Ryan Bundy, one of the leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation, issued a subpoena this week to compel testimony from Oregon's top government official related to his criminal trial.
Bundy, who is representing himself for his Sept. 7 trial, sent the subpoena to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday.
It not only demands that she testify in the case, but that the governor's office produce "any and all emails and memos between the Governor's Office and law enforcement, FBI or any other agencies" related to the occupation that haven't been produced yet.
Oregon Department of Justice attorney Marc Abrams asked U.S. District Judge Anna Brown to quash the motion Thursday.
As a matter of compliance, Abrams points out that Bundy has requested the governor to testify on Sept. 17 — a Saturday. He said that makes it impossible for Brown to comply because court isn't in session that day.
Speaking to the merits of the subpoena, Abrams argued that Bundy's request fails to show why Brown is needed to testify.
"There is no basis to believe that the Governor of Oregon has information pertinent to Mr. Bundy's guilt or innocence," Abrams wrote in a court filing.
The state attorney further argued it's a well-established precedent that high ranking officials only need to testify in court if there are "extraordinary circumstances." Abrams said without that protection, officials like state governors could be the subject of regular harassment.
Brown would also be taking time away from her legislative, commander-in-chief and diplomatic duties if she were to testify in the occupation case, Abrams wrote.
"To demand that the Governor put down her significant duties on behalf of the citizens of this State to testify as to matters undefined as to which her knowledge has not been established is not merely a burden on Kate Brown, but a burden on the people of the State of Oregon."
Judge Brown to file a motion justifying his request no later than Aug. 23.