Undercover FBI agents disguised as documentary filmmakers went to Nevada in 2014 to interview supporters of Cliven Bundy during their armed standoff with the government, says FBI Special Agent Charles Johnson.
Testifying on the government’s behalf in its case against two supporters, Johnson told jurors Wednesday how the bureau used a fake film crew to gather statements during the standoff, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The videos were then played in court during Johnson’s testimony, showing jurors the defendant’s mindset during the standoff.
Scott Drexler, one of Bundy’s supporters standing trial, told the bogus filmmakers that he traveled from Idaho to Bunkerville ranch when he learned about protests being waged against the Bureau of Land Management after its agents tried to seize cattle from Mr. Bundy following a legal land dispute.
“What I was looking for was just a show of support…it seems as if when there are armed people around a situation, then the authorities have to be a little more civil, have to treat you like a person,” Drexler said on camera. “If nobody is facing any kind of consequences for their actions, they can just do whatever they want.”
When asked by prosecutors what the protesters’ objective was, Drexler replied that “it was just a show of force.”
Eric Parker, the other Bundy supporter on trial who traveled with Drexler to the ranch, made similar comments in the bogus FBI sting “documentary.”
“I want to stand for the Constitution…I don’t think you have to be in a militia for that,” Parker said. “The goal was peaceful end.”
The government is expected to call one more witness before resting its case against these two defendants.
The situation began in April 2014 when the BLM began impounding rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle following a government order that Bundy pay $1 million in withheld grazing fees for use of federal lands near his Nevada ranch.
An armed standoff between Bundy and his supporters and the BLM followed, ending with the BLM finally releasing Bundy’s cattle.
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