In brief, an elite FBI agent took two shots at LaVoy Finicum before there was a direct threat. The agent missed, incredibly. Then, even more incredibly the stalwart agent LIED.
Those are the accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Excerpt from Oregon Live
An FBI agent accused of lying about firing two shots at Oregon standoff spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum faces a five-count indictment, charging him with three counts of making a false statement and two counts of obstruction of justice.
W. Joseph Astarita, 40, dressed in a dark pinstriped suit, white dress shirt and red-and-blue striped tie, made his first appearance on the indictment Wednesday in a packed federal courtroom, with heightened security inside and in the corridors of the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.
A lawyer standing beside Astarita entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to all charges. Astarita will remain out of custody pending trial.
Astarita is accused of firing twice at Finicum but missing him as Finicum emerged from his white truck after swerving into a snowbank to avoid a law enforcement roadblock on U.S. 395 in Harney County.
Finicum had sped away from a state police and FBI stop moments earlier as authorities tried to arrest leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation on Jan. 26, 2016. As he crashed in the snow, Finicum’s truck nearly struck another FBI agent, police said.
The indictment says Astarita, who served as a member of the elite FBI Hostage Rescue Team, “falsely stated he had not fired his weapon during the attempted arrest of Robert LaVoy Finicum, when he knew then and there that he had fired his weapon.”
Astarita is accused of lying to three supervisory FBI agents, concealing from Oregon investigators that he fired his weapon and failing to alert the FBI’s Shooting Incident Response Team about his shooting as required.
“Defendant acted with the intent to hinder, delay and prevent the communication of information from the Oregon State Police to the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to the possible commission of a federal offense,” the indictment says.
The criminal indictment stems from an 18-month-long investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Defense lawyer Alison Clark represented Astarita during the two-minute hearing but told the court that Astarita expects to obtain his own local attorney. U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart set a trial date for Aug. 29. Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamala Holsinger estimated a trial would last a week.
The indictment will likely cast a shadow on the highly trained FBI Hostage Rescue Team and fuel Finicum supporters and groups fighting government control of public land.
The story goes on to relate that it was the local sheriff who discovered the alleged crime and traveled to Washington to get the FBI off its duff and bring charges.
Footage of the LaVoy Finicum shooting:
As far as I’m concerned, LaVoy Finicum was murdered by the federal government. The agents whose shots actually killed him should also be on trial.
The corruption in the FBI runs deep. Trump was right to fire James Comey. He also should fire others in that swamp.