By NPR. President Trump signed full pardons on Tuesday for Oregon cattle ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and son Steven Hammond, whose long-running dispute with the federal government ended with prison sentences for arson — and later inspired the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.
In its statement announcing the pardon, the White House said, “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.”
It added: “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.” (Read more from “Trump Pardons Hammond Ranchers” HERE)
Oregon Ranchers Pardoned by Trump Arrive Home
By CBS News. Father and son ranchers, who were the focus of a battle about public lands and were freed from prison after receiving a presidential pardon, were welcomed home Wednesday in Oregon by relatives and horseback riders carrying American flags. A crowd of 100 people, including supporters who drove from all over the West Coast, also helped welcome the Hammonds home — proudly displaying Americans flags on their trucks and signs praising President Trump, CBS Portland affiliate KOIN reports.
“We’re going to do a lot of decompressing and get back to our families,” Steven Hammond told reporters and well-wishers after he and his father Dwight stepped from a private jet and into the arms of family members in the high-desert town of Burns.
Just 25 miles away is Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which was taken over in 2016 by armed protesters angered by the five-year prison sentences given to the Hammonds after they were convicted of setting fires on federal land. The standoff lasted 41 days, ending when occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested and LaVoy Finicum was killed by authorities.
The occupiers, who believe federal control of public lands violates the Constitution, insisted the Hammonds were victimized by federal overreach. (Read more from “Oregon Ranchers Pardoned by Trump Arrive Home” HERE)