Wooten described Love’s “heavy handedness” in disregard of superiors’ directions that could have cost lives, alleged Love and other agency supervisors withheld potentially damning evidence and that he was removed from the investigative team because he raised concerns about his agency’s unprofessional behavior.
LAS VEGAS – Ammon Bundy said he was at times on the brink of despair behind bars but now is at peace as he awaits a judge’s ruling on whether a federal conspiracy prosecution against he, his father, older brother and another co-defendant will proceed.
The 42-year-old was released Nov. 30 after a year and 10 months in custody and is now staying at a relative’s home in Las Vegas, supervised with GPS monitoring and a curfew. He said he relies on his faith and is hopeful the “light will be brought forth.”
He said he was buoyed by the Nov. 27 memo from a Bureau of Land Management whistleblower that prosecutors shared with defense lawyers in the midst of trial on Dec. 8, feeling it corroborated much of what he and his co-defendants already knew.
Agent Larry Wooten sent the memo to the U.S. Department of Justice, citing serious concerns about Dan Love, the land management agent who led the impound operation of Bundy cattle in April 2014. Wooten described Love’s “heavy handedness” in disregard of superiors’ directions that could have cost lives, alleged Love and other agency supervisors withheld potentially damning evidence and that he was removed from the investigative team because he raised concerns about his agency’s unprofessional behavior.
Wooten, in the same memo, though said the defendants adopted an “aggressive and bully type strategy,” and that Cliven Bundy and his supporters, “chose an illegal, uncivilized and dangerous strategy” instead of properly addressing his grievances on federal grazing permits and restrictions through appropriate channels.
Ammon Bundy said the government made a mistake by locking up his father, brothers and him for so long, as it gave them a lot of uninterrupted time to pore through case discovery and learn about the law.
“We’ve been locked away for the last two years with discovery that’s been sealed. We’ve done our due diligence going through every file, trying to understand every video, trying to understand every bodycam, every dash cam,” Bundy said. “We have understood that this has been going on, but we haven’t been able to tell the public. So the fact that it has come out doesn’t surprise us at all.”
He said he expects it may be easier for the public to accept Wooten’s claims about alleged federal misconduct during the 2014 cattle impound operation and standoff, since they’re being made by someone from within the federal land management agency.
He said he expects U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro to dismiss the federal conspiracy case, or he and his co-defendants will be acquitted at trial. Navarro last week raised the prospect of a potential mistrial, the striking of certain witness testimony or a trial delay as potential remedies if she found prosecutors violated evidence discovery requirements.