Two men who took part in the armed occupation of a U.S. wildlife refuge in Oregon last year were found guilty of conspiracy on Friday by a federal jury, in a split verdict that also saw two other men win acquittals on the same charge, local media reported.
Jason Patrick of Georgia and Darryl Thorn of Washington state were found guilty of conspiring to prevent federal workers from doing their jobs at the refuge, while Duane Ehmer of Oregon and Jake Ryan of Montana were acquitted of conspiracy in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, according to the Oregonian newspaper.
Last October, another trial over the 41-day standoff ended with the acquittal of anti-government activist Ammon Bundy and six of his followers, who cast their protest as a patriotic act of civil disobedience in opposition to U.S. government control over millions of acres of public lands in the West.
Ehmer and Ryan did not win complete acquittals on Friday. Both were found guilty of depredation of government property for using an excavator to dig trenches at the refuge during last year’s occupation of the site, the newspaper reported.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for three days, also finding Thorn guilty of possessing a firearm in a federal facility, but the panel acquitted Patrick and Ryan of that charge, according to the Oregonian.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Hay)
Watch CNN’s Wolf Blitzer make Texas Republican sweat over impeachment hearings
On Tuesday, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) discussed the impeachment hearings with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room." Hurd, the only Black Republican in the House and a former CIA officer, was evasive in questioning — but ultimately agreed that President Donald Trump could be impeached if the allegations over Ukraine hold up.
"The top diplomat in ukraine, Bill Taylor, still testifying, and in his single spaced 15-page testimony said this: Referring to Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Ambassador Sondland told me President Trump had told him he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma, that is the Ukrainian oil and gas company that Hunter Biden was on the board, and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election," said Blitzer. "In addition, Taylor said that Sondland told him that everything depended on that. His word, everything, including not only security assistance but a meeting with the president."
Trump wanted Ukraine president to do a CNN interview on camera to say he was investigating the Bidens
Ambassador Bill Taylor's 15-page opening statement is being called "devastating" by political analysts and experts who recognize Taylor outed President Donald Trump for an impeachable offense, as outlined in the Constitution.
Namely, Taylor outlined that Rudy Giuliani was taking direction directly from the president of the United States, said national security and legal analyst, Susan Hennessey.
Taylor also testified that he sent a memo to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the concerns he was seeing. It's the first indication that a memo exists as a warning and it was acknowledged by Trump's officials.
Russia’s former foreign minister calls for impeachment: ‘The America I knew … is gone’
On Tuesday, former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev penned an op-ed in The New York Times calling on Congress to impeach President Donald Trump — arguing that it would set a moral standard not just in America but around the globe. "The America I knew as Russia's foreign minster is gone," he wrote.
"The United States has often played a pivotal role in my political life, beginning 50 years ago when I was a student of international relations at a Moscow university," wrote Kozyrev. "At that time, Soviet propaganda was well-practiced at denouncing Richard Nixon for rejecting the Kremlin’s dogma that in politics, the ends justify the means. Mr. Nixon had argued during his 1960 presidential campaign that the American democratic system recognizes a standard of moral truth that allows the individual to say to government, 'Thus far may you go, but no farther.' If what Mr. Nixon said was true, many of us in the Soviet Union thought, then America is on the right side of history."