Will Gavin Seim, Michele Fiore, Sheriff Mack, Krisanne Hall, and others be indicted for their legal influence, tactical support, encouragement and admitted foreknowledge of Ammon Bundy’s Malheur Refuge Armed Takeover?
By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric
More than two dozen people are indicted in Nevada and/or Oregon for federal crimes in relation to the 2014 Bundy Ranch and 2016 Malheur Refuge takeovers. It is believed at least one more superseding indictment will come down and it is anybody’s guess, and many people’s curiosity, whether or not new co-conspirators will be named, and if so, who?
Lots of interested eyes are looking at a handful of members of the near 2-year old, Coalition of Western States (COWS). Do they too bear some responsibility for what happened?
To many, it would seem so, however, most are focusing more on what COWS members did and paying less mention or acknowledgement of the heady power some of these people psychologically wielded and ignited within these movements; even if in reality they are far less powerful outside of them.
That Redress ominously concluded with the following words …
“We need not remind you of your lawful duty to act on these matters as insisted, nor of the consequences if you knowingly neglected your duty. USC 18.2382, 18.2071, 18.2076, 42.1983, 42.1985, 42.1986
Why COWS Matter
I guess the Bundy militia, or “campers” as Fiore calls them, stood in the gap of Liberty. Little did they know it was nothing more than a self-dug trench of human feces they were about to fall into face first, while the COWS continue to roam free.
Popular Liberty speaker and former candidate for US Congress, Gavin Seim, may have some explaining to do. In a December 16, 2015 update to his December 16, 2014 article, “2000+ Armed Patriots Nullify i594 Gun Legislation”, Seim makes mention of Oregon.
- IMAGE SOURCE: CallMeGav.com
Yet, at the time of Seim’s update, nothing much was happening in Oregon. Yes, the Hammond’s case was on the radar of members of the Coalition of Western States (COWS) and yes, people like Ammon Bundy had issued a public, “Redress of Grievances” while he and his cohorts traveled in and out of Harney County assessing the area, but who knew in advance that Bundy was planning an armed takeover the federal wildlife refuge?
In an email response regarding Seim’s “Oregon” reference, his brother and spokesman, Nathan Seim, replied denying his brother had any foreknowledge of a takeover and said instead the remark was,
“… in reference to rallies against Oregon’s similar lawless gun restriction bill. “
While that may be true, the statement was posted a mere 5 days after Bundy’s public Redress on Santilli’s show.
If Seim didn’t know about the refuge plans — or any takeover plans, how can it be that his fellow COWS members did?
Greenlee County, Arizona, Commissioner Robert Corbell, an elected COWS coordinator, says he and others knew. According to a stellar report on COWS, by John Sepulvado of OPB,
“Corbell told OPB that coalition leadership knew Ammon Bundy planned to take over U.S. government property in Harney County before it happened, but were unsure which federal outpost it would be. The federal government owns about 75 percent of the land in Harney County. “
The coalition has no published list of it’s members, and in fact, there is very little information about the coalition or their activities on the website, but some information can be gleaned from the COWS’ letterhead.
For instance, Seim is listed as their “Social Media Manager”.And if you didn’t already know, technically, Seim is the COWS website owner as the WhoIs registration shows.
Seim purchased and registered the domain for COWS 6 days after the 2014 Bunkerville, Nevada, Bundy Ranch standoff.
He may not have gotten the numbers to win a Congressional seat, but Seim’s YouTube following alone surpasses more than 103,000 subscribers. His online influence is deep.
Assemblywoman, Michele Fiore
Nevada Assemblywoman, Michele Fiore — who is now running for the 3rd Congressional District seat, is listed as COWS’ “Nevada Coordinator” on the same letterhead list of leaders.
- Fiore is not only a fan of the Bundys, she has been a staunch supporter since before the April 12, 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff. What’s more is, she is a believer of their message and has done much to enable the Bundys and their followers. As an elected official, she has worked as a political mouthpiece for their propaganda, and the COWS organization.
Less than 2-weeks after militants taking over the refuge, Fiore, on COWS letterhead, put out an inciting and inaccurate press release making false claims. This was immediately shared on the Oath Keepers’, and other patriot group websites and social media pages. After if was proven to be wrong, Fiore never published a correction; nor did most of those who shared it.
Having a State representative and lawmaker in your pocket is a powerful weapon on the minds of those who are empowered by it …
In reference to Fiore’s influence on the armed militants at Malheur and those milling around the town of Burns, Oregon, Harney County Sheriff, David Ward, told the Las Vegas Sun,
“They were name-dropping her like a job reference.”
In the recent video interview below, Fiore still stands firm in her beliefs about armed Government takeovers being OK, although she claims the events at Malheur Wildlife Refuge was not an armed takeover at all.
Sheriff Mack & CSPOA
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association‘s (CSPOA), Sheriff Richard Mack, is also listed on COWS’ letterhead as the coalition’s, “Peace Officer Coordinator”. CSPOA leadership consists of at least 17 Sheriffs, County Commissioners and even one Florida Chief of Police.
Over the course of the standoffs, we frequently heard Bundys and others talk specifically about the importance of a Sheriff’s Constitutional duties. The Bundys were relying on Ward to align himself with them; more akin to their relationship with militia friendly Sheriff Palmer, in Grant County. That never happened and many observers are still scratching their heads wondering where such lofty beliefs and arrogant claims come. One need look no further than CSPOA for the answer.
According to Mack’s organization,
“The county sheriff is the line in the sand. The county sheriff is the one who can say to the feds, “Beyond these bounds you shall not pass.” This is not only within the scope of the sheriff’s authority; it’s the sheriff’s sworn duty.”
Mack is a sought after speaker in the Tea Party and other “Patriot” and militia movements. According to the CSPOA website, Mack has spoken at more than 70 different rallies across the country over the past 2-years.
Extremist groups and even the Tea Party have been compared to cults. Imagine the influence current and former law enforcement officials, who are looked at as Gods in these movements, have in telling someone it’s OK to break the law and in fact, they should.
In the week before the shooting death of rancher militant Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, former assistant U.S. Attorney turned self-proclaimed “Constitutional Lawyer”, Krisanne Hall, was in Burns on behalf of COWS. Their January 27 press release states,
“The Coalition also sent its legal advisor and Constitutional attorney KrisAnne Hall to Burns, Oregon, last week to conduct educational community meetings on the Constitution, property rights, and how Harney County citizens can begin pushing back against Federal overreach.”
Hall is listed officially as the COWS’ “Legal Advisor”. However, she is not licensed to practice law in any state although she travels the country as a speaker and consultant on constitutional law.
It should be noted to the readers that it is illegal for Hall to practice law as well as give legal advice. According to media ethics expert and litigator, Charles Glasser, on the February 17, episode of the Challenging the Rhetoric podcast,
“If she [Hall] were in fact disbarred, she can opine on what her opinion of what the law is, but she can’t represent anybody in court or give them legal advice about what to do or not do. That’s against Florida law.”
At the time of that broadcast, Glasser had not yet seen the designation on the Florida Bar’s website which clearly shows Hall is “not eligible” to practice law. As the “Legal Adviser” of COWS, if not legalities, what is she advising on?
Hall travels the country consulting and speaking on “Constitutional” law and is the author of several books; including,”Essential Stories for Junior Patriots”, which along with her DVD, “Roots of Liberty, Home School Edition” is directed at children.
Hall also has a radio podcast, as well as a television show, with which to preach a misleading gospel. As a former assistant U.S. Attorney, too many people are gobbling up her advice like communion wafers.
Spreading Mad COWS Disease
In the Sun article, Sun article, Assemblyman Chris Edwards, a Republican representing District 19, calling the occupiers “misguided”, is quoted as saying,
“I think that’s a problem a lot of Republicans have with the stuff she [Assemblywoman Fiore] does. Especially in this [Oregon Standoff] case, these protesters were misguided, they were out of line and they put others in danger.”
First Amendment expert, Glasser said,
“Let us not go into ‘thought crime’. Let us not punish people for having bad, or wrong, ideas. Let us not even punish people for being idiot’s, because they may very well be idiots. That’s not what we do. The beauty, the genius, the glorious, uniquely American concept of the First Amendment; what is really gorgeous about, it is that, at the end of the day, it protects our right to be wrong. It protects our rights to be dumb. It protects our right to be ignorant.”
If it’s legal to be an idiot, then is it also legal to incite idiocy of this magnitude?
The defendants in both the Nevada and Oregon cases are facing extensive charges, while most remain behind bars pre-trial. Their crimes go far beyond a few questionable choice words protected by free speech. They are accused cohorts in a conspiracy, and all of the main players relied on their relationships with, and the perceived protection and promotion of, people like Seim, Fiore, Mack and Hall, who egged them on by providing platforms, tactical support, legal guidance and more.
If Santilli and others are charged with inciting militia, who then, should be charged for inciting people like Santilli? Would most of these players have participated in their alleged crimes without the support of lawmakers, enforcers and scholars assuring them they are on the right side of the “Supreme Law”?
Laura Moody contributed to the editing of this article.
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