President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued full pardons to Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, the father-and-son duo whose imprisonment sparked an armed takeover of a federal facility led by anti-government “sovereign citizen” extremists Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
The Hammonds were convicted in 2012 on two counts of committing arson on federal land. Their imprisonment inspired a Bundy-led militia to undertake an armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge to protest the federal government’s restrictions on federal land use.
In his pardon of the Hammonds, the president noted that jurors dropped “most” of the original charges against them, even as they found them guilty of two arson charges. He also said that the Hammonds’ five-year prison sentence was part of an “overzealous” prosecution by Obama administration officials, while calling the Hammonds “devoted family men” and “respected contributors to their local communities.”
Dwight Hammond, 76, has served roughly three years of his five-year sentence while his son, 49-year-old Steven Hammond, has served four years in prison.
Read Trump’s full pardon below.
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 10, 2018