Saturday, May 13, 2017

California resident who outed FBI informants in refuge takeover appears before federal judge

A federal judge Tuesday directed prosecutors to lay out their case in writing to support their argument that California resident Gary Hunt knowingly violated a court protective order by posting the names of informants who helped the FBI during the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown also asked the government to address the "efficacy" of pursuing a contempt of court ruling, considering that Hunt already has spent seven days in jail and some of the FBI informants' names came out during the course of two federal conspiracy trials stemming from the 41-day refuge occupation last year. Assistant U.S. Attorney Pam Holsinger argued that it was Hunt's intent to aid the defendants in the case by outing the FBI informants online so they could be called as witnesses during the trials. "This defendant is directly tied to this criminal case,'' Holsinger said. "There's no other place to appropriately enforce this protective order.'' But Hunt and his lawyer, Michael Rose, have argued that the federal court in Oregon doesn't have authority over him, nor did the initial protective order that prohibited parties in the case or their defense teams from distributing or publicizing documents on the unnamed FBI informants. The documents were turned over to defense lawyers as part of trial discovery. "The fact he wound up with discovery documents doesn't indicate how he got them,'' Rose told the court. "His interest is in transparency ... shining the light on what the government does and how it does it.'' The presence of nine informants on the eastern Oregon refuge during the occupation in the winter of 2016, as well as six other informants who worked on the case for the FBI , came out during testimony in the first trial of occupation leaders. Rose said Hunt's writings posted on his "Outpost of Freedom'' blog all occurred in California, where Hunt lives...more

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