6 Best Case Scenarios Ammon Bundy Attorney Mike Arnold Seems to be Banking On

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By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric

It is fairly common knowledge that cellphone, and other electronic device use, is not allowed in federal courtrooms during proceedings. There are a few pilot program courtrooms that do allow it, but neither the Oregon or Nevada courts are one of them. Ammon Bundy’s Oregon attorney, Mike Arnold of Arnold Law Firm, in a podcast interview on Walk the Talk with Nevada Assemblywoman, Michelle Fiore, said he, “didn’t know” he couldn’t use his phone. He was kicked out of the Nevada court during yesterday’s Bunkerville standoff arraignments, after opening his cell phone to allegedly file an “urgent” motion in Oregon on behalf of his clients.

In a Facebook post, Arnold rails,

A marshal told me I could not be on the phone and ordered me to leave. I explained who I was, what I was doing, and why, but it made difference — so I stood up and put on the record to the court that I am Ammon Bundy’s attorney in Oregon, and I’m being told to leave because I was working on a motion for the Oregon case. I asked for it to be put on the record because this type of thing is exactly why we object to the Nevada case proceeding at the same time as the Oregon case.

I cannot be in two places at the same time, and Ammon cannot participate fully in his defense when he is being ping ponged back and forth between the far corners of two vast western states. We’ve been dealt a difficult hand in this case — the deck is stacked against us. I was simply playing the hand I’ve been dealt and the rules changed in the middle of the game.

This begs the question, however, of the legitimacy of this episode. Arnold has participated in many controversial tactics in this case, starting even before he was ever retained by Bundy; including sending two associates to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, in Burns, Oregon, to “hand deliver” an advertisement for his firm.

Arnold has made multiple public complaints, as well as those to the judge(s) involved in the proceedings, that it was unfair for Ammon, and his co-defendants, to have to travel and fight cases between two states. This is just one of many complaints Arnold has raised thus far.

Let’s take a look at the 6 best case scenarios Ammon Bundy attorney Mike Arnold seems to be banking on, and may be laying the groundwork for …

1. Dismissal

Criminal cases can be dismissed if it can be proved the defendant’s constitutional rights have been violated; including delays in a defendant’s ability to get a speedy trial. Arnold’s team of citizen sources, supporters of those indicted, are working diligently on this line of defense. 

If Arnold can get the case dismissed, the question of the defendant’s guilt never gets tried. This however, leaves open the door, for a new trial, because it would be a dismissal Vs an acquittal; therefor, no double jeopardy involved. 

2. False Evidence

Many things fall into the category of false evidence; including fabricated, forged, tainted evidence and witness tampering. False evidence is illegally obtained information meant to sway a verdict in a case. Either side of a case can falsify evidence and it may even come from police or the prosecution in a criminal case; or by someone who is sympathetic to either side.

Attorneys who crowdsource evidence, including witnesses with vested interests, may be more susceptible to receiving tainted evidence. Arnold already silences voices of dissent on his social media, particularly of those proving his crowdsourced evidence as inaccurate. Witness tampering means preventing the testimony of witnesses within criminal or civil proceedings so, although the court of public opinion doesn’t count, his stanching of facts in the lead-up to trial, is worthy of a glance.

3. Change of Venue

When there is widespread publicity about a crime and its co-defendants, many criminal attorneys will try for a change of Venue. This puts distance between a jury trial and the location where it’s been deemed that a fair and impartial jury is not possible.

A change of venue allows attorneys to obtain jurors who may be more objective in their deliberations. High-profile cases, often get so much media attention that a jury can easily have biases based on what they have already seen or heard prior to jury selection. In addition, depending on the location of the crimes committed, and the communities that it involves, a change of venue is sometimes the only way to get a fair jury.

4. Jury Nullification

When a jury returns a verdict of “Not Guilty”, yet believes the defendant is guilty of the violation charged, it is called, jury nullification. The jury, in effect, nullifies, or cancels, a law that it believes is immoral or wrongly applied.

Supporters of the Malheur co-defendants, along with some of their attorneys, are already talking about this hope. There are also many lawmakers, with interests — whether their own or their constituents, who are actively trying to push and pass laws that could, by default, lessen the public’s opinion of the severity of the crimes, while lending credence to cause that perpetuated them.

5. Mistrial

A mistrial is the wet dream of most criminal defense attorney’s. Especially if their client(s) is actually guilty or has too much evidence stacked against them. Mistrials occur when there is a provable error in the proceedings.

Arnold’s Nevada cellphone fiasco, and his claim of an unexpected and urgent motion needing to be filed in Oregon, allowed him, once again, to try to razzle dazzle public opinion that the United States government is inept and/or intentionally trying to sabotage his client’s case. Why was his associate, Lissa Casey, who has been on the Bundy case since even before he was, unable to file it on his behalf? 

mike arnold kicked outta nv court my comment1

I posed that question to Arnold himself, on his firm’s Facebook wall as a comment in his thread of the Nevada cellphone situation. My polite question was promptly removed, and no response was given. Others, who have asked the him the same question, have also had their comments removed.

6. Throwing the Case

All good attorneys like to win their cases, but sometimes, the notoriety of a case alone, is enough to establish a more prominent reputation in the legal community and the public. If Arnold can sway public opinion, enough, whether he wins or loses, is of no overall consequence to him on the grander scale. 

Having Bundy as a client has brought more media attention to Arnold than all of his previous cases combined.

Whatever his strategy, it seems to be working against him and his client, nor for them.

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18 responses to “6 Best Case Scenarios Ammon Bundy Attorney Mike Arnold Seems to be Banking On

  1. Mike Arnold is single-handedly lowering the bar for ethics in Oregon legal circles. If he doesn’t lose his license soon, I will be surprised. He’s acting in his own self-interest, and failing to provide an effective defense. Unfortunately for his clients, it is adequate, so no grounds for appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. I think witness tampering isn’t just preventing a witness from tampering, but also includes intimidating, bribing, confusing or otherwise causing the witness to give false testimony.

    I thinks its, uh… interesting… that Arnold has claimed both that he didn’t know about the rules and/or was already in the courtroom when the announcement was made in the hallway and also that he heard them announce that phones *could* be used. Yet another example of his alleged professionalism.

    As for letting Ammon talk, I think that may be, in part, an attempt to taint the jury pool to help force a change of venue. He could try claiming that because of Ammon’s public statements, people – especially in that area – may already have decided he’s guilty, so he can’t get a fair trial. I doubt it would work, though, as the prosecutors – if not the judge herself – is likely to point out that he allowed his client to make those statements and shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from his own ill-advised behavior.

    Either that, or he may be hoping Ammon’s statement might help towards jury nullification by showing how Ammon truly believes he was in the right to do what he did.

    Whatever he’s up to, though, he’s a really squirrely lawyer.

    Liked by 1 person

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