Trump Pardons Arsonists That Inspired 2016 Bundy Standoff

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday

Years later, the Hammond case prompted Bundy's sons, Ammon and Ryan, to lead an armed, anti-government militia that took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for a month.

"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 2001 blaze burned 139 acres of public land, according to court documents; the 2006 fire - for which only Steven was convicted - burned an additional acre of public land".

Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Walden of OR, who lobbied the White House for the pardon of the Hammonds, said Trump's decision was "a win for justice, and an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West".

Bundy's militia, which included people from as far away as Arizona and MI, seized the headquarters of refuge as part of a long-running dispute over federal control of public lands in western US.

The occupation resulted in the death of one man, LaVoy Fincicum, who was shot and killed by Oregon State Police troopers when he drove his truck at a roadblock while trying to escape the refuge.

Trump has also said on Twitter he could pardon himself in case he would be convicted as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections. The trial judge in their case ignored the five-year mandatory minimum imposed by Congress and sentenced them to shorter terms, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered them to be re-sentenced.

Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in October 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum.

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In a statement Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called that decision to resentence the Hammonds "unjust".

"The Hammonds are 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", Sanders said.

Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son, Steven, 49, were convicted in 2012 for setting a fire that spread onto public grazing land.

On Jan. 2, 2016, militants seized the headquarters of the wildlife refuge in Harney County to protest the Hammonds' prosecution and sentencing.

The statement added: "Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency".

Dwight Hammond has served approximately three years in prison, and his son Steven has served four years, according to the White House.

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