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Eye On Boise

Labrador, 53 Idaho GOP lawmakers urge feds to ease off on 4 Idahoans charged in Bundy standoff

Labrador isn’t commenting on it, but the Idaho Statesman reports today that 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador sent a letter earlier this month to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying “there is a strong possibility that a miscarriage of justice is being committed” in the Bunkerville standoff cases of Idaho men charged in connection with the 2014 standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch. Labrador’s letter cites an earlier letter from 53 current and former GOP members of the Idaho Legislature expressing similar concerns, spearheaded by Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley; you can see both letters online here.  

Two Idaho men, Eric Parker and Scott Drexler, were twice acquitted in the case but now face a third trial; Parker was famously photographed aiming his high-powered rifle at federal agents near the Bundy Ranch in 2014. Two others, Ammon Bundy of Emmett and Todd Engel of Boundary County, still have cases pending; Bundy goes to trial Oct. 10 and Engel was convicted of obstruction and traveling across state lines in aid of extortion and is awaiting sentencing.

The Statesman’s full report is online here.

The lawmakers’ letter calls the evidence against Ammon Bundy “flimsy” and asks that he be released on bail; and also asks that the third trial be dropped for Parker and Drexler and that Engel be released with time he’s already served as his sentence. Labrador’s letter urges Sessions to consider the lawmakers’ letter and review the cases.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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