Last night, one of Cliven Bundy’s bodyguards waited at the Portland airport for Spirit Airlines flight 869 to arrive from Las Vegas.
The flight landed at 10:06 p.m., 13 minutes before it was scheduled to land, but Cliven Bundy never met-up with that bodyguard.
“The bodyguard thought something was wrong,” said Bailey Logue, Cliven Bundy’s daughter. “He called us and told us he was hearing a SWAT team met the plane, and that dad didn’t come out.”
Logue said the family learned the Bundy patriarch was arrested through social media. Shortly after, they called the Multnomah County Detention Center, where officers confirmed Bundy was in custody.
“They told us he was arrested for conspiracy,” Logue told OPB. “We haven’t spoken to him, and we didn’t hear anything else.”
Portland FBI spokeswoman Beth Ann Steele referred questions pertaining to the arrest to the U.S. Attorney in Nevada. The Associated Press is reporting that Cliven Bundy has been charged with assault and conspiracy for a 2014 standoff near his Nevada ranch.
Cliven Bundy told OPB earlier in the week that he planned to come to Portland to bring attention to his two sons being held in jail, but didn’t want to publicize the date he planned to arrive. Bundy hoped that political pressure would help convince the U.S. Attorney’s office in Portland to agree to releasing Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
Bundy also told OPB that he planned on driving to Oregon.
“He doesn’t like to fly, and I don’t like to fly,” said Carol Bundy. “We’re land lovers. And every time we fly, we both get stopped, so he won’t go.”
On Tuesday, after his plans were revealed by OPB, Bundy began to backtrack from coming to Oregon. But a call Wednesday afternoon from a close friend prompted Bundy to change his mind, which ultimately led to his arrest.
Busy Night at the Portland Airport
Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore – a close friend and confidant of Cliven and Ammon Bundy – convinced the rancher to leave with her on a Spirit Airlines flight that would land in Portland just after 6 p.m. Wednesday. Fiore had organized a gathering of sympathetic state lawmakers, and wanted Bundy to attend.
“He was going to help Michele,” said Carol Bundy. “He thought it would help Ryan and Ammon.”
Cliven Bundy bought a ticket for that flight, but he was not allowed to board the plane. Carol Bundy said he was delayed by security at McCarran International Airport.
Later Wednesday evening, as Cliven Bundy waited to board in Las Vegas, Michele Fiore was tethered by her cell phone charger to a wall at near the baggage claim at the Portland airport.
After getting off the plane, a right-wing YouTube host contacted Fiore, and told her of the escalating situation with the remaining four holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Fiore spent several hours on the phone talking to the militants trying to calm them down as the FBI formed a tight perimeter around them. The surreal event was streamed live, and Fiore and YouTube host Gavin Seim took turns asking the militants to remain calm and pray.
Timeline: The Armed Occupation Of The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
John Sepulvado / Juan Ramirez / Bryan M. Vance/OPB
“We will take this up in court,” Fiore told them on the phone from the Portland airport. “They have to abide the law too.”
At the end of the phone conversation, Fiore secured a deal with the militants to turn themselves in at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Soon afterwards, Bundy was arrested in Portland. Attorney Mike Arnold, who is representing Ammon Bundy in court and accompanied Fiore at the airport, expressed dismay with the arrest.
“I’m wondering who’s in charge,” Arnold said. “I’m sort of in frustrated disbelief right now that there’s someone in the federal government right now who thought it was a good idea to arrest Cliven Bundy while Michele Fiore was negotiating for the stand down at the refuge.”
Carol Bundy said she had been in communication with Fiore throughout the night, and that the arrest has greatly upset Michele Fiore.
“She’s on fire,” Carol Bundy said. “I’ve never heard her this angry.”
As for Carol Bundy, she said the family is waiting to hear from its 74-year-old patriarch.
“I’m hanging tough,” Bundy said. “They might have us down, but we’re not out.”
Cliven Bundy will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Portland at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, said U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden.