BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Right-wing activist Ammon Bundy on Wednesday published a video online indicating that he doesn’t want to fight a defamation lawsuit brought against him by St. Luke’s Health System.
The video comes a day after a judge issued an arrest warrant for Bundy in the case, as first reported by the Idaho Capital Sun and Boise State Public Radio. The warrant was issued Tuesday by 4th District Judge Lynn Norton after Bundy has repeatedly missed court dates and refused to take down statements online about the hospital.
St. Luke’s filed the lawsuit last year after Bundy and his associate Diego Rodriguez led protests at the hospital over a child welfare case involving Rodriguez’s grandchild. The lawsuit names Bundy, Rodriguez, Bundy’s far-right group People’s Rights Network and other business entities affiliated with Bundy and Rodriguez as defendants, and says they posted lies about the hospital system online.
The 15-minute YouTube video is titled “I’ll give you everything I own. Message to Chris Roth & Erik Stidham,” referring to the St. Luke’s CEO and the attorney representing the hospital system in the defamation case.
In the video, Bundy walks around the Emmett property where he lives, musing over the lawsuit and a Bible verse he says he read with his family Wednesday morning. The verse, Matthew 5:40, reads, “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”
“I’ve asked for St. Luke’s to leave me alone,” Bundy said in the video. “They haven’t. I haven’t fought them in the courts and have expected the judge to give them default judgment so they can try to take my coat.”
BUNDY PROPERTY SALE RAISES QUESTIONS
In the video, Bundy said he doesn’t have the time or finances to dedicate to the lawsuit. Norton issued an order allowing St. Luke’s to seek punitive damages in the case. They could total up to $7.5 million, according to previous Idaho Statesman reporting.
Bundy goes on to address Roth and Stidham, saying, “Whatever you want that’s mine, you can have.”
He says he doesn’t own much and notes that he no longer owns the property where he lives, a 5-acre apple orchard in Emmett. According to the Gem County Assessor’s Office, Bundy sold the property to White Barn Enterprises LLC on Dec. 5, 2022.
The sale makes it unclear who exactly owns the home and whether Bundy or other members of his family are still legally tied to it.
Idaho secretary of state business records showed that White Barn Enterprises is governed by a company called Farmhouse Holdings LLC linked to an address in Sheridan, Wyoming. The address is “one of the most popular registered agent addresses in the state,” according to the Sheridan Press, and has been linked to multiple scams.
Farmhouse Holdings is organized by Prime Corporate Services of Murray, Utah, business records showed. Prime Corporate Services’ website says it helps people form business entities and LLCs and provides other business services. In a blog posted last week, the company explained that transferring real estate to an LLC can shield property “from lawsuits or debt collection efforts that involve that property.”
Bundy in the video also discusses some of his assets — a few vehicles, some tools and about $50,000 in cash — and says he’ll give St. Luke’s everything he owns. By Wednesday evening, Bundy did not appear to have turned himself in on the arrest warrant or have filed any motions in the defamation lawsuit.
Earlier this week, St. Luke’s petitioned the Idaho Supreme Court to weigh in on the case. The move came as Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder said his deputies would no longer serve legal documents to Bundy, citing concerns over safety.
The hospital system asked the Supreme Court to compel Wunder’s office to act as process servers and to prevent the sheriff’s office from pressing trespassing charges against servers who go on Bundy’s property.