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Tag: Cliven Bundy

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Charges Against FBI Agent Over Oregon Refuge Standoff

LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed during the standoff at an Oregon Wildlife Refuge. Photo via YouTube.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI agent charged with repeatedly lying to state and federal investigators about firing two shots at leading Oregon standoff protester Robert “LeVoy” Tinicum’s truck in 2016 will face trial after a judge refused to dismiss any of the criminal counts.

Attorneys for FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita tried to get some of the charges dismissed, arguing the three counts of making a false statement and two counts of obstruction of justice are prejudicial and unnecessarily repetitive, the Oregonian reports

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones dismissed those claims, calling the defense motion premature.

The agent’s attorney, Meghan Ferguson, argued the indictment was an “impermissible five-count pileup” related to one alleged lie that should amount to no more than one charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman, a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, defended the charges, saying Astarita liked to three supervisory FBI agents and in two interviews with Oregon State Police detectives.

“Defendant told different lies at different times to three different FBI supervisors with different roles and responsibilities,” Sussman argued.

FBI Investigated Armed Supporters of Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy

Steve Neavling

Supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy are finding some more unwanted attention.

FBI agents have launching an investigation into the April 12 confrontation between Bundy, his supporters and law enforcement, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

“I’ve said all along there has to be accountability for what took place on April 12,” Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.

The sheriff said the FBI is reviewing threats and assaults on law enforcement officials on the day of the showdown.

Of particular concern is supporters who were pointing weapons at law enforcement, the Review-Journal wrote.