U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah has called for a wider probe of a federal Bureau of Land Management agent who played a key role in the standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy before coming under investigation for his activities at Burning Man.
The chair of the House Oversight Committee said in a letter that the allegations against Salt Lake City supervisor Daniel Love could undermine trust in the agency and should be probed by Department of Interior inspectors. The department's Office of Inspector General did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter released on Friday.
Chaffetz pointed to reports that Love asked employees to "scrub" emails before responding to a congressional records request and delete documents from a shared server. He was also accused of coaching an employee on what to say before during an interview with government investigators, according to the letter dated Feb. 14.
The Office of Inspector General has previously faulted the supervisory agent from Salt Lake City for accepting sold-out Burning Man tickets and having agents drive around his family during the Nevada event in 2015.
The investigators also found evidence he manipulated a hiring process so a friend could get a job at the Bureau of Land Management. The report released Jan. 30 was referred to higher-ups for possible disciplinary action.
Bureau of Land Management spokesman Derrick Henry said the agency takes allegations of misconduct seriously, but doesn't comment on personnel matters. Messages left at publicly listed phone numbers for Love were also not immediately returned Friday.
Love, who oversaw the Bundy cattle roundup in 2014, is expected to be an important witness for the prosecution during a trial unfolding in Las Vegas for six men accused of illegally wielding weapons during the standoff. Defense attorneys pushing for the case to be dismissed say they should have previously been informed about the allegations against Love.
He was also the target of a federal lawsuit from the family of a southern Utah doctor, James Redd, who killed himself after he was arrested in a 2009 artifact looting investigation that marked an early skirmish in the struggle for control of public lands. The family said the Bureau of Land Management agents led by Love used excessive force when they arrested Redd at gunpoint.
Read more on the James Redd fiasco:
Dan Love, the Bureau of Land Management agent now under investigation by the agency’s own Inspector General’s office for egregious ethics violations related to the 2016 Burning Man festival in Nevada, has a history of cruel and ruthless behavior which predates the current uproar over his thuggish tactics. Prior to Love’s involvement in the failed raid on the Bundy Ranch in April of 2014, he lead the 2009 federal antiquities sting, ‘Operation Cerberus Action’ in southeastern Utah. This sting, which took several years and climaxed with federal raids by hundreds of armed BLM and FBI officers on dozens of homes, also lead to the deaths of 4 men involved in the case.
Dr. James Redd, a beloved father, church leader and community physician, [Please click here to read more about the character of Dr. Redd] became a suspect in Operation Cerberus, and took his own life following a day of harsh and inhumane treatment by agents under the direction of Special Agent (SA) Dan Love. These are the accounts of Dr. Redd’s children and associates who witnessed Love’s activities and interacted with him in Blanding, Utah, the epicenter for Operation Cerberus, and other locations during the course of the investigation.
That entire evil mess had the stench of Obama corruption.
The stench that you smell was actually Harry Reid, who wanted the land for a foreign company. His son was an attorney for the foreign company and stood to make millions. This is what I believe I read in the news at the time. The land was wanted for solar power.
Yes...that would be the Chinese that wanted that land
There should be no federal Bureau of Land Management. The constitution clearly states what land the Federal government may have, for what purposes, not to exceed 10 square miles, and how they must purchase it from the state wherein it is located with state legislator approval. All properties taken under the unconstitutional "The Antiquities Act of 1906" should be returned, with their natural resources, to the ownership of the states where they belong.
You are so RIGHT! This agency is unlawful.
Absolutely Dennis... the State's should insist on the return of all federally claimed lands not constitutionally acquired. They need to join together and file a major law suite too evict the Federal Government from all usurped lands within their respective State borders.
However, the State Political apparatuses are nothing more than the water boys for the Fed. Time to get rid of those in State Government who will not defend the People's and State's rights against the Federal Government's overreach.
one big mess brought to you by the most corrupt regime ever in American History
The BLM is now the "SS" arm of the Gestapo
This investigation of this Agents conduct.... needs to be a criminal investigation... not an internal administrative investigation.
The FBI needs to be conducting this investigation... for the purposes of ascertaining, what if any laws were violated by this agent and the BLM... It is time for Trump to strip the law enforcement arm of the BLM ... the FBI should handle all of their enforcement needs period. The BLM is not law enforcement and Congress needs to ensure that any usurped law enforcement powers are clearly removed.
In fact, the ownership of lands within the borders of a State are first and foremost under the jurisdiction of the State and the People... not the federal government. See Article 1, Section 8, clause 17 for the lands and property the Federal Government has Constitutional jurisdiction over... all other lands, that are within the boundaries of a sovereign State belong to the State and are under the Jurisdiction of the State... not federal government.
Trump may want to issue an Executive Order clarifying the ownership of all lands within a State... that have not been transferred to the Federal Government for one of the Constitutional purposes described in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17.
I agree....this needs to be a criminal investigation.
And it was the COUNTY SHERIFF who was the one who told the BLM to pack up and LEAVE. telling them that" HE WAS the ruling authority in this matter, NOT the BLM" !!!!!
Everybody breathed a sigh of relief when the Sheriff interceded. But then a group of Mounted and armed Ranchers approached a metal Crossing gate and told the Sheriff that "It wasn't over yet" !!!! And that hey wanted the CATTLE BACK from the BLM who had some "Counterfeit Cowboys" dressed in Leather corralling a herd of Cattle they confiscated from the Ranch, far away from any water the Cattle needed to survive in the Hot desert Sun. Many of the Cattle had already died, mainly the calves, but the BLM ordered some of the Prize Bulls shot as a show of INTENT. Everybody was caught off guard at this move by the ranchers, and you could HEAR a bunch of weapons being drawn from their scabbards and "rounds" being transferred into the chambers of the assorted weapons, on both sides !!! The SHERIFF raised High in his Saddle and YELLED AT EVERYBODY that HE WAS the LAW HERE !!!! And to put their WEAPONS AWAY or risk ARREST !!!! He then ORDERED the BLM to RELEASE the CATTLE To the RANCHERS, Post Haste !!!!!! Thankfully they complied without further problems and dispersed. The Sheriff had a set of CAJONES to act in the way he did. I'm sure he made some enemies in the Government by doing so.
It was JUST LIKE AN OLD, COWBOY MOVIE !!!!!! I really thought that I might not survive the occasion, (and I served in Vietnam for two years) but I then realized I wasn't 23 years old anymore and the seriousness of the event began to take hold of me and my friend, also a Vietnam Veteran Door Gunner. It took us quite a few shots of Jack Daniels, before the nerves began to settle. Our Flight home to New York was filled with questions about "How an ugly event like that could happen right here in the USA, in this day and age ????? Our GOVERNMENT trying to FORCE a RANCHER OFF HIS PROPERTY, so a US SENATOR could make a "LAND GRAB" and sell the property to the "CHINESE Government" to build a SOLAR FACTORY, ( for I imagine a handsome profit )!!!!!! I never READ in the "Mainstream Media" ANY reports of what had "really happened" there at the BUNDY RANCH !!!! But I'm letting you guys know now. HARRY REID has some REALITY questions to answer before an investigating Committee that needs to convene before REID, in his retirement, "Flies the Coup" !!!! Senators like him shouldn't be allowed to get away with such activity. But that's why we have a DONALD TRUMP as POTUS now....... to DRAIN THE SWAMP !!!! THE american people have had enough of CORRUPTION and we need to CULL THE HERD of the BAD GUYS !!!!!