A PETITION TO DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
TO FREE THE POLITICAL PRISONERS
We, free Citizens of the United States of America, do hereby exercise our God given right, protected by the First Amendment, to petition the government for redress of grievances. Our grievances are as follows:
The Bundy family pioneered the ranching industry in Southern Nevada, having raised cattle in the Gold Butte area since the 1850's. They did this successfully without government assistance or interference for many decades. In doing so, they transformed an unproductive wilderness into a successful ranching operation, raising millions of pounds of beef to feed a hungry America. And in so doing, they improved the natural environment, providing water and food for the native plants and animals, in particular for the desert tortoises, which thrive and grow in the presence of cattle, whose cow pies are the tortoises' favorite dessert.
In 1934, Congress enacted the Taylor Grazing Act, which directed the BLM to assist ranchers in raising cattle for the American consumer by building fences, developing water sources, distribution networks, etc. This worked well for many years until the BLM-ocrats gradually assumed the role of adversaries of the ranchers, taking the attitude that ranching was bad for the environment. The BLM gradually raised grazing fees, limited the ranchers' allotment of cows, and shortened the grazing season until they put over 50 ranchers in Clark County, Nevada out of business, leaving Cliven Bundy the last man standing. Cliven realized that the BLM was no longer doing its job of assisting him, but instead was bent on destroying him, and so he fired the BLM for incompetence, malfeasance, and insubordination. (Remember, the government is supposed to be our servant, not our master.).
Undaunted, the BLM obtained several federal court orders telling Rancher Bundy and his family to abandon his ancestral land, based upon the false premise that his cattle were endangering the desert tortoise. When Cliven Bundy continued to recognize Nevada's claim to the land rather than that of the federal usurpers, the BLM invaded the Bundy ranch with its private army of mercenary soldiers, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons and body armor.
Hearing of this unlawful assault on American liberties, ranchers, farmers, and other patriotic citizens gathered from around the country to Bunkerville (rhymes with Bunker hill) to exercise their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and their Second Amendment right to bear arms. They stood bravely before the menacing federal invaders, who, when they saw the courage and determination of these peaceful cowboys to stand up for liberty, turned tail and ran like scared jack rabbits. And the "cowboys" did all of this without ever firing a shot.
Now, for their courageous acts, many of these brave, liberty loving men are being held without bail as political prisoners, while the government, refusing to give up in the face of a complete acquittal in the related Oregon case and a hung jury in Las Vegas, interminably drags out their prison time, while the federal judge, determined to see them convicted, rules astoundingly that the First and Second Amendment are no defense to the charges against them.
It is clear from the above that Cliven Bundy and his sons Ryan, Ammon, Mel, and Davey and their co-prisoners, are, like Nelson Mandela, political prisoners of a government which has been bent on stifling all dissent against its unconstitutional and tyrannical policies.
After the above paragraphs were written, the second trial of the first group tried ended in an acquittal on almost all charges. Steven Stewart and Ricky Loveland were acquitted on all charges, while Eric Parker and Scott Drexler were acquitted of all but four charges. All were acquitted of conspiracy. Of the four charges remaining against Parker and Drexler, two were identical--Count Six and Count Nine were for "Use and carry of a firearm." Pardon me--read that again, please. "Use and carry of a firearm." That's right--directly in the face of the Second Amendment the federal government charged all four of these patriotic citizens with the "use and carry of a firearm." It's no wonder Judge Navarro ruled before the second trial that the First and Second Amendments could not be used as defenses against these charges. In the first case the defendants were allowed to use the First Amendment Right to Peaceably Assemble and the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms as defenses to the charges. So in the second trial, having learned her lesson, incredibly Judge Navarro threw out the Constitution and prevented any mention of the First or Second Amendment before the jury!!! She also ruled that all of the witnesses the defense wanted to call could not testify because they had nothing to add that was relevant. Eric Parker, the subject of the famous photograph where he is pointing his rifle through a narrow space in the barricades on the side of the bridge over the freeway (no evidence was ever presented that any of the government agents were ever aware of his presence, and no evidence was presented that he actually pointed his rifle at anyone)--Eric Parker was only allowed to testify as to what he actually did--the actions he took. He could not testify about what he saw, what he heard, or what his intentions were. And he was summarily yanked off the witness stand because of not answering the questions within the judge's illegal parameters. What little testimony he gave was stricken from the record. Scott Drexler was the only defense witness the jury heard, and his testimony was very limited. The judge sustained all prosecution objections to his testimony, whereupon his answer would be stricken. No other defense witnesses were allowed to testify. None.
The defense attorneys, having been prevented from presenting a defense by a judge determined to see the defendants convicted, refused to give a closing argument. What's the point when you have not been allowed to present any evidence?
And then the miracle happened. The Bill of Rights, not to be dismissed so easily, came to the rescue. The Sixth Amendment requires that all criminal cases be tried before a jury. The jurors, seeing the hypocrisy of the judge who consistently sustained all of the prosecutions objections and overruled all of the defense's objections, and obviously knowing that the defendants had not received a fair trial, voted to acquit on all charges as to two defendants, voted to acquit Drexler and Parker on all but four charges, and voted 11 to 1 to acquit on the remaining charges. We need to thank God for the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in requiring jury trials in all criminal cases. Juries are one of the last bastions of freedom in America. We can't control the judges, we can't control the prosecutors, but we have juries whose job it is to stand between these honest patriotic men and the most powerful government in the world. And the jurors did their job. All but one, who refused on four counts.
And then the evidence that these men are political prisoners of the Amerikan government, and that the judge and the prosecution are determined to "get" these innocent men at all costs, became even clearer when U.S. attorney Steve Myhre announced that the prosecution is going forward with the remaining charges and will try Scott Drexler and Eric Parker for the THIRD TIME!! It appears that the real criminals here are not the remaining defendants. The real bad guys occupy other seats in the court room.
Now that Barack Obama has been turned out of office, we are petitioning President Trump to free these innocent political prisoners by directing the department of justice to dismiss all charges against them and/or by pardoning them of any and all crimes alleged against them. The holding of innocent men on political charges has no place in the American Republic. All they are guilty of is relying on the First and Second Amendments. Since when did that become a crime? Please join us in this great American cause to "FREE THESE POLITICAL PRISONERS" by signing the petition. -
by Joel F. Hansen, Esq.,State Chairman, Independent American Party of Nevada