On Wednesday, Representative Greg Walden went to the House Floor to ask President Trump to pardon two ranchers whose prison sentences triggered the armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge. A jury in Pendleton convicted Dwight and Steven Hammond of arson in 2012. Prosecutors said the men had started a blaze to destroy evidence of game violations. When the judge in the case sentenced the two men to a lighter penalty than what the prosecutors wanted, they appealed. Walden said what happened to Hammonds was just not right.
“They got tried, they got convicted, they never should have been sentenced to this, but the Obama administration came back and resentenced them, to five years for 139 acres, the government starts fires that burn onto private land, and nothing seems to happen.”
The Hammonds were returned to prison in 2016. Protesters led by Ammon Bundy seized the wildlife refuge in Burns for nearly six weeks after a rally in support of the Hammonds.