Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cliven Bundy wants publicly funded lawyer in Bunkerville standoff case

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who has spent years challenging the federal government’s authority, is now seeking a court-appointed lawyer to defend him in the Bunkerville standoff case. At a brief hearing Thursday morning, Bundy told U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen that he wanted to hire longtime Las Vegas defense attorney Bret Whipple but could not afford to pay him. Leen postponed the hearing until 3 p.m. and instructed Bundy, who is in federal custody, to fill out an application to see wheter he qualifies for a publicly funded lawyer. He must disclose his assets and cash flow in the sworn application. The judge said she likely would appoint Whipple if Bundy meets the threshold for assistance. Whipple entered the case temporarily this week to help Bundy’s current lawyer, Joel Hansen, meet a deadline to file pretrial motions. Leen has allowed Hansen to withdraw from the case by the end of the month. Hansen told Leen that he is preparing to have back surgery later this year and would be unable to participate in the criminal trial, which is set to begin Feb. 6.Earlier this year, Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro refused to let conservative Washington, D.C., lawyer Larry Klayman join Bundy’s defense. Navarro said she will not allow Klayman into the high-profile criminal case until he can give her proof that “ethical disciplinary proceedings” against him in Washington have been resolved in his favor. Klayman has challenged Navarro’s order at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco...more

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