Late last Friday the White House announced that President Trump would pardon popular Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Now, a major Trump supporter is calling on the president to issue another pardon.
Veteran Republican Strategist and an early advisor to the President Trump election campaign, Roger Stone, is calling on his former boss to pardon notorious cattle rancher Cliven Bundy. “I will return to Las Vegas on Sept 15 to call on @realDonaldTrump to pardon the Bundys and their supporters,” Stone wrote in a recent tweet.
Cliven Bundy, the Bundy family patriarch, was arrested in February 2016 on charges connected to a 2014 standoff between federal agents and the Bundy family. Before his arrest, Cliven Bundy was traveling from his family homestead in Nevada to Oregon to take part in another anti-government protest over land use.
The Bundy family has been engaged in a decade long legal battle with the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). After paying grazing fees for a number of years, in 1993, Cliven Bundy refused to renew his grazing permit in an act of protest against the BLM.
In 2014, BLM agents launched a “cattle gather” in an attempt to round up and auction off cattle owned by Cliven Bundy, which were supposedly trespassing on federal land. According to the BLM, Cliven Bundy owed the government an excess of $1 million in past-due grazing fees, reports Oregon Live.
Members of the Bundy family and supporters of their cause formed an impromptu militia in an attempt to confront the BLM agents. The federal agents eventually retreated in an attempt to avoid a violent confrontation. Bundy continued to graze his cattle on federal land.
Almost exactly two years later, Cliven Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan helped organize a similar protest in Oregon. The younger Bundy family members temporally took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. Ryan and Ammon said they took over the wildlife refuge to protest the recent arrest of local Burns residents Steven and Dwight Hammond.
The Hammonds were a father and son rancher team who were accused by the BLM of committing arson on federal land. The Bundy family arrived in Oregon to protest their conviction in early 2016. The Bundy family were joined in their 40-day occupation of the wildlife refuge by a large gathering of supporters.
Near the end of the occupation, Cliven Bundy attempted to travel to the area to aid his son’s cause. Bundy was arrested while leaving the plane to join the few remaining protesters at the wildlife refuge. He was charged with a series of crimes related to his 2014 protest, including interfering with an officer and weapons related charges.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy were also charged with interfering with a federal officer for their role in the 2014 protest while organizing the Malheur Park takeover. Both of the Bundy boys have been acquitted of all charges in their trial which ended in August this year.
According to The Daily Caller, Cliven Bundy is the only member of the Bundy family still facing charges.
It will be interesting to see what comes of Roger Stone’s meeting with President Trump–and whether or not another pardon will be issued in a matter of overbearing federal decisions.