On the back of today’s Executive Order, Joe deserves an immediate, unconditional federal pardon.
GREAT NEWS!!! Today, President Trump has issued an executive order to “pave the way” to overturn the Obama Administration’s “Waters of the US” (WOTUS) rule.
Tragic news 🙁 Montana resident Joe Robertson is currently in federal PRISON for “violating” the same WOTUS rule that is soon to be a non-rule. In an outrageous miscarriage of justice, last year the WOTUS rule was used to incarcerate this disabled, 78-year old Navy veteran.
Joe’s “crime”? He created a series of small ponds near his isolated mountain home which, by the way, is located about 60 miles from the nearest actual “Water of the United States”. The alleged pollution was not established by any evidence at the trial.
Joe didn’t harm the environment, he helped it. Joe didn’t impact a “water of the U.S.” in any way. But that didn’t stop a ridiculously heavy handed EPA and a notorious environmental activist federal judge from using the WOTUS “non-rule” to throw poor old Joe into the clink.
Now, six months into an 18-month sentence to federal prison, in addition to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, Joe continues to suffer from declining health, confusion, and depression. He reportedly had two strokes in his first month of lock up. He was ripped from his VA medical treatment, transferred to numerous prisons over the west, thrown in solitary confinement, stripped of his veteran’s pension, unlawfully deprived of his right to be present when sensitive legal mail from his lawyer was opened, and barred from having visits from family and friends.
one of the worst examples of federal regulation… it has truly run amok, and is one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our land. It’s prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s been a disaster.
WOTUS led to numerous Americans being needlessly hassled and persecuted by the federal government. Trump mentioned the case of Andy Johnson, whose case was represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation and successfully overturned:
“In one case in a Wyoming, a rancher was fined $37,000 a day by the EPA for digging a small watering hole for his cattle. His land. These abuses were, and are, why such incredible opposition to this rule from the hundreds of organizations took place in all 50 states.”
On the back of today’s Executive Order, Joe – and everyone else persecuted under this rule – deserves an immediate, unconditional federal pardon, and compensation for wrongful imprisonment.
Timeline of Events
In an egregious and horrific misuse of regulatory and judicial power against a private citizen, Joe Robertson found himself charged in May 2015 with two criminal violations of the EPA’s Clean Water Act, for “polluting waters of the United States” and one of “malicious mischief” relating to “injury/depredation of property of the United States”.
Robertson’s alleged crime was violating the Clean Water Act, because he “knowingly discharged and caused to be discharged a pollutant, namely dredged or fill material” into a “water of the United States” without a permit. Yet the said water was a seasonally flowing tributary located miles from the nearest navigable waterway. They also indicted him for damaging “National Forest Service Lands”.
The first trial, in October 2015, resulted in a mistrial as the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. At a second trial in April 2016, Robertson was convicted and is currently serving his prison sentence.
No expert testimony was allowed in Joe’s defense during the trials. The U.S. government prosecutors did utilize their own experts to manufacture the case against Robertson. According to the Justice Department:
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