Posts tagged ‘US Attorney’

Barbeau Qued in Seattle – The Government is Seeking the Last Drop of His Blood

Barbeau Qued in Seattle

The Government is Seeking the Last Drop of His Blood

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 4, 2017

Schuyler Barbeau’s Sentencing Recommendation, based upon his record, history, etc., recommends months of incarceration. This would be followed by 3 years of supervised release. It also recommends no monetary penalty, except the $200 Special Assessment. His Sentencing Hearing is scheduled for September 8, 2017, just a few days away. Schuyler was okay with this, as at least, he would be free (except the supervised release) in December or January.

Now, we must talk about the role of the United States Attorney. His role is to get a conviction. During trial, when Schuyler changed his pleas to Guilty, so the  that task was done. However, prosecutors are those people that will lie, falsify evidence, object to defendants putting on a defense, and use every conniving trick in their book, are also vindictive. The Sentencing Guidelines establish a check list for the punishment of guilty defendants. There wouldn’t be much need for the Guidelines if Congress felt that the punishment should be determined in the courtroom. However, they enacted the Guidelines in their quest for “equality”, and that should be the end of it.

However, those well-paid government attorneys seem to have a scorecard, like ticket quotas for police.  Their vindictive nature (since they are otherwise immune from nearly any remedy) shows when they can’t be satisfied with a job, well, well done, with the conviction.

Not so with USA Annette L. Hayes and AUSA Thomas M. Woods, with the United States Attorney in Seattle, Washington. They have prepared a 12 page “Government’s Sentencing Memorandum” in an effort to nearly triple Schuyler’s sentence, to 72 months.

That Memorandum says that:

“Barbeau has spent years telling the world that he will use deadly force against law enforcement officers who attempt to take any steps that interfere with his beliefs, including instances in which officers are simply carrying out Court-authorized orders. His conduct has not been limited to words—he built a fully-automatic machinegun that he repeatedly threatened to use against law enforcement. He sought to purchase a .50 caliber gun on the theory that it would be more effective in a shootout with law enforcement.”

The fact that this is a conclusion of the government, not a fact ruled on in court, seems to make no difference. Just because the government says it is so, it must be so.

The government goes on to say:

“Specifically, Barbeau has repeatedly stated that he will use deadly force to “protect himself” against an arrest where he believes that the arrest is unlawful. Thus, he repeatedly stated his intent to kill any law enforcement officers who sought to arrest him or his friends because of his view that none of them have done anything wrong. This conduct is not “self-defense”—it is murder.”

Now, this just shows how far away from our Constitution the government has drifted. In 1900, the Supreme Court ruled that John Bad Elk, who had shot and killed an officer who was armed, though the officer never raised his rifle, was guilty of a misdemeanor, or no crime at all, since the attempt to arrest him was not lawful. See The Right to Self Defense. I supposed, as we have all conjectured, the Constitution has been put aside by the government. With the crafty wording of enactments, and the “case law method”, they continue to circumvent the Constitution.

Next, they accuse him of trying,

“to sell his illegal firearm on the black market. Barbeau did not show any particular interest in learning about the identity of the seller who the CHS said was willing to purchase the gun. The CHS told Barbeau that the potential buyer worked for Microsoft, but Barbeau showed no interest in ascertaining why this individual wanted a gun that operated both as a machinegun and a short-barreled rifle. Rather, Barbeau was fixated instead on the profit that he would make—which would allow him to upgrade to a .50 caliber gun that he believed would be more effective in a shootout with law enforcement. It is bad enough to manufacture a machine gun/short barreled rifle—it is worse to sell the gun in the black market without any proper background check or due diligence as to why the gun was being purchased.”

So, if you want to sell something directly to someone else, or, as in Barbeau’s case, a friend offers to sell it for you, it is now a “black market”. “Black Market” is legally defined as “Illegal trading; buying or selling goods which are subject to government rationing or , including goods that are contraband.”

Now, “goods” is plural. But, what if you make a one of a kind item, with your own hands? What if you were never within federal jurisdiction. What if you decided that you wanted to sell your handiwork? Do you need to get a license to do so?

Well, it appears that the government can do whatever they want. The problem that we face is, when does it stop? When will anything that you make, not as a business, rather as an individual, be criminal to sell, and even criminal to pass on (transfer) to your children?

Finally, in another attempt at demonizing Schuyler Barbeau, the government wants to equate him to an ISIL or ISIS supporter, when they say:

“The government believes that the recent sentencing of Daniel Franey, CR16-5073RBL, presents comparable circumstances. In that case, Daniel Franey, a prohibited person, briefly possessed firearms that were handed to him by an undercover agent. Franey had expressed a repeated desire to kill law enforcement officers and the military in the name of the Islamic State, i.e., ISIL or ISIS. Although the Sentencing Guidelines range was only 33-41 months, the Court sentenced Franey to 72 months of imprisonment, citing, among other things, his repeated desire to commit violence.”

This is not a limbo contest, though the government surely wants to show just how low they can go. They are, without question, seeking Barbeau’s last drop of blood.

Freedom of the Press #18 – The Big Guns

Freedom of the Press #18
The Big Guns

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 10, 2017

August 8, 2017, was the date set for the government to file their response.  They did so in the Government’s Reply to Respondent’s Opposition to Government’s Memorandum in Support of Civil Contempt.  That will be the subject of this article, however the recent background, since the May 9, 2017, Jurisdiction Hearing.

As a result of that Hearing, the government first filed the Government’s Memorandum in Support of Civil Contempt (June 12, 2017).  That was the subject “Freedom of the Press #16 – Jurisdiction Hearing“.  It appears that since January, when the government sought to have me held in Contempt of Court, they have yet to come up with a case citation that supports their position.

My response was filed as Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Government’s Memorandum in Support of Civil Contempt (July 21, 2017).  This Memorandum increases the burden on the government, separating articles published before the “Supplemental Protective Order” and the one article published after that Order.  The government has yet to meet any standard of proof with regard to their legal responsibility to do so.

So, the current government Reply endeavors to regurgitate some of the same arguments that the government has relied upon, through the course of this ordeal.  For example, they have, from the beginning, relied upon Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957), when they state, “The substantial government interest in protecting confidential sources is long established.”  Where they fail in Roviaro, is that the protection is afforded by allowing the government to protect the identity of the informant.  In the words of the Roviaro decision, “What is usually referred to as the informer’s privilege is, in reality, the Government’s privilege to withhold from disclosure the identity of persons…”  What it does not do is to extend any criminal liability to those that disclose an informant’s identity.  It simply gives the government the right to try to protect the identity.

In the current matter, that was done to the extent that the law allows, the Protective Order that sanctioned those who were given certain information from disclosing that information.  It is only that person, whether a defendant, defendant’s counsel, or even government employee, was subject to the Court’s order not to divulge the identity of the informants.

The government did so even prior to the Discovery being given to the defendants, when they redacted what they believed to be any information that would tend to expose the informants.  The informant’s names were redacted as where many hundreds of words that the government felt would identify the informants.  The government keeping that information away from the defendants (the identification of informants) was their exercise of the protection of the informants, as per Roviaro.

The government continues to persist in stating, rightfully, “this Court had the authority to issue the orders and that it continues to have the authority to enforce the orders.”  However, they have yet to address the relevant aspect of jurisdiction.  To put this in context, if a judge in Mexico issues an order, he has such authority.  He also has the right to enforce that order.  However, does he have the jurisdiction to first, apply that order to someone not within his jurisdiction?  And, second, the authority to enforce the order against someone not within his jurisdiction?

The government wants to spin the context of what I said into a confession that is very, very far from my belief and honest admission as to the authority of the judge.

As the government continues, they make this rather curious assertion:

“When Hunt complains that this Court’s orders “prohibit” him from publishing “certain investigative pieces,” his factual premise is simply inaccurate.  Second, the justification for the original Protective Order continues because there is an ongoing need to protect cooperating witnesses regardless of the status of the trial.”

So, let’s break this down.  I have never complained about anything, except the fact that I was arrested by the government, similar to this current contempt situation, wrongfully applying a statute that did not apply to me, resulting in my spending a week in the Sacramento County Jail.  It would have been substantially longer had not Judge Brown seen through the deceitful tactic of the government in attempting to punish me, by simply lying to have a warrant issued for my arrest.  See Freedom of the Press #17 – Is This Legal?

Then, the government shysters endeavored to make a point:

“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.”

How nice of them to say that they don’t have a problem with me writing “about the case — or even the informants.”  How gracious.  However, these shysters are supposed to present facts.  My reputation as a journalist (not a blogger) is based on presenting facts.  Let’s suppose that I wrote about the informants, but failed to justify my conclusions without facts to back up those conclusions.  Well, then, I might just be a blogger.  However, as facts are a requisite in our judicial system, they are also a matter of principle to a good journalist.  To make accusations without presenting the facts makes a mockery of journalism, as it would of the judicial system.

Besides, such accusations are prolific in the patriot community.  They tend to lack any substance and are often made over a simple disagreement between two people.  Should some rely upon simply my word that so and so is an informant, the informant would simply accuse the accuser of being an informant.  And, the louder voice would probably prevail.  Surely, the government shysters would love to see an expansion of the “he said; she said” sort of rhetoric in the community.

As we continue through the Reply, we find this rather subjective statement of ‘facts’:

“[T]he government’s interests far outweigh any First Amendment interest Hunt may assert.  First, we need to protect our confidential sources for all of the valid reasons identified in Roviaro.  Second, the Court has a significant interest in enforcing the terms of its own Protective Orders.  Without enforcement, Hunt’s defiance threatens to undermine our ability to exchange discovery in future criminal cases.”

Now, the first point has already been addressed, with regard to the government’s right to endeavor to protect their sources — which they did by denying the defendants the right to call the witnesses against them (6th Amendment).  Second, the Court wrote the Protective Order and subjected those identified as subject to that Protective Order.  Daniel Ellsberg was the criminal in the “Pentagon Papers”.  The New York Times was not.  Finally, and the most laughable, is that the government feels that the exchange of discovery might be undermined.  Well, there is little doubt that the shysters want to keep as many secrets as they can from the defense.  However, in an effort to attempt to maintain their unscrupulous cadre of spies amongst us, they would willingly subvert the Constitution.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #18 – The Big Guns’ »

The Bundy Affair #21 – Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice

The Bundy Affair #21
Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 31, 2017

Introduction

In “Liberty or Laws?  – Justice or Despotism?“, I discussed how the case law method provides the government, through judicial proceedings, to move, a decision at a time, away from the intent of the Constitution.  In recent events in the second Tier 3 trial, only two-thirds of the trial was declared a “mistrial”, while the other third was not declared a mistrial.  I say this because the first trial, by the government’s design, included six defendants, all of whom were accused of wielding firearms on April 12, 2014, when the Bureau of Land Management returned the surviving captured cattle to their rightful owner.  Two defendants were found guilty of some of the charges.  The remaining four were not found guilty of any of the charges, though they were also not found not guilty.  So, there was no mistrial on the two, but there was a mistrial in the same singular trial of the other four.

Now comes the second trial, and the subject of this article.  Jury selection occupied the first two days of the trial and much of the third day.  Now, in jury selection, each side, Prosecution and Defense, may challenge a juror for cause.  Each side also has what are called “peremptory challenges”.  This is the definition of peremptory challenges found in Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition:

Peremptory challenge.  A request from a party that a judge not allow a certain prospective juror to be a member of the jury.  No reason or “cause” need be stated for this type of challenge.  The number of peremptory challenges afforded each party is normally set by statute or court rule.

However, on the third day of trial, the government, apparently butt-hurt over the Defendant’s Peremptory Challenges, brought up what is known as a “Batson Challenge”, historically exercised by the defense, not by the prosecution.  They allege that the peremptory challenges were intentionally applied (state of mind) to exclude certain potential jurors.  Well, it appears that the Defendants cannot have a state of mind presented in Court as to why they went from their homes to Bunkerville, but they can be held accountable for their state of mind when it comes to jury selection.

Background of the Batson Challenge

The Batson Challenge is based upon a 1986 United States Supreme Court decision in Batson v Kentucky 476 US 79.  It deals with the Defendant’s right to challenge a jury makeup if the government’s peremptory challenges create a gender or racial bias in the jury.  First, a little background based upon earlier decisions.  In reviewing these cases, you will see that the original protection afforded to the people by the Constitution is slowly being chipped away.  In this current trial, the right protected for the people is now being used to afford the government the opportunity to claim a right that was intended to be a prohibition against the government.

As early as 1879, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the right of the defendant, with regard to the use by the prosecution of Peremptory Challenges, to stack the jury.  The case was Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 US 303.  Based upon the 14th Amendment, the decision stated, “that a State denies a black defendant equal protection when it puts him on trial before a jury from which members of his race have been purposefully excluded.”  [Quoted portion cited from Batson v. Kentucky.]

Strauder goes on to say that “A defendant has no right to a petit jury composed in whole or in part of persons of his own race.  However, the Equal Protection Clause guarantees the defendant that the State will not exclude members of his race from the jury venire on account of race, or on the false assumption that members of his race as a group are not qualified to serve as jurors.  By denying a person participation in jury service on account of his race, the State also unconstitutionally discriminates against the excluded juror.”  [Quoted portion cited from Batson v. Kentucky.]

Interestingly, that underlined portion from Batson, “By denying a person participation in jury service on account of his race, the State also unconstitutionally discriminates against the excluded juror “, presumes that the juror has a right to sit on the jury, nearly equal to the right of the defendant.  This appears to be a very early example of Civil Rights (See Liberty or Laws? – Natural Rights versus Civil Rights), whereby the government grants a civil right at the expense of one who previously enjoyed a natural right.

However, note that since the Bill of Rights, particularly the Fifth Amendment, guarantees the people the right to a trial by jury, it does not grant that right to the jury.  If anything, the jury has no right to refuse jury service, unless they are otherwise exempted.  The Bill of Rights was to protect us from the government.  It was never intended to provide the government the means to remove our protection from the actions of that government.

What the Batson decision does not provide, however, is the background of Strauder.  Strauder was indicted for murder.  He was an ex-slave, and the indictment was tried in a West Virginia Circuit Court and found guilty.  His case then went to the West Virginia Supreme Court, where they upheld the lower court’s verdict.  It then went to the United States Supreme Court on a Writ of Error.  So, taking from the Strauder decision, we find what led to the composition of the jury in the Circuit Court trial, to wit:

In the Circuit Court of the State, before the trial of the indictment was commenced, the defendant presented his petition, verified by his oath, praying for a removal of the cause into the Circuit Court of the United States, assigning, as ground for the removal, that ‘by virtue of the laws of the State of West Virginia no colored man was eligible to be a member of the grand jury or to serve on a petit jury in the State; that white men are so eligible, and that by reason of his being a colored man and having been a slave, he had reason to believe, and did believe, he could not have the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings in the State of West Virginia for the security of his person as is enjoyed by white citizens, and that he had less chance of enforcing in the courts of the State his rights on the prosecution, as a citizen of the United States, and that the probabilities of a denial of them to him as such citizen on every trial which might take place on the indictment in the courts of the State were much more enhanced than if he was a white man.’

This led to West Virginia, not a seceding state that would have been required to rewrite its constitution, to revise its laws on jury makeup.  This, of course, was a consequence of the due process provision of the 14th Amendment.

As I have said in the past, the presumption of innocence was based upon the fact that the Indictment (the alleged story of events) was on trial, not the defendant.  However, we have lost sight of that concept and now perceive the guilt of the defendant (the focus) as the purpose of the trial, not the validity of the Indictment.  Subtle, but still effective.

The Batson decision also provides the following:

[T]he Kentucky Supreme Court observed that recently, in another case, it had relied on Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202, and had held that a defendant alleging lack of a fair cross section must demonstrate systematic exclusion of a group of jurors from the venire.

So, in this citation, the defendant has the burden of proving that the prosecution has not used “systematic exclusion” in their use of their peremptory challenges.  However, as we will see, in the current case, that burden will be transferred to the prosecution, and the defendant is accused of “systematic exclusion”.

. Continue reading ‘The Bundy Affair #21 – Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice’ »

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’ »