In an interview with E&E, Rep. Ken Ivory says he has no plans to raise money for Cliven Bundy’s legal defense and also refutes rumors that his nonprofit American Lands Council has received money from the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers.
A Utah state lawmaker who is leading the push to transfer federal lands to states signaled yesterday he has no plans to raise cash for Cliven Bundy’s legal defense stemming from the rancher’s 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management over trespassing cattle.
State Rep. Ken Ivory (R) added in an interview that his nonprofit American Lands Council (ALC) has not received “a penny” from the billionaire Koch brothers or their charities.
Bundy, 70, is in jail facing federal felony charges for his role in corralling hundreds of protesters, scores of whom were armed, to oppose BLM’s roundup of his cattle. A trial is set for February in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.
Bundy’s defense attorney Joel Hansen on March 11 sent Ivory an email asking whether he would help raise money to cover the rancher’s legal fees.
“I cannot represent Cliven for free,” Hansen said in the email obtained by a reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting through a public records request and released this week.
“I’m not independently wealthy,” Hansen continued. “I understand from news articles that the Koch brothers are helping to fund Cliven’s efforts to return our lands to the states. I would like to speak with someone about helping to fund the legal fees associated with this case.”
Ivory said as far as he knows, the email was real. But he never read it, and his office has sent no official response.
The implication that the Kochs are funding ALC, which supports legislation and litigation to force the United States to relinquish its vast Western landholdings, is false, Ivory said.
“We have not received a penny from the Koch anybodies,” Ivory said. “I don’t know the Koch brothers.”