When Ammon Bundy was arrested on Friday, the event took many people by surprise. The far-right anti-government activist has been involved in numerous protests and demonstrations over the last few years, but this was his first arrest in connection to a defamation lawsuit.
Bundy’s family gained notoriety in 2014 after they staged a standoff with government forces, led by his father Cliven, to protest a federal demand for grazing fees. Later, in 2016, Ammon Bundy led a group of protesters in seizing the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Bundy was also heavily involved in opposing the restrictions and regulations introduced to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, participating in numerous protests in Idaho and getting arrested five times. Opposition to medical authority is what led to Bundy’s current predicament, after Idaho’s St. Luke’s Health System sued him for defamation. The hospital accused Bundy of leading a smear campaign against them and engaging in a variety of harassing behaviors, after the activist falsely accused the hospital of kidnapping the infant grandson of an associate.
In March 2022, the hospital filed a defamation lawsuit against Bundy, after which the activist refused to acknowledge any court summons related to the lawsuit. Bundy denied any wrongdoing, so when the jury ultimately ruled against him in July and ordered him to pay $26 million, local law enforcement officials declined to enforce the court orders of the contempt charge.
However, on Friday Bundy was arrested for that contempt charge and booked at the Gem County Jail. According to social media posts from Bundy’s associates, he was arrested while attending a fundraising banquet for his son’s football team. Although the authorities have remained tight-lipped about the arrest, it comes as no surprise that Ammon Bundy is facing the consequences for his criminal activities