New York, NY, January 8, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment in the announcement by a federal judge in Nevada that prosecutors would not be allowed to retry Cliven Bundy and other alleged ringleaders of a 2014 armed standoff in Nevada between anti-government extremists and the federal government on conspiracy and other federal charges.
Bundy and a host of anti-government and anti-public lands extremists allegedly employed armed force and threats in April 2014 at Bundy’s ranch in Nevada to oppose an attempt by the federal government to remove Bundy cattle that had allegedly been illegally grazing on public land for years.
The judge, who had in December declared a mistrial in the case, ruled that the prosecution had on multiple occasions withheld evidence from the defense that was potentially favorable to the defendants. Today, she dismissed the case with prejudice—which means the defendants cannot be retried.
“This case represented the last opportunity for justice in this case of extremists who had organized in armed opposition to the government,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “The government’s own mistakes meant the case was not even brought to the jury for a decision. This result can only embolden anti-government extremists, especially in Western states, and make future confrontations and standoffs with the government more likely.”
The dismissal of the charges against rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and Montana militia leader Ryan Payne, was the worst setback for the federal government in prosecuting anti-government extremists since a conspiracy case against the Hutaree Militia in Michigan ended in a judicial acquittal in 2012.