From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
Militia leader Schaeffer Cox refused to answer a prosecutor’s questions for a few moments after hearing this evidence recording today in federal court.
In the clip, Cox can be heard talking with a fellow militiaman, J.R. Olson, about the addresses of Alaska State Troopers. Cox, who did not know at the time that Olson was a secret FBI informant, describes one of the troopers as “the guy we’ve been having problems with.”
Cox is on the witness stand for the third-straight day, defending himself against murder conspiracy and weapons charges . Prosecutors have been playing clips like this one throughout the morning, looking to prove that Cox’s militia was not the benign protective force he claims, but a private army plotting violence against government workers.
Cox left several of Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoureux’s questions unanswered after the recording was played. Cox reached for a tissue and asked for a moment.
“I’m crying about my son,” he said.
Over the course of three hours of questioning today, Lamoureux has looked to portray Cox to the jury as a man who lives by his own laws and was hoarding weapons in anticipation of some kind of stand-off or guerrilla warfare.
In this clip, Cox tells Olson he would like eight-second fuses and fast-burning powder for grenades “to really send that shrapnel flying.”
The prosecutor and the defendant often lost patience with each other, with Lamoureux asking the judge to make Cox shorten his answers, and Cox accusing the attorney of twisting his words.
“I took an oath to tell the whole truth, and you’re cornering me into half-truths that amount to a lie,” Cox blurted at one point, his voice rising above the conversational pitch he’s used throughout the trial. “I don’t feel comfortable with that.”
Prosecutors showed the jury paperwork that showed Cox had rejected his Social Security number, writing that he was not naturalized in the U.S. and “has never been subject to that jurisdiction.” Cox signed a document describing himself as commander-in-chief of something called the “Several States of the United States of America,” according to evidence shown today to jurors.
Cox – who has said in this trial that he doesn’t trust the FBI and hates lawyers -- accused the government attorneys of twisting his words and mischaracterizing his intentions.
“You’re trying to make this like I attack people if I don’t like them,” Cox said. “That’s not who I am. In fact, that’s who the FBI tried to bully me into being.”
Cox denied creating a hit list of government employees. Mike Anderson, whose own conspiracy charges have been dismissed, testified earlier in the trial that he gathered information on about 20 government workers for Cox but eventually destroyed the database.
The trial is expected to resume today at 1:30 p.m. Prosecutors plan to question Cox for another hour this afternoon, Lamoureux’s told Judge Robert Bryan.