Tim DeChristopher defense to try to make its case Wednesday
Testimony: DeChristopher 'laughed' when told tally of his bids
In cross-examination, Yengich said Love was a professionally trained officer with 16 years of experience who could have stopped the fraudulent bidding if he chose to without letting it go on so long.
"You did say he looked out of place," Yengich said. "You could stop him from doing anything. You did not take that simple step."
Yengich also questioned Love about the federal agency's decision to forgive the bids made by others in the room as the result of the botched auction.
Successful bidders are required to submit what is called a "bonus bid" payment before the end of the day of the auction. It includes upfront leasing fees, plus other costs. Payment in full is due within 10 days.
In DeChristopher's case, he would have had to pay about $81,000 that day, but Love said DeChristopher told him had no means to pay and never intended to pay.
Other successful bidders that day were given the option to have their transaction "forgiven" because of the bogus bidding.
He pointed out that DeChristopher was not afforded the same opportunity and given the appropriate options.
"So forgiveness is not given to the sinner, but given to everyone else," Yengich said.
Love, in essence responded that, the "forgiveness option" was not extended to DeChristopher because it was the activist's actions that disrupted the process of the auction.
Earlier in the morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Romney said the prosecution of DeChristopher is "anything but a complicated case," adding that the laws are very straightforward.
Romney explained to the jury that multiple people opposed to the oil and gas auction were outside the agency's office expressing their displeasure. "They marched, they chanted, they made signs," Romney said. "They made their dissension known, and did so within the bounds of the law."
The defense has been stymied in their efforts to rope in DeChristopher's strong convictions when it comes to his actions the day of the auction.
In an earlier ruling, Benson said his attorneys are barred from raising the so-called necessity defense — that DeChristopher was forced to choose the lesser of two evils to right a wrong. That argument would have opened the door to introduce global warming and detrimental environmental impacts as motivators that drove DeChristopher to violate the law. Benson said the case failed to meet the legal test because other, lawful options were available to him.
But DeChristopher's defiant stand that day has earned a loyal throng of followers who say it is wrong for the government to bring criminal charges against someone who was practicing a peaceful act of civil disobedience.
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