A public records request from Oregon Public Broadcasting reveals that Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy’s defense lawyer tried to get the Koch brothers to help cover Bundy’s legal bills.
According to the e-mail obtained by OPB, Bundy’s lawyer Joel Hansen reached out to Republican Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory, a mover and shaker in the transferring federal lands movement. Ivory sponsored legislation that became law in 2012, which transferred Utah fed lands back to the state although the lands still remain in federal control today. Hansen asked if Ivory might be able to reach out to the Koch brothers and see if they would be interested in helping pay for Bundy’s legal defense.
“I cannot represent Cliven for free. I’m not independently wealthy,” Hansen wrote in the e-mail to Ivory. “I understand from news articles that the Koch brothers are helping to fund Cliven’s efforts to return our lands to the states. I would like to speak with someone about helping to fund the legal fees associated with this case.”
Hansen is a Nevada-based lawyer who says he has been friends with Bundy for years and has worked in the state for 38 years. He’s been active in land disputes with the federal government before, defending Cliff Gardner, another Nevada rancher who went head to head with the feds over grazing his cattle.
Hansen went on to say that the case would “be huge” and that the “legal fees will not be insignificant” as there are to be 19 defendants.
Bundy currently faces charges from his 2014 armed ranch standoff in Nevada.
— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) May 22, 2016
According to the tweet from OPB, the news outlet did not recover any response from Hansen’s email. Ivory did not immediately respond to an request for comment from TPM.