President Donald Trump was elected due in large part to the excitement and the fervor of the patriot movement. Now, he is giving them what they want by pardoning two of their heroes.
Ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond were serving time in federal prison for supposedly burning federal land, but maintain their innocence. Patriot movement members insist that the Hammonds were targeted as apart of a greater war on private property rights.
“The Hammonds were actually preserving their land through controlled burns,” said KrisAnne Hall of Liberty First. “The feds don’t like controlled burns because it takes their control away. The feds charged the Hammonds with arson alleging they were burning to cover up poaching.”
Hundreds of protesters came to Oregon to show solidarity with the Hammonds. This culminated with the occupation of a vacant federal building. The men eventually surrendered although patriot Lavoy Finicum was gunned down in cold blood by federal agents. With Trump’s pardon, the sacrifices those men made for freedom are now vindicated.
The White House released the following statement:
“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency (Full Pardons) for Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., and his son, Steven Hammond. The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land. The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.
At the Hammonds’ original sentencing, the judge noted that they are respected in the community and that imposing the mandatory minimum, 5-year prison sentence would “shock the conscience” and be “grossly disproportionate to the severity” of their conduct. As a result, the judge imposed significantly lesser sentences. The previous administration, however, filed an overzealous appeal that resulted in the Hammonds being sentenced to five years in prison. This was unjust.
Dwight Hammond is now 76 years old and has served approximately three years in prison. Steven Hammond is 49 and has served approximately four years in prison. They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit. The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West. Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.”
Recently, Cliven Bundy was released from federal custody as well after his case was dismissed by a federal judge. Combined with Trump’s decision to partially privatize land in Utah, this move indicates that the feds are no longer at war with American ranchers.