By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric
In what can only be deemed damning testimony, Oregon Standoff militant Blaine Cooper testified yesterday that on December 29, 2015, occupation leader Ammon Bundy, called a secret meeting in Burns, Oregon at “Patty’s house”. Maxine Bernstein, reporting for The Oregonian says “Patty” is Burns resident, Patty Overton. Cooper, Bundy, his brother Ryan and 23 others were arrested and charged last year for their roles in the January 2016 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) outside of Burns.
In what is the second of two trials related to the Malheur case, Cooper’s testimony may be detrimental to the co-defendants Jason Patrick, 43, of Georgia, Duane Ehmer, 46, of Oregon, Jake Ryan, 28, of Montana, and Darryl Thorn, 32, of Washington state.
Bundy supporter and court spectator Kelli Stewart was visibly shaken in a Facebook Live stream during a break in yesterday’s nearly 4-hours of testimony by Cooper.
Cooper said the private meeting was where Bundy laid out his plan to take over the refuge and discussed plans on what to do if workers wouldn’t leave, had they encountered any. He named the attendees of this meeting and went on to describe how they later cleared the refuge, some with weapons drawn. When challenged in court as to why in a jailhouse phone call he told his wife Melissa that he did not know about the takeover, Cooper clarified on the stand that he did not know the takeover was going to happen when it did, not that he didn’t know of a plan.
In a long Facebook post, Deb Jordan, girlfriend of Santilli said, “Pete and I arrived in Burns at approx. 7:00 am on the 29th give or take a few.” She said Bundy called them on Dec. 28, when they were about 3-hours out of Boise Idaho en route to Oregon, and offered them a bed for the night. Jordan said they declined and continued on. This phone call, according to Jordan, proves Bundy was home, not in Burns, when he called them late the night of the 28th. Jordan said she also did not see Bundy in Burns on Dec. 29 or 30. However, court documents contradict Jordan’s claims and state that Jordan and Santilli did not arrive in Burns until Dec. 30.
Before it’s News, a conspiracy and gossip rag Santilli has an account with and his team writes for, reported on Dec. 30, that Santilli would arrive in Burns by noon that day in an update that read, “Please stay connected to BeforeItsNews.com right here on this update page. Pete Santilli & his team will arrive in Burns, Oregon at approximately 12 noon PST, and once the team is settled after the 2200 mile trek, they will begin publishing important updates here.”
In addition, today in Oregon court, Bundy himself testified to the meeting and did not deny it took place nor the date and time. Why Bundy’s wife Lisa and Jordan would make claims otherwise is disturbing. And, while they try to impeach Cooper’s testimony claiming he would say anything at any cost, maybe it is they who would instead.
Ehmer, one of the defendants currently being tried, commented on Jordan’s thread in reply to those who are lambasting Cooper, asking fellow “patriots” to not blame Cooper because he was not the bad guy. He added that he did not think Cooper’s testimony would hurt their case.
Had Cooper testified in the first trial, the jury may have delivered a different outcome for Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and 5 others who were acquitted of all charges last October (11 others took plea deals). Internet broadcaster Pete Santilli was one of those arrested and jailed, however, his charges were dropped after being held for nearly 7-months. The Bundy brothers, Santilli, and others will still be tried in Nevada for their roles in the 2014 Bundy Ranch “Battle at Bunkerville” against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other officials. Cooper will also testify for the prosecution in NV.
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