Now, this is a really cool gesture.
The day after President Trump pardoned the two Oregon ranchers who were at the center of a 40-day armed standoff against BLM during the Barack Hussein Obama administration, the pair got a chance to fly back home to Oregon on the private jet of an oil company founder who once donated $50,000 to Vice President Pence.
Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted back in 2012 and sentenced to five long years in prison on what most consider bogus arson charges after the two allegedly set a series of fires on their ranch that by accident spread to federal land.
The case sparked a 40-day armed standoff of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. A standoff to protest against the fact that the Federal Government is the largest landowner in the U.S.
Here is more on this via The Hill:
“One day after President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers who were at the center of a 40-day armed standoff, the pair flew home on the private jet of an oil company founder who once donated $50,000 to Vice President Pence.
The ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, made the trip on Wednesday with Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas, according to a post on Protect the Harvest’s Facebook page, a nonprofit founded by Lucas.
The Hammonds were convicted in 2012 and sentenced to five years in prison on arson charges. The two had set a series of fires on their ranch that spread to federal land.
Their case prompted the 40-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016, in which protesters demonstrated against federal land ownership.
In its pardon, the White House said there were uncertainties in the Hammonds’ case.
The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges,” the White House said.
The Times attributes the Hammonds’ private ride home with Lucas to an abundance of lobbying that took place to secure the ranchers’ pardon.
Lucas reportedly donated $50,000 to Pence and his wife while Pence was running for governor of Indiana. According to the Times, Lucas also gave Pence two tickets worth $774 to attend an Indianapolis Colts game in 2017.
Lucas, whose company also owns the naming rights to the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium, has lobbied extensively against animal-rights activists. The Times reported that Lucas used Protect the Harvest to lobby for the Hammonds’ release.
The paper also noted that Lucas had contacted Oregon’s congressional delegation in his effort to release the Hammonds, getting help from the state’s only Republican lawmaker, Greg Walden.
Just two weeks ago, Walden had gave a speech on the House floor calling for the Hammonds’ release.
Walden also wrote on Facebook on July 1 that Trump had called him to tell him he was “seriously considering” pardoning the Oregon ranchers.”
In the pardon, President Trump outlined the fact that there were uncertainties in the Hammond case which led to questions as to the Hammond’s responsibility in the case. A case which the jury actually acquitted them on most charges brought up by the federal government.
But on Wednesday they traveled free back to Oregon on the private jet of the Lucas Oil Company. Lucas reportedly donated $50,000 to Pence and his wife while Pence was running for governor of Indiana, and according to the Times, Lucas also gave Pence two tickets worth $774 to attend an Indianapolis Colts game in 2017.
Lucas also owns the naming rights to the naming rights to the Colt’s Stadium and the company lobbied extensively for the Hammond Pardon.
Here is more on this case via Reuters:
“The 41-day standoff, which began after the ranchers were imprisoned for a second time for setting a fire that spread to public land, stirred the long-simmering dispute over federal land policies in the U.S. West. It turned deadly when police shot one of the occupiers.
A crowd of supporters cheered as Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son, Steven, 49, arrived at Burns Municipal Airport in southeastern Oregon. Local officials including a Republican congressman had urged Trump to pardon them.
U.S. Representative Greg Walden, who had sought the pardon, called their release “an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West” in a statement on Tuesday. He declined further comment Wednesday.
Harney County Sheriff David Ward, who also petitioned the government to pardon the Hammonds soon after Trump’s election, also welcomed the decision.
“There’s no way we can thank everybody enough,” Dwight Hammond told reporters at the airport as he stood alongside his wife, Susan.
The Hammonds were convicted in 2012. They said they were using standard land-management techniques, but federal prosecutors said that in at least one instance they were trying to hide evidence of their k*****g a herd of deer.
They were initially sentenced to less than the legal minimum five years in prison by a judge who called that minimum harsh. After prosecutors appealed, a different judge in 2015 ordered the men back to prison for the full five years, sparking protests and the occupation of the nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Dwight Hammond served about three years in prison and Steven served four, according to the White House. They were released from a federal prison in California on Tuesday after Trump’s pardon.”
So great to see these people finally free after the justice-less days of the Barack Hussein Obama Administration where patriots were attacked on a daily basis while statists were let to break any law they wanted without any repercussion whatsoever.