Burns Chronicles No 12
Jon Ritzheimer and the Grand Jury
Outpost of Freedom
February 29, 2016
I have never met Jon Ritzheimer, though I have spoken and worked with Jon on various enterprises. I found him to be quite affable, and perhaps more importantly, a willing learner.
I had hoped to finally meet Jon when I arrived at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the late afternoon of Sunday, January 24. Unfortunately, Jon had left for his home in Phoenix, earlier that day. However I have no doubt that Jon and I will finally shake hands, in friendship, in the near future.
So, we know when Jon left Burns, Oregon, on January 24, but that is really not the point. The real question is; When did Jon arrive in Burns, Oregon and the Refuge?
Well, the FBI has their answer as to when Jon was in Burns. It is clearly stated in the “Redacted Criminal Complaint“. (Why the Complaint is Redacted will be discussed later in the article.) The Complaint is in the form of the “Affidavit of Katherine Armstrong”, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Perhaps a bit of background and educational foundation of SA Armstrong is in order. According to the Affidavit, she has been employed by the FBI for “one-and-a-half (1 ½) years”. Surely, that is sufficient time for a novice FBI Special Agent to prepare the foundation for a case that the Court, based upon a “Government’s Motion to Declare Case Complex, Vacate Dates, Set Status Hearing, and Exclude Time Under Speedy Trial Act“, is considering waiving, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial“, as protected by the Sixth Amendment.
However, that is not all that is rather curious about SA Armstrong. This quote, from her credentials, “I have also acquired knowledge and information pertaining to violations of federal law from numerous other sources, including: … informants,” as if informants are a part of the educational curriculum of the “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity” agency of our government.
Now, the Affidavit was signed on January 26, however, it excluded LaVoy Finicum from those named. So, we must assume that the Complaint was prepared and filed AFTER LaVoy was murdered on the side of US Highway 395.
The Affidavit, with the exception of reference to videos and the arrest of Brian Cavalier (Budda) on January 11, both of which don’t require strong investigative skills, as the former only requires an internet connection, in the latter, access to the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database, based upon events that occurred prior and up to January 7, 2016. It would seem that the government, then, has had well over a month to prepare their case. So, why do they want to deprive the accused patriots their constitutionally protected right to a speedy trial? After all, the government has unlimited agents, lawyers, resources, and money (ours) with which to prepare their case. The have already delayed “discovery”, removing time for preparation by the defense attorneys, who have limited manpower and resources.
So, let’s look at the “public trial“. Suppose you were charged with a crime. Suppose, also, that the government wanted more time to make sure that they had all of the dirt that they could get on you. Suppose, further, that the government wanted to see if they could find evidence of a crime that they weren’t even aware of, by taking a little fishing trip to the Refuge. And, suppose that they did everything they could to prevent the defense attorneys from looking over their shoulders to see what sort of fish they might catch, maybe even planting some fish to justify the rather feeble case they already have.
Now, we do have the Criminal Complaint, but as you will soon see, it is conjecture, not fact, at least in part. Most of the remainder is gross misrepresentation. The charges against the accused patriots are not based upon the Criminal Complaint, that is only justification for arrest warrants that were, demonstrably, issued after the arrests were made (hint: there was no arrest warrant for LaVoy Finicum, so the warrants would have been made out after they knew that they could not arrest a dead man.). Quite simply, they arrested six people and murdered one person, and without having the constitutionally required warrant. Within that Criminal Complaint (Redacted), we see that they have redacted (blocked out) only the month and date of birth, leaving in the years. Well, that is the first time in the federal judicial system (Beecher, Massey, Wolf, & Barbeau, etc.) where I have seen birthdates included, as they are really not relevant to the charges.
On February 3, 2016, the Grand Jury Indictment, consisting of only 3 pages, where the Criminal Complaint at 32 pages, is “Sealed”. However, the “Sealed” Indictment is readily available, at least the three pages, so we must look further to see what is really sealed. The Pacer system shows the Docket listing. The Docket listing is a numerical log of documents entered on the case before the court. Most often, the documents are logically entered (i.e. n, n+1. n+2, n+3, etc.), however we find that many entries are out of order in this case. We also find why the Indictment was Sealed, at least in part:
Note: red text reads “(In accordance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 49.1 this form document containing personal data identifiers is filed under seal)”
So, you can see, well, no you really can’t see, what is supposed to be a public trial. How can it be a public trial when we don’t even know what the specific charges are? Some will say, well, yes, we know that they are charged with violation of 18 U.S.C. §372. But, that statute is a general explanation, and, interestingly, was first enacted in 1861, during the Civil War. But, an Indictment should give the specifics of a charge. For example, the Criminal Complaint explains what the players did that just might constitute “probable cause” in violation of the statute, but the specifics are conspicuously hidden from the public, those of us who have every right to know what our fellow citizens are charged with.
We must ask ourselves, first, why the FBI wants these crucial explanations of criminal activity hidden, and, secondly why the judge should allow such devious and unconstitutional practices?
We can possibly assume that the specifics that were presented to the Grand Jury, were in the same form as they were in the Criminal Complaint. And, it is safe to assume that they were probably presented by the experienced FBI Special Agent Armstrong that learned so much from “informants”. That being the case, we can look to the Criminal Complaint, particularly item number 14, which reads:
- On December 18, 2015, a citizen (hereafter Citizen) of Harney County was shopping at the Safeway grocery store in Burns, Oregon. Citizen was wearing a BLM shirt. Citizen was confronted by two men, one whom she identified as RITZHEIMER. Citizen reported to law enforcement that she heard yelling, and when she turned around, the second individual shouted “you’re BLM, you’re BLM” at her. That person further stated to Citizen that they know what car she drives and would follow her home. He also stated he was going to burn Citizen’s house down. RITZHEIMER and the second individual left the area in a black pick-up truck with black canopy and no visible license plate. Since the incident, Citizen has observed a similar vehicle outside her residence. Citizen was unable to identify the driver of the vehicle when she later saw it. The following week, a second vehicle, described as a white truck with a pink license plate and a big rebel flag sticker on the back window, aggressively tailgated Citizen, flashing lights and driving erratically. Citizen believed the second incident was related to the first. Citizen also saw the black pick-up truck outside of her place of employment early in the morning hours of Christmas Day.
Oops, where is the accuser? Back to the Sixth Amendment, which also states, “and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” Both of these elements, the cause and the witness, are obscured under some court rule that is in obvious violation of the protected rights in the Constitution. But, then, that begins to move us to the heart of just why these patriots chose to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; to bring to light the fact that the government seems to be operating, in many areas, outside of the powers and authority granted by the Constitution.
Now, the FBI, with all of their resources, should have no problem accessing security films from Safeway, or to find others who were witness to the events described at that location on December 18. However, their diligence in pursuit of justice seems to fail in recognizing their responsibility to protect a person from unwarranted charges.
Let’s look at some facts. Remember, the FBI and NSA have access to all of our records. They have used credit card tracking to locate and arrest criminals, in the past. So, we will use those same sources to dispute the sworn affidavit of our very professional FBI SA Armstrong.
First, Jon was in Arizona, all day, on December 18. Knowing that he was going to go up to Washington, then on to Burns, he took some pictures that morning, with his daughters. He had also arranged to see a movie with a friend, before he left on his trip. The date/time of the movie shows clearly:
Now, we can look at what Jon was doing the rest of the day, December 18, including dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. The transaction date appears in the left column on his Credit Union Credit Card (top), and in the items column in the Chase Debit Card (bottom).
You will note that the Debit Card entry for 12/21 shows that he was at “Eddies Truck and Auto Center”, in Hines, Oregon. If you look at the items entered on 12/21, you will see that he was in Washington, then went through Sandy, then Prineville, which would be enroute to Hines from Washington. So, the Hines entry had to be no less than the afternoon on the 20th.
We needn’t stop there. After all, many judicial decisions are based upon the preponderance of evidence. So, let’s look at Jon’s trip northward. First, we have him stopping in Meridian, Idaho, to spend a little time with an old friend. Then we can see the route he traveled, and finally, the picture log that gives the date and location of the pictures he had taken.
So, what we must now consider is whether this information, item #14 from the Criminal Complaint, was presented to the Grand Jury as factual information. There is no supporting statement by the “Citizen”, there is no evidence that the “Citizen reported to law enforcement…”, and there is nothing to suggest that SA Armstrong even knows of the existence of “Citizen”. Perhaps she made the whole darned story up to make Jon Ritzheimer look bad — when Jon Ritzheimer was, at least, hundreds of miles away.
While we are on the subject of the protected rights within the Bill of Rights, there is another provision of the Sixth Amendment that warrants our consideration, that the speedy and public trial be “by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law.” So, we have a crime allegedly committed in Eastern Oregon, a ranching, agricultural, forestry, and mining, community (if we exclude the excessive number of government employees in Harney County, that being about 46% of the non-agricultural workforce), which is in the Eastern District of Oregon, though we have a Grand Jury empanelled in the Western District of Oregon. Now, the western District is city-folk. It is industrial, commercial, and though it may have a few small farms and ranches, it is most definitely comprised of a totally different lifestyle than the Eastern District. Now, being unable to construe any reason for the inclusion of that phrase in the Amendment than that the justice system must operate where there are people of like mind, we can only wonder why the government had opted to go into the urban realm to seek an Indictment, and we must also presume that they have every intention of subjecting what happened in the rural Eastern District to the petit jury, the determination of innocence or guilt, comprised of those urbanites in the Western District.
What the Framers gave us to protect against injustice, the Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.