In a previous post, I reported on how the Inspector General’s report confirmed the FBI posed as an Associated Press Editor without regard for approval from the AP. Now, an attorney who is defending Ammon Bundy against charges resulting from the 2014 Bundy Ranch siege, is claiming the FBI agents also posed as a film crew in order to “extract admissions” from those who have been arrested and charged in connection with standing against the DC government’s unconstitutional overreach regarding land.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports:
Attorney Chris Rasmussen said undercover agents conducted video interviews of several defendants to “extract admissions” from them before they were charged.
He identified the company as Longbow Productions, which does not appear in online Nevada licensing records.
Attorney Dan Hill, who is defending Ammon Bundy, said his client was interviewed for several hours in Phoenix by Longbow Productions months before he was charged in the Bunkerville standoff with his father, Cliven Bundy, and other defendants.
“I believe that the FBI was pretending to be members of the news media in order to have lengthy conversations with Ammon and others,” Hill said. “Ammon has nothing to hide, but I still find it troublesome that the FBI would sink to that tactic.”
Another defense lawyer, Jess Marchese, said his client Eric Parker gave the company a 90-minute interview in Idaho, where he lives.
“From everything that I’ve seen, it’s my belief that Longbow Productions was the FBI,” Marchese said. “I know that there were interviews with some of the other defendants. It was definitely unique, but I don’t think it’s overly harmful to my client because his recitation of the facts has always been the same.”
Mr. Rasmussen also represents Pete Santilli, who was recently cleared of all charges in Oregon regarding the Malheur Refuge occupation. He wants to expose the government’s involvement with Longbow Productions and its deceptive practices. In fact, Rasmussen said the defense should be able to remove personal identifiers from government documents and be able to file them publicly.
“Counsel should be allowed to make professional judgments and redact the personal information of any person outlined in police or FBI reports like counsel in this district has done in every case prior to this one,” he said.
Attorney Maggie McLetchie, who represents the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Battle Born Media and The Associated Press, applauded Rasmussen’s call.
“In short, the protective order in place is excessively broad,” she said. “It cloaks information that the public has a right to know about in total secrecy.”
“The public has a right to assess for itself whether the government engaged in problematic law enforcement practices and whether this prosecution is retaliation for criticizing the government,” she said. “The courts belong to the people, and law enforcement works for the people, too.”
I agree with her assessment. If this is going to be a public trial anyway and we are a free society, why is the government seeking to hide the evidence, including the altering of video evidence by the Bureau of Land Management? You only do such things if you are afraid of the truth coming out.
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