Posts tagged ‘US Attorney’

Freedom of the Press #17 – Is This Legal?

Freedom of the Press #17
Is This Legal?

Pamala R. Holsinger, (OregonLive)

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 25, 2017

In a previous article, “Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento“, I explained that Federal Magistrate Brennan (Sacramento) intended for me to receive diesel therapy, and that I would provide insight into just why he chose that route.  It was an expected response based upon the information that he had been provided, regarding the Sealed Order Granting Government’s Request for Arrest Warrant as to Gary Hunt and Order Sealing Arrest Warrant (ECF #2017).

This Sealed Order was obviously prepared by the US Shyster’s Office.  Their intention was to punish me, as they have most of the others in the Oregon and Nevada indictments, based upon contrived accusations.

The most oft-repeated contrived accusations that we are all familiar with are:

  • To justify shooting someone, “I feared for my life and/or the life of a fellow officer”.
  • Though some have homes, family, and jobs, “They are a flight risk and should be detained in jail until trial”.

Well, now we get another one to add to the list.  I have been writing for 24 years.  I have never carried a firearm during that period.  Though my words may be inciteful, they are simply words (The Pen can be mightier than the Sword).  There is no reason to believe that I would avoid arrest, as I had continued the dialogue regarding Freedom of the Press for nearly three months, and met, willingly, with FBI Special Agent Catalano, whenever requested.  However, the wording in the Sealed Order states:

The Court, however, finds good cause to file under seal both this Order and the arrest warrant. Throughout this case and in the factually-related matters that took place in Bunkerville, Nevada, in April 2014 that are the subject of ongoing criminal proceedings in the District of Nevada, there have been instances of individuals avoiding the execution of court orders and/or arrest by engaging in armed confrontations with law enforcement. The Court issues under seal this Order and the warrant for Hunt’s arrest in an effort to permit the orderly execution of the arrest warrant.

Well, I wrote about Bunkerville (The Bundy Affair series), and I continue to do so.  However, I was not present at that armed, yet peaceful, protest of the government’s effort at the semi-legal rustling of cattle by the BLM, including their intended violation of numerous state and federal laws regarding branding and cattle health certifications.  I was at Burns for a few days.  However, I was there to get a story on the treatment of the Hammonds, prior to the fires (See “The Harassment of the Hammonds“), that got them imprisoned for five years.  There has been no effort on my part  to avoid arrest by engaging in an armed confrontation with law enforcement.  There was no arrest warrant in the possession of the FBI or the Oregon State Police during the stop, roadblock, and murder of LaVoy Finicum.  Finicum, as the government has admitted, expressed to those who had no warrant, that he was going to a law enforcement officer, Sherriff Glenn Palmer of Grant County, Oregon.

This fiction was probably simply glossed over by Judge Brown.  However, she “rubber-stamp” signed the Sealed Order and the Arrest Warrant.  This was the documentation that was presented to Eastern District of California Magistrate Brennan, who had to decide if I should be detained and diesel transported back to Oregon.  And, of course, with that as the only information that he had before him, the demonization of me was such that he curtly denied any alternative.

The case that Magistrate Brennan ruled on is United States of America v. Gary Hunt, Case No. 2:17-mj-00058.  The records transferred from California to the Oregon case, United States v. Ammon Bundy, et al, case, in Oregon (which my matter still falls within), and the Booking Report, list the only charge as a violation of 18 U. S. Code §3146, “failure to appear”.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #17 – Is This Legal?’ »

Freedom of the Press #11 – Aiding, But Not Abetting

Freedom of the Press #11
Aiding, But Not Abetting

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
March 3, 2017   (Coincidental to the presumed authority of Judge Brown’s assumption that she could Order me to answer by this date.)

The government has persistently suggested that I have “aided and abetted” the defendants by exposing informants that were paid by the government to spy on the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during January 2016.  That is only one of the elements that needs to exist before the Court can find me in contempt of court for non-compliance with the Order to remove all prohibited material from my website and any other website.

The other elements include whether I am subject to the Court’s Protective Order, and, if so, do I fall within the jurisdiction of the Court.  Currently, the Court has an outstanding Order that I appear and show cause why I should not be held in contempt of court.

Well, as explained in Freedom of the Press #3 – “Contemptuous Postings”, aiding and abetting has a legal definition.  That definition can be found in case law as well as legal dictionaries, such as Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, which states:

Help, assist, or facilitate the commission of a crime, promote the accomplishment thereof, help in advancing or bringing it about, or encourage, counsel, or incite as to its commission.

The case law cited by the government shysters also includes criminal activity as a necessary element.  One of the reasons for the Supreme Court decision in New York Times Co. v. United States (Pentagon Papers) was that there was no crime resulting from the disclosure of the classified documents.  The Court then upheld, in rather strong terms, the right, even the responsibility, of the press to publish such information.

Key to that decision was an absence of aiding and abetting, since though the exposure of the information was in good faith and brought to light some misdeeds of government, the publication of that material was not criminal, nor did it lead to a criminal act.  The person (Daniel Ellsberg) who violated his signed agreement not to disclose the information, committed the only criminal act.  The New York Times aided and abetted no one.  (See Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”.)

In the Court’s Order (ECF #1691) of January 11, 2017, Judge Brown states:

On this record, therefore, the Court concludes the government has sufficiently demonstrated that Hunt has aided and abetted the dissemination of materials covered by the Protective Order, and, therefore, the Court GRANTS in part the government’s Motion (#1680) to Enforce Protective Order as follows:

Using her judicial discretion (See Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny), she has determined that there is no party that I aided, since that party is unnamed.  She has also made the dissemination of materials a criminal act, though I, similar to the New York Times, am not subject to the Protective Order.

Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #11 – Aiding, But Not Abetting’ »

Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”

Freedom of the Press #9
“Prior Restraint”

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom
February 22, 2017  – George Washington’s Birthday

In the previous article, though suggested in the government’s Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017, it really didn’t get to the heart of “Prior Restraint”.  So, let’s get to the heart of that matter.

Let’s start with the law that explains the potential severity of publication of certain information, in a case similar to what the government and Judge Anna J. Brown are attempting to construct against me.  Section 793 (e) of the Espionage Act was cited as the authority by which the government attempted to impose “Prior Restraint” on the New York Times for publishing what was known as the “Pentagon Papers”.  The Papers had been leaked to the press by a government employee who had signed a non-disclosure agreement (not just based upon a Protective Order), which precluded that employee from divulging any information protected by Section, 793 (e):

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.
… Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

There, in a rather large nutshell, is the extent of the government’s authority to impose upon a party limitations in communicating certain information, and/or retaining and/or not delivering it to the government.  However, as we shall see, even that did not have the effect implied in the wording of the Act.

To understand the legal limitations of government’s authority, we need to look at New York Times Co. v. United States 403 U.S. 713 (1971).  The case taken up by the Supreme Court included a similar action brought against the Washington Post.  The cases were joined and the Supreme Court granted certiorari, in which the United States sought to enjoin the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the contents of a classified study entitled “History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy.”  Prior to the Supreme Court decision, the District Court for the Southern District of New York, in the New York Times case, and the District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Washington Post case held that the Government had not met that burden of proof.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the District Court in the New York Times case, putting a stay on publication on June 25, 1971.  The Supreme Court then ordered that the stay be vacated.

Now, before we go on, this is not about the source that provided the information to the newspapers.  It is solely about the right of the press to publish what it had obtained, regardless of the source.  With that in mind, we must take the reader back to a statement in the Supplement Memorandum (linked above), which states:

The government is not seeking the testimony of third-party Gary Hunt to identify the source or sources of the protected discovery information. The government intends to investigate that on its own. The government is merely seeking the removal of protected discovery material that this Court has ordered protected. Nothing about Gary Hunt’s blogging[sic] activities is implicated by the Motion to Show Cause. Third-party Gary Hunt is continuing to disseminate protected discovery material in the face of three Court Orders. No privilege is implicated.

This demonstrates the similarity of the parties in New York Times Co. and the current situation.  In neither case is the source of the information sought, though there can be little doubt that in both cases, the government was investigating the source.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”’ »

Freedom of the Press #8 – “Qualified Press Privilege”

Freedom of the Press #8
“Qualified Press Privilege”

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 21, 2017

In Freedom of the Press #6 – “Tilting at Windmills” – Redux, I address the jurisdictional issue that the government addressed in their Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017.  Due to the length of the Supplement, and the length of #6, I chose to address two remaining issues in a subsequent post.  Those two issues, Prior Restraint and Qualified Press, will be addressed in that order.  From the Supplemental Memorandum:

IV. There Is No Prior Restraint Issue or Qualified Press Privilege
A. There Is No Prior Restraint Issue Presented Here

This Court has the authority to issue protective orders protecting criminal discovery and, specifically, confidential source information. The substantial government interest in protecting confidential sources is long established. See Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957). This substantial government interest is unrelated to any suppression of expression and outweighs Hunt’s First Amendment rights. No one has challenged the legitimacy of the Court’s Protective Order, and to permit a party to end run the order by passing the information to a blogger threatens to undermine criminal discovery and the interests identified in Roviaro—i.e., if we cannot protect the confidentiality of our law enforcement informants, we cannot expect their cooperation in future investigations.

We are not asking this Court to restrain Hunt’s ability generally to write about the case— or even the informants—we only want him to observe this Court’s Order, which means that he cannot publish the discovery material subject to the Court’s Order. This discovery material was not in the public domain in any form. This Court should be able to enforce its Protective Order and prohibit wide dissemination of discovery which includes confidential FBI reports. See Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20 (1984) (an order prohibiting dissemination of discovered information before trial is not the kind of classic prior restraint that requires exacting First Amendment scrutiny). Besides Seattle Times Co. there are no cases that discuss the prior restraint issue in the context of sealed and protected discovery information in the context of a criminal trial. In United States v. Noriega, 917 F.2d 1543 (1990), the issue was the balance between a defendant’s Sixth Amendment Right to a fair trial and the First Amendment interests asserted by CNN. The Noriega Court held that CNN should not be able to violate a court order and litigate at the same time. Hunt has waived any First Amendment defense by defying the Court’s Orders.

Let’s address these underlined items, one at a time.  First, we will look at Roviaro.  Although I have addressed Roviaro, before, it is worth revisiting, since the government seems to rely heavily upon that decision.  Here is what they said:

This Court has the authority to issue protective orders protecting criminal discovery and, specifically, confidential source information. The substantial government interest in protecting confidential sources is long established. See Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957)

The government asserts that they have a right to protect the identity of informants with a protective order.  They have made this assertion, before, though they appear to have not yet read the decision nor understand the ramifications.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #8 – “Qualified Press Privilege”’ »

Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny

Freedom of the Press #7
“Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 20, 2017

Let’s review this whole situation from the beginning.  After all, it has taken a month and a half to get to this point, so perhaps a refresher is in order.

On January 5, 2017, I was hand served a “Cease and Desist Letter” by an FBI agent.  Since the service was disclosed on Facebook, I wrote a “Statement with regard to  the Freedom of the Press“, on January 6.  That was followed with a series entitled “Freedom of the Press“, beginning on January 7 entitled Freedom of the Press #1 – Meeting with the FBI.  The following day, January 8, I explained the Cease and Desist Letter with Freedom of the Press #2 – Cease and Desist.

These events were preceded by a number of articles that I had written in the “Burns Chronicles” series.  In those articles, I exposed FBI informants associated with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon.  The information used to identify and expose the informants was derived from some Discovery documents I had obtained.

The original Protective Order, dated March 24, 2016, lays out the restrictions placed upon certain described individuals.  Those prohibited from “disseminating” information contained in the Discovery are described in that Protective Order:

ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 16(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, defense counsel may provide copies of discovery only to the following individuals:

(1) The defendants in this case;

(2) Persons employed by the attorney of record who are necessary to assist counsel of record in preparation for trial or other proceedings in this case; and

(3) Persons who defense counsel deems necessary to further legitimate investigation and preparation of this case.

Upon my indicating to the FBI agent that hand-delivered the Cease and Desist Letter, that it was not applicable to me, the government filed a Motion to Enforce Protective Order (Expedited Consideration Requested), dated January 6, 2017.  That Motion states:

Pamala R. Holsinger, Assistant United States Attorneys, hereby moves this Court for an order enforcing the Protective Order against a third party illegally in possession of protected sensitive discovery materials in this case.

Now, the wording of the Protective Order says nothing about a third party, nor does it say anything about the possession of the material is illegal.  If it were illegal, it would be against the law.  However, you can only be in violation of a Protective Order if you are among those to which the Order applies.

The government makes a rather interesting statement in that Motion, “This Court has jurisdiction to enjoin a non-party from disseminating confidential documents produced in reliance upon and subject to this Court’s Protective Order.”  However, they cite a Second Circuit Court decision, Eli Lilly & Co. v. Gottstein, 617 F.3d 186, which I addressed in a subsequent article.  It does not corroborate their claim, to the contrary, it supports the limited jurisdiction that I had already stated exists.

The Motion is supported by an Affidavit, of the same date.  That Affidavit refers to some of my articles.  In so doing, they have entered those articles, which would include the entire series, into the Court’s record.  Those specifically mentioned were from “Burns Chronicles”, to include #40, #41, and #49.  Also quoted is my statement regarding the “prohibited material” taken from #40.  That statement serves as prima facie evidence of my intent.  But, the government is insistent upon twisting the truth, in order to create a wholly different characterization of my actions.  This would allow them to charge culpability on my part.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. To do so, I will be referring to FBI documents that I have obtained. They are marked, at the bottom left comer, “Dissemination Limited by Court Order”. So, let me make this perfectly clear- I have no intention of “disseminating” the documents, nor am I bound by any “Court Order”. I am writing about a Public Trial, which was held in September and October 2016

I had been working on a response to that Affidavit and its erroneous presumptions, though I never completed it (maybe I will, when time allows), when the government came back with a Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Motion to Enforce Protective Order, dated January 10, 2017.  That Motion has a rather interesting statement made when they refer to the Affidavit filed in support of the Motion.  It states:

In a Facebook post regarding the FBI’s February 5, 2017, visit to Gary Hunt to serve the cease and desist letter, a person asks “who is Gary Hunt?” On defendant Duane Ehmer’s Facebook account a response is posted, “He is working with our lawyers.”

The Ronnie Walker Affidavit in Support of that Motion, also filed on January 10, 2017, states:

On January 6, 2017, another individual posted a question on that same page asking “Who is Gary Hunt?” That same day, the message “He is working with our lawyers” was posted in reply from defendant Duane EHMER’s Facebook account. Sarah Redd-Buck and Duane EHMER’s Facebook accounts are not private and can be viewed by anyone accessing Facebook.

So, the Motion states, “He is working with our Lawyers” is a response to the question, “Who is Gary Hunt?”

On the other hand, the Affidavit states “a question on that same page asking, “Who is Gary Hunt?”.  Then states, “He is working with our lawyers” were posted in reply from defendant Duane EHMER’s Facebook account.”

Now, there is a subtle difference between the two, however, the Affidavit is more accurate than the statement made on the Motion.  Perhaps we should go to the source and see what was really said (this image is taken from the Affidavit):

Well, son of a gun, the question was actually asked a full 17 minutes after it was answered.  Who would believe that the FBI (Ronnie Walker) and the US Shyster (See Freedom of the Press #6 – “Tilting at Windmills” – Redux) would attempt to mislead the Judge?  This sequence begs a question, just to whom is Ehmer referring to by “He”?

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny’ »