stand is his own.
Bundy criticized the court's rulings that limited defense lawyers in the federal conspiracy trial from discussing the principle of adverse possession – occupation of another's land to declare as one's one - or questioning the federal government's authority over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, "leaving me really with no choice but to get on the stand and possibly be a witness against myself.''
"I have no choice to get the truth to the jury but to get on the stand,'' Bundy continued.
Bundy, the leader of the occupation, also said he's eager to testify about the 2014 armed standoff with federal officers outside his father Cliven Bundy's ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada. Bundy, his brother and other co-defendants are facing a separate, federal prosecution in Nevada for the 2014 standoff.
Judge Brown asked if Bundy had discussed the risks of him testifying about Bunkerville, and the possibility that his statements could be used against him in his upcoming Nevada prosecution.
Bundy said he hadn't discussed the risks with his lawyers.
"What I did in Bunkerville, I'm very pleased at and very excited to discuss that further in this court and in any other court,'' Bundy told the judge.
As Brown suggested that Bundy take time to discuss the risks with his lawyer, he added, "I'm aware of the risks your Honor, and my decision will not change tomorrow.''
Bundy's statement to the judge came at the end of a full day of testimony in the trial, and as his lawyers prepare to call him as a witness sometime Tuesday morning...more