US Attorney’s Office Implicated in Bunkerville Standoff?
Dan Love Testimony Suggests the DOJ may have
Released the Cattle to Entrap the Bundys and their Supporters
Fired BLM agent Daniel Love took to the witness stand today in the Bunkerville Standoff Trial. Love testified via SKYPE from Salt Lake City, with multiple attorneys in the room to protect his interests. Love was dressed for success wearing spectacles and a vest, a tie and a suit jacket.
Love’s attorneys have been fighting the subpoenas for their client claiming he has developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the Bunkerville Standoff event in April 2014.
Love was the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the cattle impoundment event named “Operation Gold Butte’. Love testified that he had over 200 personnel, including civilian contractors, under his command. This did not include other agencies such as local law enforcement and more than 20 FBI agents.
The focus of the evidentiary hearing was to determine the facts surrounding the destruction of evidence, specifically shredding documents before the Federal agents left the area.
Love testified that he knew absolutely nothing about the destroying of any evidence. He did admit to telling his subordinates to take everything with them “that was not nailed down.”
The defense attorneys hammered him pretty hard when it came to questions about his two laptop computers. It has been previously reported that Love stated to colleagues that both laptops would be lost if he ever got in trouble.
Love finally dropped a little tidbit during testimony about a personal notebook that he had for this ‘Operation’. He claimed that it disappeared before he left the area. Love tells us that he kept notes on his superiors from Washington DC usurping his authority during the protest.
“I was documenting that others were making decisions even though I was designated the incident commander,” Love said.
Love continued to complain about the decisions being made overruling his authority. “We had a very robust communications plan that the government deviated from,” he said.
Love was very forthcoming on this information, yet he was surprisingly unaware of nearly everything else that happened during the cattle impoundment.
Love was on the stand for an entire day, and visibly drank at least three Diet Cokes as he testified. He came across as articulate but arrogant, and quite bitter over his recent firing from his high status in the BLM.
One thing that Love was very clear on was that the US Attorneys office was deeply involved in this operation. Acting US Attorney Myhre attempted to stop this line of questioning, stating that it would cross the line of “confidentiality”.
When attorneys Bret Whipple (who represents Cliven Bundy) and Dan Hill (who represents Ammon Bundy) questioned Love regarding Love’s phone calls with the U.S. Attorneys Office during the standoff, prosecutor Steven Myhre sternly objected. Whipple asked if (then-U. S. Attorney) Daniel Bogden had instructed Love to release the cattle. Myhre objected, claiming the U.S. Attorney had no authority to issue such an instruction. However, Daniel Love stated that the order to surrender and release the cows was given immediately after he spoke to Bogden.
This revelation raises the question of whether the Justice Department deliberately entrapped the Bundys, and made a showing of releasing the cattle solely to set up the Bundys to be prosecuted. Was Love directed by the highest-ranking federal prosecutor in Nevada to release the cattle, so that the Justice Department could stage this elaborate criminal prosecution?
Love also stated that he was told that the decision had been made that anyone involved in ‘Operation Gold Butte’ was then considered a ‘victim’. “My role changed on April 12th from Incident Commander to a victim,” he said.
Tomorrow will bring BLM communications director Toni Suminski to the witness stand. Suminski was in charge of the shredding of the documents during the Standoff. We will see if she defends Dan Love, or not.
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