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Bundy attorneys target juror for ‘bias’ as trial deliberations grind to a halt

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Jurors signaled they may be having a difficult time reaching a verdict in the trial of Ammon Bundy and six other militants who staged an armed takeover of an Oregon nature preserve.

The jury sent a note to the court Tuesday afternoon asking the judge for guidance if they’re able to “agree on a verdict for 3 of the defendants but are at a standoff for the others,” reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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UPDATE: Juror in Oregon militia trial dismissed for bias

One of the jurors also questioned the impartiality of a juror who once worked for the Bureau of Land Management — one of the federal agencies whose duties Bundy, his brother and the other defendants are accused of impeding.

“Can a juror, a former employee of the Bureau of Land Management, who opens their remarks in deliberations by stating ‘I am very biased …’ be considered an impartial judge in this case?” asked Juror No. 4 about Juror No. 11.

U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown questioned the juror and attorneys in the case, and the former BLM ranch tech and firefighter said his employment 20 years ago with the agency would not impact his duty to impartially weigh evidence in his deliberations.

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The juror’s work history came up during voir dire, when the judge and attorneys are allowed to question prospective jurors before they are seated, but defense attorneys did not use one of their “peremptory strikes” to remove the man from the jury pool.

Legal experts told The Oregonian that keeping the juror could provide grounds for an appeal, if any of the defendants are convicted, and the judge has asked attorneys to submit any arguments about the juror by Wednesday morning.

But Tung Yin, a professor at Lewis and Clark Law School, said the judge questioned the juror and found he could remain impartial, and that would be “very difficult to challenge successfully on appeal.”

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The apparent disagreement among jurors would seem to be bad news for the prosecution, legal observers told the newspaper.

If a juror is dismissed during deliberations, one of the alternates who heard trial testimony would be assigned to fill the vacant spot — but the jury would have to start the deliberations over from the beginning.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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