Spokane Valley lawmaker releases Bunkerville letter

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Rep. Matt Shea

— An Eastern Washington lawmaker released documents related to the “Battle of Bunkerville” standoff that had been hidden from the public for the last month.

Rep. Matt Shea released the letter last week that he said he obtained from a Bureau of Land Management whistleblower.

Shea, a Spokane Valley Republican who traveled to the area and to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in response to standoffs in 2014 and 2016, unveiled the letter he during an interview with Redoubt News.

In the letter, Larry Wooten alleges abuses of power by Bureau of Land Management officials in the first standoff over the Bundy Ranch near Bunkerville, Nev., in April 2014.

Rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons and others are currently on trial in connection with the armed standoff.

But the trial is on hold after presiding U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro reprimanded attorneys for the federal government for denying evidence existed and then failing to turn it over to defense attorneys in accordance with court rules.

The case may end in dismissal or a mistrial.

Wooten, the former lead investigator at Bunkerville, sent the letter to the U.S. Department of Justice on Nov. 27, the Oregonian newspaper reported yesterday.



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