‘Veterans For Trump’ Leader Charged in Connection With This High Profile Event
If the old saying “politics makes strange bedfellows” is true, then the Republican frontrunner in the race for the party’s nomination may find himself compromised by the newsworthy arrest of one of his more visible supporters.
While a Donald Trump candidacy was not even a glimmer in the eye of any political pundit or media commentator when Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency of the U.S. Interior Department were engaged in an armed standoff over grazing rights that attracted national attention for weeks during the spring of 2014.
Today, fourteen more participants in the protest were arrested on various charges, one of whom, Gerald DeLemus, is the co-chairman of Veterans for Trump.
DeLemus, a former U.S. Marine, was also in the news when he joined the January takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon orchestrated by Bundy’s sons.
The Trump supporter said his actions were his own and not representative of Donald Trump, who did not declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination until June 2015, a year after the confrontation between the Bundy family and its supporters and the federal government.
The standoff, which arose from Bundy’s refusal to pay grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management, an arm of the Department of the Interior, drew the support of many U.S. conservatives, including, initially, Sean Hannity of FOX News, who saw the dispute as the individual standing against an overreaching federal authority.
The confrontation drew support from many factions including Second Amendment advocates, members of the Tea Party, anti-government groups and even right-wing militia.
National debate at the time revolved around whether Bundy was a hero, an outlaw or a “domestic terrorist,” as Nevada Senator Harry Reid characterized him.
DeLemus, who is married to New Hampshire State Representative Susan DeLemus, received a standing ovation when he made his Thursday court appearance where he was charged with traveling to Nevada in a response to Bundy’s “call to arms” against the federal government.