President Trump Pardons Ranchers Whose Arrests Sparked Oregon Wildlife Refuge Bundy Occupation

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President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he had fully pardoned Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., and his son, Steven Hammond, the pair of cattle ranchers whose prosecution by the federal government sparked a weeks-long militant takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge headquarters 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,” Trump wrote in the pardon. “Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.” The Hammonds were originally prosecuted for arson in 2012, after controlled brush fires on their property in 2001 and 2006 spread to federal land, reports OregonLive. After they served minor sentences, they were each re-sentenced to five years in prison with time served in 2015, because of the mandatory minimum for their crime. Their case attracted the attention of the right-wing Bundy family, who in 2016 brought armed militants to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters—despite the fact that the Hammonds rejected their offer for assistance. The Bundys’ occupation lasted from January 2nd to February 11th of 2016; weeks later, 26 militants were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy.

SOURCE: The Daily Beast