Facing serious back problems, Cliven Bundy’s lawyer is trying to withdraw from the Bunkerville standoff case.
Attorney Joel Hansen said in court papers last week that he is preparing to have back surgery later this year and will be unable to participate in the criminal trial, which is set to begin on Feb. 6.
“Due to my health issues, I do not believe that Cliven Bundy could receive a vigorous and effective defense if I were forced to stay on the case,” Hansen said. “And since I may probably be disabled for up to 12 weeks between now and the trial, there is no way I can be properly prepared to attend the trial.”
Hansen said he has recruited another lawyer to take his place but did not identify the lawyer.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen has set a hearing for Thursday to discuss Hansen’s withdrawal request. Bundy, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in February, has been ordered to attend.
Bundy, 70, is facing an array of criminal charges stemming from the April 12, 2014, armed standoff with law enforcement near his ranch in Bunkerville. Sixteen other defendants, including four of his sons, are charged with him.
The defendants are accused of conspiring to assault BLM agents and take back impounded Bundy cattle that had been grazing on federal land.
Earlier this year, Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro refused to let conservative Washington, D.C., lawyer Larry Klayman join Bundy’s defense.
Navarro said she will not allow Klayman into the high-profile criminal case until he can give her proof that “ethical disciplinary proceedings” against him in Washington have been resolved in his favor.
Klayman has challenged Navarro’s order at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Contact Jeff German at email@example.com or 702-380-8135. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter.
See a timeline of events leading up Cliven Bundy’s conflict with the Bureau of Land Management in 2014. Also, see the most recent reports involving Bundy and his family.