Birther independent talk show host, Pete Santilli, remains behind bars pending trial for his activities in the occupation of an eastern Oregon federal wildlife refuge, reports Oregon Live. Santilli was charged with one felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of he United States and was arraigned February 24. Santilli has pled not guilty. A trial is scheduled for April 29, but reports say this will likely be delayed and additional charges filed.
Attorneys for Santilli maintain that he was there to cover the Burns standoff as a journalist, and there is no reason he cannot await trial at home. Federal lawyers countered by playing excerpts from his radio show that suggested that he was a flight risk and a danger to others, for example saying that he wanted to shoot former Secretary of State Clinton in her genitals. He also said:
I will die a free man, watch me. They will not take me away.
Santilli also published a video saying he had multiple unregistered weapons hidden. That seemed to be the point that convinced the judge to keep Santilli in detention.
Was Santilli serious in his threats, or was this just shock jock bravado? Judge Mosman was not willing to take the risk.
It’s possible that Santilli may be released to a halfway house in Nevada, where Santilli is also under indictment in the standoff at the Bundy Ranch in 2014. In Nevada Santilli and four others are charged with one count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, one count of conspiring to impede or injure a federal officer, four counts of carrying a firearm in a crime of violence, two counts of assault on a federal officer, two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer, three counts of obstructing justice, two counts of interfering with interstate commerce by extortion and one count of interstate travel in aid of extortion.