It's been more than a year since the feds walked away from a showdown with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy over grazing fees, and so far no federal charges have come against the rogue rancher or any of his armed associates. As a result, many of the same men who stood with Bundy then have become emboldened and have redirected their antics at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon where an unknown number of militiamen remain today.
But experts say those militiamen shouldn't count on being let off the legal hook so easy. The evidence in this case, experts say, is mounting and regardless of the individual charges, holding armed squatters accountable is a matter of messaging and conviction at this point that the federal government cannot afford to cave on.
"The case in Nevada involved cows roaming on public lands ... Let’s just call that one level of wrong," said Paul Charlton, a former U.S. attorney in Arizona, told TPM. This incident, Charlton says is a whole new level of criminal.
"There are prosecutors who could do this kind of case in their sleep," Charlton said.
Read More →