More good, fine people:Trump Pardons Ranchers Whose Arson Case Sparked Refuge Occupation
WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump issued pardons on Tuesday for two men convicted of arson whose cause had been championed by right-wing militias and sparked the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.
“The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West,” Sanders said. “Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.”
Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, said the pardon sent a “dangerous message to America’s park rangers, wildland firefighters, law enforcement officers, and public lands managers. President Trump, at the urging of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, has once again sided with lawless extremists who believe that public land does not belong to all Americans.”
The Hammonds had previously been accused of making death threats against federal officials and were arrested in 1994 after trying to stop federal workers from fencing off a canal at Malheur. Dwight Hammond had reportedly “threatened to kill” the manager of the refuge that the Hammonds had used for their cows.
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