The witness list prosecutors provided to the defense Monday gives only a pseudonym, “Charles Johnson,” not the agent’s true name. Santilli’s attorney said the agent’s identity is needed to prepare for cross-examination of the witness and any recorded information or logs the agent kept during the standoff are needed as well.

Bundy case defendant seeks identity of undercover FBI agent

Peter Santilli, a defendant in the Cliven Bundy standoff trial, asked a federal court Tuesday to order prosecutors to provide the identity of an undercover FBI agent.

The witness list prosecutors provided to the defense Monday gives only a pseudonym, “Charles Johnson,” not the agent’s true name. Santilli’s attorney said the agent’s identity is needed to prepare for cross-examination of the witness and any recorded information or logs the agent kept during the standoff are needed as well.

The federal government’s witness list remains under seal.

Santilli is one of 17 defendants in the standoff case, which stems from a confrontation between federal agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters over the impoundment of his cows that were grazing on public lands.

The Bureau of Land Management had obtained a court order to impound the cattle over nonpayment of grazing fees. No shots were fired at the standoff, which attracted hundreds of people.

Santilli maintains that he was at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, north of Las Vegas, as an “advocacy journalist” who recorded and streamed online video.

“The need to protect a law enforcement officer’s identity this late in the pretrial phase is nonexistent,” the motion filed by defense attorney Chris Rasmussen said. “This is not a case in which the government can cross their fingers and hope the defendants are going to enter pleas and they can forever protect his identity.”

The motion requests an expedited hearing on the matter.

“The identity and whereabouts of the agent is essential to the preparation of Santilli’s defense,” the motion says. “Santilli requires the opportunity to test the agent’s credibility, ascertain his general relationship to others charged herein, discover the entire scope of his meetings, conversations and contacts with the principals herein, and to investigate the agent’s allegations.”

Federal prosecutors haven’t yet responded to the motion.

“I’ve never had a case where you kept the law enforcement officer’s name secret,” Rasmussen said.

The 17 defendants are currently slated to be tried in three separate trials, with the first one starting Feb. 6. The three tiers of defendants are grouped together based on their alleged level of involvement in the case.

Santilli is in the upper tier, which includes Cliven Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy. This group would be in the second trial, which would start 30 days after the first trial ends. However, Santilli has requested to be in the first trial and has argued that the prosecution of all defendants could be accomplished in two trials.

Both sides also have submitted lists of proposed questions for potential jurors.

Prosecutors’ proposed list tells potential jurors that they may hear testimony from a law enforcement officer who has acted as an undercover agent. The listed questions ask whether potential jurors have any personal feelings about the testimony of an undercover agent or about law enforcement use of video and audio recordings that would prevent them from fairly weighing the evidence.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy were acquitted in October by a Portland jury after being tried in connection with a 41-day armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. They also are defendants in the Nevada case.

Santilli was indicted in the Oregon occupation, but federal prosecutors in September asked the judge to dismiss the case, citing the court’s ruling that excludes evidence, including statements Santilli made to counter-protesters and reporters.

Ben Botkin

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Free Range Report

Comments

  1. My question is, if, a real person cannot be produced, is this possibility a pseudonym for a composite ID that people within the federal administrative state has made up to use as an accuser against these defendants? Fake news, fake person. These defendants have the right to face their accuser in a court of law. If that person can not be produced, then we have to belive that this is nothing more than the over active imagination of those in the administrative state, who believe that every day hard working citizens of this nation are somehow “domestic terrorists “.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *