Judge issues new arrest warrant for far-right activist Ammon Bundy

An Idaho judge has issued an arrest warrant for right-wing activist Amon Bundy after he failed to appear in court on defamation charges.

Ada County Judge Nancy Baskin issued the warrant for Bundy and set bail at $250,000 after he emailed her saying he would refuse to appear at any future hearings.

“I have much more important matters to attend to…” Bundy wrote in the email to Judge Baskin, Boise State Public Radio reported.

Bundy and his co-defendants were ordered by a jury in August to pay St. Luke's Health System more than $52 million in damages for defamatory statements made against him.

Lawyers for St Luke's say Bundy has continued to attack the hospital despite an order ordering him to remove 18 months of statements from the internet.

Ammon Bundy, the leader of an anti-government militia, speaks to members of the media in front of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on January 5, 2016 near Burns, Oregon.

(Getty Images)

His failure to appear in court on Monday came after a judge delayed a hearing earlier this year at Bundy's request so he could collect the crops.

“I'm shocked that he sent that email thinking he might just decide he can't just turn up,” Judge Baskin said. “Mr. Bundy doesn't seem to understand that the court calendar is not his calendar.”

Bundy responded to the judge with a post on X.

“Today Judge Baskin issued a $250,000 warrant for my arrest. All I care to say is that I don't regret any of it.”

The judge also ordered Bundy to forfeit his original $10,000 bond.

“This court is doing everything in its power to protect Mr. Bundy's rights, to give him an opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses, to hear his motion for severance. I just can't do that unless it's actually in court,” Judge Baskin added.

Bundy's issue with the hospital began when he and his co-accused staged protests there in 2022 after police arrested his co-accused's grandson, Diego Rodriguez, amid welfare concerns and took the child to St Luke's.

Medical staff determined the child was malnourished and the youngster was hospitalized for three days before being returned to his parents.

During a follow-up appointment, officers determined the child had lost weight again, and police arrested the child during a traffic stop.

Bundy and his co-defendant claimed the child had been “medically kidnapped” and falsely accused those involved of “child trafficking,” the Associated Press reported.

The protests forced the hospital's Boise campus to go into lockdown, according to the BSPR.

Bundy was ordered to pay $6.2 million in restitution and $6.15 million in restitution, while Rodriguez must pay $7 million in restitution and $6.5 million in restitution, the AP reported. The remainder of the verdict must be paid by organizations associated with Bundy.

Mr. Rodriguez has appealed the ruling against him to the Idaho Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on the case.

In an email to the radio station, Bundy said he did not regret his actions and asked his supporters to pray for his family.

Bundy is an anti-government activist who led the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

He is the son of rancher Cliven Bundy, who was a leading figure in a 2014 protest in Nevada over his right to illegally graze cows on federal property.

In April 2022, Bundy, who was a gubernatorial candidate at the time, was sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $3,000 for failing to complete court-ordered community service.

He was given 40 hours of community service in lieu of jail time after being convicted of trespassing and resisting arrest for refusing to leave a committee room at the Idaho Statehouse in 2020.

But instead of performing actual community service, he submitted the hours he had worked on his gubernatorial campaign on campaign memos, a court heard.