Thursday, March 02, 2017

Malheur II – Ammon Bundy Testifies

I had previously posted excerpts from this version of Bundy's testimony. This reporter , had a much different take...

...By the time the prosecution questioned the witness, they seemed to be highly agitated. They fired several questions at Bundy intended to confuse his answers, however, he seemed confident and prepared for them. Questions that Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight asked during cross examination included asking him if the Hammond’s had distanced themselves from “the refuge occupation and you?” Bundy was clear when he answered “No. They were threatened.” Knight showed a video of protesters firing guns at the boat launch at the refuge and asked him, “That’s an expression of a peaceful assembly?” “Correct,” was Bundy’s answer. Knight made the mistake of asking Ammon if Ryan Payne led the group in the video at the boat launch. Bundy said, “No, I believe it was your undercover FBI guy that did that.” Knight also asked if he thought it was a “Win, Win, Win for the 16 employees that could not go to work in their offices because of your actions?” Bundy simply told him Yes. Knight continued to get upset, “No one can work!” “It is sometimes inconvenient to petition your government,” Bundy replied. Each time the prosecutor would read quotes from the transcript of Bundy’s previous testimony, it seemed to get thrown back at him. “I would love for the jury to hear the whole audio,” Bundy said at one point. The next witness was former Harney County Fire Chief Chris Briels. Briels had tendered his resignation when he caught the FBI being less-than-honest while in Burns last year. He was, basically, told to mind his own business by County Judge Steve Grasty. Briels was also very effective with the jury, connecting with them with a few snarky comments. At one point, Briels was asked what he first intended to do when he originally went to the Refuge. He told the court he “wanted to chew Ammon Bundy’s butt.” This produced snickers throughout the audience and jury. Judge Anna Brown had to stop this immediately and threatened anyone that laughed again to be thrown out of the courtroom for the duration of the trial. The government was not having their best day, but, the defendants were smiling.

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