Cliven Bundy Sues the President and Others

     LAS VEGAS (CN) — Cliven Bundy sued a federal judge, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama on Tuesday, claiming they sent “storm troopers” to his ranch to eject his family and sell it.
     Bundy says that’s what precipitated the April 2014 standoff near his ranch in Bunkerville.
     “Harry Reid’s hand-picked director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Neil Kornze, a longtime Reid aide, at the direction of Harry Reid ordered and sent the equivalent of federal storm-troopers to plaintiff Bundy’s ranch to seize his and his family’s land and capture and/or harm his cattle,” Bundy says in the federal lawsuit.
     “The reason for this invasion and assault by the BLM and other agents was to remove plaintiff Bundy and his family from the land so it could be sold for profit and/or kickbacks by and to defendants Harry Reid and his son Rory Reid, a Las Vegas lawyer in a secret under the table deal,” Bundy says. He also sued Rory Reid.
     An aide to Sen. Reid called the lawsuit “baseless and absurd.”
     “It is hardly surprising that Cliven Bundy, a man who has been breaking federal law for decades, would file a baseless and absurd lawsuit,” Reid’s communications director Kristen Orthman said.
     “Bundy, his sons and their believers have endangered the lives of federal officers, have defaced and damaged public lands and squandered public resources for their own benefit,” Orthman said. “They are domestic terrorists. They are deadly and dangerous and will be brought to justice.”
     Bundy, who has grazed his cattle on federal land for years without paying grazing fees, claims the federal government does not own federal land. The armed standoff between his backers and the Bureau of Land Management in 2014 ended when the government pulled its agents for fear of violence. Bundy continued grazing his cows on public land for free. He was arrested in February as he headed to Oregon to accompany his sons, who had occupied a federal wildlife refuge with armed supporters.
     In his lawsuit, filed by Las Vegas attorney Joel Hansen, Bundy claims federal agents threatened his and his family’s lives at gunpoint, abused and killed cattle, buried bulls in “secret mass graves,” assaulted and used Tasers on his family members to force them off the land and hired “mercenaries” to “terrorize and harm” him and his family.
     His lawsuit cites a story from the right-wing website NewsMax as proof of the conspiracy. The article claims that Rory Reid wanted the land for a Chinese solar power company he represented at the time, ENN Energy Group. It claims the plan was to get Bundy to reduce his herd from 1,000 to 150, which Bundy said would not be viable and would force his family off the land.
     In his complaint, Bundy claims the Reids and Obama issued “public threats and made false defamatory statements” about his family to further Rory Reid’s “under-the-table negotiated deal to seize and sell the Bundy ranch and its chattels, including any remaining cattle, for profit and/or kickbacks from the purchaser(s), some of whom were reported to be communist Chinese.”
     Among the defamatory statements Bundy cites are claims that he doesn’t pay his taxes, that his family and their supporters are “domestic terrorists,” that they intentionally put women and children in harm’s way to generate press stories, and that hundreds of his supporters carried sniper rifles and automatic weapons.
     He claims that Harry Reid abused his power to have the Obama administration prosecute him “in order to secure the land that was being negotiated for sale.”
     The result, Bundy says, was the arrest of his sons Ammon, Ryan, Dave and Mel for a “peaceful but armed protest at the game reserve in Oregon again over the BLM’s illegal and unconstitutional acts in attempting to seize land and chattels of fellow ranchers” and his subsequent arrest at the Portland airport.
     He also sued U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro, who is presiding over the federal government’s case against him in Nevada.
     Attorney Hansen could not be reached for comment after business hours Tuesday.
     Rory Reid did not respond to email and telephone requests for comment.
     Bundy and his sons in jail awaiting trial for the April 2014 standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville and the subsequent takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon last winter.
     One Bundy supporter, Robert Finicum, died when federal agents shot him during a traffic stop in Oregon on Jan. 26 and arrested Ammon Bundy.

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