Welfare rancher and dipshit militia icon Cliven Bundy upped his legal game Tuesday, filing a lawsuit naming Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro, the federal judge in his Nevada criminal case, as defendants. Among other things, Bundy wants immediate release from prison, all charges against him dropped, $50 million in damages, and perhaps a shrubbery. At the very least, Bundy wants to be represented by wingnut lawyer (and Wonkette frenemy) Larry Klayman, and to have Navarro removed from the case because she’s incredibly biased against him:
“In short, defendant Navarro has shown her true intentions and bias and prejudice, rising to the level of denying Sixth Amendment right of counsel and to a speedy trial to plaintiff Bundy, following the ‘marching orders’ of her benefactors, defendants Harry Reid and Obama,” attorney Joel Hansen alleges in the complaint.
Navarro refused to grant Klayman permission to represent Bundy because Klayman currently faces disciplinary proceedings by the Washington DC Bar in an ethics case. The lawsuit paints that refusal as evidence that Navarro refuses to let Bundy mount an adequate defense. We’d say any judge who prevents Klayman from representing someone is actually doing the defendant a favor.
When Hansen handed Navarro the lawsuit Tuesday he asked Navarro to remove herself from Bundy’s criminal case, since she’s named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Navarro didn’t quite buy that claim:
The judge responded that case law doesn’t let a defendant create such a scenario.
But Navarro invited Hansen to try to identify whether her work as a prosecutor in the Clark County district attorney’s office before she was nominated to the federal bench created for her a conflict in the Bundy case. She set a May 25 date to rule whether she’ll step aside.
Yr Wonkette is Not A Lawyer, but that seems like a dubious legal strategy: Want a new judge in your criminal case? Sue the judge, and you automatically get a new one since they’re biased after you sued them! Hansen also took the opportunity to claim Bundy is a political prisoner being persecuted unjustly, exactly like Nelson Mandela.
The complaint is a glorious collection of conspiracy theories and loosely reasoned allegations tying together Obama, Reid, Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, and Judge Navarro in a web of intrigue and crazy. Here’s Hansen’s epic description of how the standoff between Bundy and law enforcement came about:
We like that “equivalent of federal storm-troopers” bit. Also the “mercenaries” and “so called federal agents” bits. Out in Reality Land, of course, Harry Reid had nothing to do with the decision to seize Bundy’s cattle — the BLM attempted to take them because Bundy had refused to pay grazing fees for 20 years and was letting them graze on federal land that had been closed to ranching to protect habitat for the endangered desert tortoise. The lawsuit even repeats the completely debunked claim that Reid wanted to force Bundy out of business because Reid supposedly wanted to lease nearby land to a Chinese company for a solar power generating scheme.
Again, in reality, while Reid’s son Rory had been negotiating with a Chinese company to set up a solar power array, the location was actually in Laughlin, Nevada, a good hundred miles away, and the deal had fallen through a year before the ranch standoff. Politifact gave the alleged Reid connection a “pants-on-fire” rating, a phrase we sort of wish had made it into a legal document as well. Then there’s that bit about Harry Reid owning “93 acres adjacent to the Bundy ranch,” which Forbes reporter JJ MacNab had no end of fun mocking on Twitter Tuesday. She points out that, yes, someone named “Reid” owns 93 acres near the Bundy ranch. But that land doesn’t belong to Harry Reid: it was owned by “Laverne Reid, an octogenarian from Bunkerville,” who’s actually a Bundy cousin, and what’s more, the title to the land had been transferred to another family well before the standoff anyway.
Reid is also accused of attempting to poison public sentiment against Bundy by calling him a “domestic terrorist” simply for being a peaceable rancher who invited a whole bunch of friends with guns to come help him defend himself from all those federal stormtroopers.
Our favorite part of the complaint cites Barack Obama’s comedy riffs at the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner as evidence of Obama’s “Threatening, mocking, and disparaging” Bundy, to paint him as a racist (the complaint mistakenly says these remarks were from the 2016 dinner):
The complaint carefully points out that Cliven Bundy is no racist, and had in fact chosen the word “negro” as the most appropriate word after consulting a dictionary. Actual line from the complaint: “Indeed, the Reverend Martin Luther King referred to his people as ‘Negroes’ and he is recognized as the greatest African-American civil rights leader in American history.” SO THERE, OBAMA!
There’s other stuff in there too, like a bizarre chain of connections intended to show Navarro is biased. The complaint says she’s a “Latino activist” who went to law school at Arizona State university, which is in Maricopa County. Now, since Joe Arpaio is the Maricopa County Sheriff, and he’s been unjustly accused of racism just because he lost a racial profiling case, AND Arpaio and Klayman have sued Barack Obama over his executive orders granting “amnesty to over 5 million illegal aliens,” AND Arpaio supports Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall to keep out illegal aliens, then obviously Navarro is incredibly biased in favor of Obama (who appointed her to the federal bench) and against Klayman, and by extension, Bundy. And here’s the capper:
It all fits together so seamlessly! After Navarro excluded Klayman from representing Bundy last month, Klayman had a fine snit over her obvious bias:
“The ruling demonstrates that the judge has an extra-judicial bias and prejudice against Cliven Bundy and his counsel, for which disqualification is required,” Klayman said. “The judge was recommended by Harry Reid and appointed by President Barack Obama, and the order wears her political allegiance on her sleeve.”
In response to the lawsuit, Sen. Reid’s office issued this statement:
Oh no. More of that “domestic terrorist” libel! Time for another lawsuit, probably, especially since Bundy’s civil suit is going to be handled by yet another accomplice of two of the defendants. The Las Vegas Review Journal notes, slyly, that
The lawsuit was randomly assigned to U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey, another Obama appointee recommended by Reid.
Some of the cowflop the lawsuit threw against the wall will surely stick, and Cliven Bundy will be sprung any minute now, you bet. And his derp goes marching on.