Judge threatens Ammon Bundy's lawyer with contempt for derailing conspiracy trial
Ammon Bundy speaks at a press conference in Oregon (Screen grab)

Anti-government militant Ammon Bundy has an uphill climb in his federal conspiracy case, but now his own lawyer is angering the judge in the case.


According to OregonLive, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown told attorney Marcus Mumford that he would be held in contempt each time he refuses to comply with her orders. Evidently, Mumford tends to devolve into circumstances that surround the officer-involved shooting of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum in front of the jury.

Judge Brown told Mumford from now on he'll be fined $1,000 for each time he talks about the issue while questioning witnesses.

"I have ruled on this issue and it appears to me you disregard it," Brown told Mumford after the jury left for a bathroom break Thursday morning.

"Do you understand what I'm saying ... yes or no?" she asked. He tried to protest or explain but she cut him off demanding a simple answer.

"I don't understand. Your honor says I'm asking improper questions?" Mumford asked.

The judge referenced Mumford's questions to rancher Andy Dunbar, whose property connected to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Mumford asked Dunbar what he learned on Jan. 26 about the shooting of Finicum.

"You are not to do that," Brown said.

"You're telling me I'm allowed to inquire about the shooting, but not the circumstances of the shooting?" Mumford asked.

Anything about Finicum's shooting death is off limits other than the date it occurred and that it occurred. The Bundy conspiracy case is a completely different case than the shooting death of Finicum.

"I can understand the words," Mumford told her.

"I hope you can comply," the judge said.

This last result comes days of Judge Brown admonishing Mumford during his cross-examinations. Prosecutors object each time and each time she sustains their objections to the questions as either "beyond the scope" of the investigation or irrelevant to the case. She encouraged any attorneys to take up their concerns outside the presence of the jury.

One of the militants in the case has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy.