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Judge to issue new warrant for Ammon Bundy and $250,000 bond for contempt charges

Ammon Bundy walks out of the Ada County Courthouse in August.  (Sarah A. Miller)
By Sally Krutzig The Idaho Statesman

An Ada County judge has issued an arrest warrant for far-right activist and former gubernatorial candidate Ammon Bundy after he failed to show up for a mandatory hearing Monday.

The hearing related to contempt charges against Bundy in St. Luke’s defamation case, which concluded in July with a jury ordering Bundy and an associate, Diego Rodriguez, to pay $52.5 million in damages to the health system and other plaintiffs. The case began after Bundy and Rodriguez led protests at St. Luke’s hospitals in Meridian and downtown Boise in March 2022 over a child welfare case involving Rodriguez’s 10-month-old grandchild.

The defendants were found to have posted several lies online about the hospital system, its health professionals, and the reason the baby was taken into custody.

The plaintiffs have since alleged that Bundy, Rodriguez and their followers have continued to attack and harass witnesses who testified in the July trial. The plaintiffs asked that Bundy be held in contempt for violating a court order to stop harassing those involved in the case, according to court documents.

Fourth District Judge Nancy Baskin had set Monday as the day of both an arraignment on additional contempt charges and the first day of trial for previous contempt charges.

Bundy failed to appear, and Baskin said she would issue a warrant for his arrest with bail set at $250,000, St. Luke’s attorney Erik Stidham told the Idaho Statesman. Baskin also said Bundy had forfeited his $10,000 bond from August.

Baskin issued a warrant of attachment following the hearing, according to court records.

Bundy previously bonded out of the Gem County Jail for that $10,000 after law enforcement arrested him in August at a high school football fundraiser for violating the judge’s orders.

Unlike the previous civil case, Bundy’s presence is required during court proceedings because the contempt charges could lead to criminal penalties, according to Idaho law.

Bundy’s wife, Lisa Bundy, made statements on social media suggesting her family was moving, and those following her wished her goodbye.

Bundy told the Idaho Statesman that he’s “not sure” how he plans to respond to the warrant, but he “would not change a thing” about how his previous actions.