President Trump Pardons Cattle Ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond

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OR ranchers who repeatedly clashed with federal officers over the use of public lands, and whose imprisonment motivated fellow rancher Ammon Bundy to lead an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve in 2016.

As of 2018, Dwight had served about three years in prison and Steven had served four, according to the White House.

The federal pursuit of the Hammonds followed years of permit violations and unauthorized fires, and they never accepted responsibility, said Oregon's former U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.

But President Obama's Department of Justice appealed, and in 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the administration's favor.

The Hammonds said they were using standard brush-control and land-management techniques, but the government said in at least one instance they were trying to hide evidence of their slaughtering a herd of deer.

The second imprisonment caused a local backlash.

Jennifer Rokala, the executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, called the Hammonds "lawless extremists".

Sanders defended the Hammonds as "devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West". He also noted the jury acquitted them on most charges.

This is a very distinct and selective version of the "law and order" he campaigned on, but one that holds enormous appeal to the only people President Trump really cares about: his base.

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The resentencing sparked a protest from Ammon Bundy and dozens of others, who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the Hammond ranch in southeastern OR from January 2 to February 11, 2016.

"I felt a divine drive, an urge that said you have to get involved", Bundy, who believes public land should be managed locally rather than by the federal government, told FRONTLINE.

Some conservation groups were dismayed at the cattle ranchers' pardon.

The two men were initially sentenced to less than the legal minimum five-year prison sentence by a judge who thought the minimum too harsh and later released the two, Dwight Hammond after three months and Steven Hammond after a year.

"We think this sends a very risky message that will put America's park rangers, law enforcement officers and public land managers at risk", he said.

He has repeatedly referenced emotional video of Johnson being freed from prison and running into her family members' arms, and has said he's considering thousands more cases - both famous and not.

"The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in OR imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land".

The federal government's approach to the Hammonds reflects "prosecutorial misconduct" that's evident in other cases, said Ramona Morrison, daughter of deceased Nevada rancher and "Sagebrush Rebellion" icon Wayne Hage.

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