Ammon Bundy Guilty, LOCK HIM UP! (Like, It's Trespassing, But Still)
Wingnut dipshit and candidate for Idaho governor Ammon Bundy was found guilty Thursday on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and resisting or obstructing officers. The charges stemmed from a pro-coronavirus protest at the Idaho Capitol last August. Bundy and several members of Health Freedom Idaho, an anti-vaxx group that branched out into hating public health, parked themselves in areas reserved for the press, insisting that you don't need no damn credentials to be a journalist because America. Bundy, the anti-vaxxers, and the hyper-libertarian Idaho Freedom Foundation had all collaborated on multiple protests of public health orders last year.
During an August 25 hearing held as part of the state lege's special session to address the pandemic, two members of the Virus Lobby insisted that they had "press passes," which we assume they had drawn with their own crayons. They sat at desks reserved for real members of the press, and Bundy joined them to make a point about liberty 'n' shit. The trio then refused to leave, even hours after the hearing had ended. Bundy didn't even have the common decency to say "I would prefer not to vacate the press table," which might have improved our opinion of him some.
State Police began clearing the room, so Bundy took a bold sit for his constitutional rights to be an ass by remaining on his ass, which led to the spectacle of his being carted out to a police car, handcuffed to the office chair.
#IdahoNews6 #InsideTheStatehouse -- Here's footage of Ammon Bundy being arrested Tuesday afternoon. More context he… https://t.co/1K5LjwIGPP— Idaho News 6 (@Idaho News 6)1598404071.0
The next day, Bundy returned to the Capitol, where he got arrested again, winning him a one-year ban from the Capitol grounds. In April of this year, Bundy made a point of violating that order twice in the space of two hours. By then, the state police had acquired a three-wheeled cart that "looks somewhat like an oversized jogging stroller" and was apparently purchased with Bundy in mind, as well as saving wear and tear on office furniture.
Bundy was originally scheduled to be tried on the August trespassing charges in March, but at the time, all courthouses in Idaho were under a mask order from the state Supreme Court. Bundy refused to put on a mask to enter the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, so the judge issued a bench warrant for failure to appear. Bundy was arrested outside the courthouse, where he and supporters were shouting about tyranny and shit. He's still awaiting trial on the charges from March and April.
This week's trial was over in four days, and the jury took only an hour to reach its verdict. Judge David Manweiler sentenced Bundy to three days in jail, but he got credit for time served. Manweiler also ordered Bundy to 48 hours of community service and a $750 fine. Another defendant charged in the August stupidity, Aaron Schmidt of Coeur D'Alene, was also found guilty of trespassing; he too was sentenced to three days but credited with time served, as well as a $500 fine.
Prosecutors had asked for a 25-day jail sentence for Bundy, to send a message about Law 'n' Order.
"Mr. Bundy is a leader," deputy prosecuting attorney Whitney Welsh told the court. "People who follow leaders look to what happens when they take action. … No one is trying to silence Mr. Bundy, but in Idaho right now the laws apply and the laws are enforced."
Unlike some other people who have been arrested for lawbreaking in capitol buildings, Bundy doesn't appear to have an entire political party willing to overlook his misdeeds. Still, three members of the state House did testify at the trial in his defense, so he's building support. Maybe he could broaden his support with the state GOP by trying to overthrow an election and calling for the lynching of some elected officials. Maybe when his campaign for governor collapses.
Following the verdict, Bundy issued a misspelled statement insisting that his conviction set a dangerous "precedence" for anyone who dares to "disagree with the presiding officers of the legislature." Knowing Bundy, we had assumed he'd refuse to do the community service or pay the fine, but Bundy said he plans not to appeal the conviction, and that he would serve his sentence because "the people of Idaho have spoken." Weird! Guess that must mean the flag in the courtroom didn't have gold fringe on it.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.