State Senate candidate Morgan Philpot has joined Ammon Bundy’s legal team.
Philpot takes over for Bundy’s previous lawyer, Michael Arnold.
Bundy was the leader of an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and is currently in jail in Oregon. Philpot was born in Molalla, Oregon.
The Oregonian reports that Bundy’s previous lawyer, Arnold, is leaving the case because it is taking an emotional toll on him. He says he missed his son’s first birthday because of his pro bono work on the case.
Arnold has been an outspoken advocate and defender of Bundy. His courthouse step pronouncements and social media postings drew complaints to the Oregon State Bar about his legal tactics. Most have been dismissed, except for a couple pending that question his use of social media and crowdsourcing to help with discovery of evidence in the case.
“Morgan’s entrance into this case is a positive step forward and does not diminish our belief in the protestors or this case. We believe in Ammon Bundy. He is a thoughtful and courageous man, a wonderful client and now a friend,” Arnold said.
Philpot is currently a candidate for Utah State Senate District 14 to replace the retiring Alvin Jackson. Philpot faces Daniel Hemmert in a June primary. Philpot ran for governor against Gary Herbert in 2012 and was the GOP nominee for Congress against Jim Matheson in 2010.