Prosecutors in the Ted Stevens case face more than an internal investigation by Eric Holder. The federal judge who tried Stevens is acting on his own. Although the prosecution in the corrupt case against Senator Ted Stevens was replaced and the Attorney General asked that the conviction be voided, promising there would be an internal Department of Justice investigation, it looks like Judge Sullivan is not likely to allow the Department to avoid an independent investigation by the Court. Richard Mauer of the Anchorage Daily News writes:
The judge who presided over former Sen. Ted Stevens' trial last fall issued two orders Sunday indicating he may not be ready to give up jurisdiction of the case even as the government is asking for all charges to be dismissed.
In the first of the unusual weekend orders, filed at 5:22 p.m. Eastern time (1:22 p.m. Alaska time) in Washington, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan directed federal prosecutors to provide him copies of everything they had gathered in the post-trial reviews and investigations and which they had provided to Stevens' defense attorneys. He also directed them to provide everything they had uncovered and produced related to the complaint by Anchorage FBI agent Chad Joy into the conduct of the Alaska corruption investigation and the prosecution of Stevens' case.
Sullivan also demanded the notes of prosecutors from an April 15, 2008, interview of former Veco Corp. chief executive Bill Allen.
It was the discovery of those notes two weeks ago by a new prosecution team that led Attorney General Eric Holder to seek dismissal of all charges against Stevens "in the interest of justice." The notes directly contradicted a key piece of Allen's testimony six months later at Stevens' trial and should have been turned over to the defense, Holder said.
But that's not all. About three hours later, Judge Sullivan issued another order,"directing the Justice Department, the FBI, the IRS 'and any and all other government agencies" that investigated or prosecuted Stevens to not destroy any evidence or documents connected to the case. His order demanded preservation of e-mails, notes, memos, investigative files, audio recordings and 'any and all electronically stored information.' "
Both orders were issued sua sponte , that is, by the court acting on its own initiative .
The next order of business in the case is a hearing tomorrow on the government's motion to dismiss the proceeding against the former Senator.