On July 25, 2023, the entire editorial board of the Idaho Statesman spoke up about the St. Luke Hospital’s successful defamation lawsuit against Ammon Bundy and Diego Rodriquez. The jury awarded damages to the hospital and other plaintiffs in the amount of $52 million, and the Idaho Statesman wholeheartedly approved the award. But, in doing so it also approved of something much larger – violations of the United States Constitution.
The scathing editorial reads like a catalogue of domestic terrorist activism, all perpetrated by Bundy and his followers for personal gain, power, and authority borne of naked ego and greed – though absolutely no evidence is provided in the editorial for such claims.
Bundy and Rodriguez were a,
“massive ugly machine built to make money and radicalize people,”
a later Statesman article claimed, again without any evidence.
In their hubris, the editorial team assumes the reader will embrace its vision of St. Luke’s story and Baby Cyrus, along with their version of its moral and legal underpinnings. All while bringing up Bundy’s past involvements and trials with the government as trotted out by these newspapermen and women, which of course are all founded upon their unique but completely flawed version of our Constitution and our country’s sanctified “rule of law.”
The truth is, with regard to Bundy’s prior trials, Ammon Bundy was found not guilty by the jury in one and the judge called a mistrial with prejudice (meaning the case cannot be retried) in the other trial, upon which both trials tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent. The federal government was guilty of exactly what Bundy had claimed against it. It was operating outside of the law, and not just a little bit.
The Idaho Stateman openly admits this in the editorial:
“Federal prosecutors mishandled both cases, and Idaho was left to deal with the consequences.”Advertisement
What did the Editorial Board of the Idaho Stateman just admit? Yes, the judges excoriated the federal agencies and their legal teams, not Bundy, for breaking federal law both before and during the trials.
And now the Idaho Statesman is putting itself in the position to decide what two federal courts, judges and juries, have already decided, by following the rule of law, in Bundy’s favor?! What’s more, the Statesman admits but does not enlighten the public how the “federal government mishandled both cases” and, especially, how those cases somehow apply to the St. Luke’s Baby Cyrus case? Where are its journalistic standards and principles in such an important matter?
But it doesn’t end there, Erik Stidham said the following in his closing statement in the trial:
“My hope is that you will look at this and you will deter (Bundy) in a way that he hasn’t been deterred yet.” He also said: “But more importantly, this judgment could do what federal law enforcement has failed to: Put an end to Bundy’s string of lawless acts, his repeated acts using force to get his way.”
How were these statements ever allowed to be made to the jury and not censured in the trial by the judge? Again, two courts didn’t find Bundy guilty, and now this St. Luke’s lawsuit should correct the prior two court’s mistakes? “Double jeopardy” is a violation of the United States Constitution. And Stidham is insisting that double jeopardy should be applied, not once, but twice?
Two prior trials got it wrong, only Stidham and St. Luke’s Hospital and the Idaho Statesman has it right. Double jeopardy is illegal in our country, yet not in the minds of representatives of our health, legal, and journalistic institutions in Idaho.
Who are the vigilantes here? Who is insisting on vigilante justice? Answer: the largest newspaper, largest hospital, and largest law firm in the state of Idaho.
How can anyone defend the hubris of the newspaper’s, St. Luke’s, and its attorney’s statement? This, in fact, is exactly the kind of thing that Bundy has always tried to uncover – corrupt, incompetent, and extra-legal control of our government institutions.
Additionally, the claims made by the Idaho Stateman and others are considered “hearsay” in a court of law, but this legal team routinely used hearsay anyway. This threesome provided no evidence whatsoever that Bundy is using his activism to enrich himself. And these are supposedly learned, principled, and objective individuals who should be exemplars of understanding and complying with the principles and the rule of law by which they make their living.
I ask only: Go to YouTube and watch Bundy’s two fourteen-minute videos defending his efforts to protect Baby Cyrus and his innocent parents. Bundy was clearly on the right side of this cause. The videos speak for themselves. Please watch them.
See what the government and hospital employees did and said in their own words. Then, if interested, read the actual details of his earlier trials in depth.
Additionally, the question must be asked: Was Bundy targeted by St. Luke’s? You can see the report and the actual words in the video and decide for yourself.
Bundy didn’t attend the trial because he couldn’t afford a defense, nor did he believe he could get an honest hearing, and obviously he couldn’t. He didn’t want to participate in the sham and a continuing distortion of the rule of law.
His only defense is the effective free speech effort he has placed on YouTube. Watch it and then, if so moved, call your legislators and Raul Labrador, Idaho’s Attorney General, and ask them to restore justice and condemn vigilantism by our very own institutions. We the citizens of freedom-loving Idaho need to speak up to save a fellow citizen who is standing for the real rule of law. Let us use peaceful and legal means of petition to save this man and his family as well as Diego Rodriquez and his family from gross injustice.
Do we, now, at this moment, not see what is taking place? The background has been and continues to be far more complicated than the Idaho Stateman and other news sources are willing to do their solemn and sacred duty to explain to the people. They simply want to warp the news and remain in control of the way we think.
The Idaho Statesman closed its editorial with the following statement: “The rule of law means you face the consequences of your actions, no matter who you are.” Yes, Idaho Statesman, and that applies to you as well, as you intentionally bend the St. Luke’s story and the law in every dimension as well as play fast and loose with our Constitution.
These three parties’ representations of Ammon Bundy are fraught with deception and arrogance, and, as you can see on YouTube, it is all available in their own words. Help them face their consequences as you question the veracity of every word they speak going forward in their news coverage.
Rick Hydrick was a public servant for forty-two years. He has spent thousands of hours working with attorneys and expert witnesses preparing for, testifying, and succeeding in trial. He lives in Preston, Idaho.
This Op-Ed was submitted by Rick Hydrick. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: Ammon Bundy, Baby Cyrus, Constitution, CPS, Diego Rodriguez, Erik Stidham, Holland and Hart, Idaho Statesman, IDHW, Natasha Erickson, Save Baby Cyrus, St. Luke's Hospital, Tracy Jungman