Ammon Bundy and the other defendants charged with occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will appear in court Wednesday morning, where their attorneys will discuss issues around pretrial discovery.
According to court filings, defense attorneys say the discovery provided by prosecutors contains errors and omissions. They also argue it will be costly and time-consuming to review.
“While the government has stated that discovery is substantially complete, that does not take into account very costly and time-consuming efforts defenders must now undertake to review the bulk of the discovery currently in hand,” defense attorney Amy Baggio wrote in a court filing.
Defense attorneys estimate it would take 6,000 hours — or 250 days of nonstop viewing — just to watch all the videos prosecutors have provided as part of their case. Defense attorneys note that doesn’t include the time it takes to make notes or study sections in detail.
The discovery provided by the government also includes 13,000 photographs, 16 discs of reports on data seized from digital devices, 250,000 pages of Facebook data, 40,000 PDF files, and reams of reports from law enforcement.
Prosecutors note in court filings that they’re available to help defendants with discovery. They concede that the sheer volume poses a challenge for both sides as they prepare to go to trial.
“If any member of the defense team has difficulty finding an item or alerts the government to a problem with an index, the government will work with them to rectify the issue,” government attorneys wrote in a hearing filing.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors also need to file the questions they hope to ask potential jurors by Wednesday.
For the last several months, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown has held monthly status conferences to meet with prosecutors, defense attorneys and defendants so they can discuss issues before the September trial date.