Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Former OPB Reporter For 2nd Malheur Trial

Feb 17, 2017
Originally published on February 16, 2017 6:39 pm

As a second trial continues for activists who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, federal prosecutors have subpoenaed a former reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting.

John Sepulvado, who now works in California, interviewed Ryan Bundy for a broadcast last year on Jan. 9.

In the interview, Bundy discussed matters like why the group brought guns to the refuge, and whether the occupiers prevented federal workers from doing their jobs.

Prosecutors have said previously in court they consider the interview relevant evidence. The subpoena was approved by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Defense attorneys have said they’d like to know more about the context of the full interview, which was edited for broadcast. The second stage of the trial concerns the cases of Duane Ehmer, Jason Patrick, Jake Ryan and Darryl Thorn.

OPB’s Senior Vice President Morgan Holm declined say how the station will respond. He did outline a general policy.

“Our long-standing policy," Holm said, "is that reporters’ notes are private documents; they’re not subject to subpoena. We would try to prevent those from getting out because they’re work product.”

Oregon has a state shield law to protect reporters. It wouldn’t apply in a federal criminal case.

Sepulvado declined to comment.

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