Justice For Ted Stevens: Now what about his Senate seat? (Update 2)
Clarice Feldman adds:
The Department of Justice can never compensate Senator Stevens or the people of the state of Alaska for what it did in this utterly stupid, clearly corrupt prosecution.
Cornell law professor William Jacobsen says:
"The judge has held the prosecutors in contempt and I don't see any reason why the court could not pursue the ethical issues even after the indictment is dropped. It will be interesting to see what the Justice Department does with the prosecutors."
"The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he's called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the office of public integrity. That's the department's section charged with prosecuting public corruption cases."
The OPI is the office that handled my claim respecting the Libby case prosecution. Do you suppose they messed up on the Stevens' case but were aok on the Libby case? Or do you suppose on both these highly political matters they acted less than professionally.
Stevens' lawyers, however, issued a blistering statement, saying that the "misconduct of government prosecutors, and one or more FBI agents was stunning.""This jury verdict was obtained unlawfully," said Stevens' attorneys Brendan Sullivan and Robert Cary. "Not only did the government fail to disclose evidence of innocence, but instead intentionally hid that evidence and created false evidence that they provided to the defense."The government's reversal centered on prosecutors' dealings with star witness Bill Allen, the former head of an Alaska oilfield service company, Veco. Prosecutors alleged that Allen, who pleaded guilty to bribing state lawmakers, had provided most of the gifts and home renovations to Stevens.New details contained in federal court papers Wednesday reveal that the government never provided the defense with prosecutors' notes from an April 15, 2008, interview with Allen, who estimated the value of renovations to Stevens' Alaska chalet at $80,000 - far less than the $250,000 the government had alleged.The notes also suggest that a key conversation between Allen and Bob Persons, a friend of Stevens', introduced at trial may not have occurred. At trial, Allen testified that Persons told him Stevens may have asked for a bill for the home renovations, but the senator didn't really want one and was trying to "cover his ass."The prosecutors' notes, according to the court documents, indicate that Allen recalled no such conversation."This testimony was false," Sullivan and Cary said in their statement. "Members of the prosecution team knew that it was false. Nonetheless, it was presented by the prosecution at trial in a manner to give it maximum 'bombshell' effect."
Although Steven's had been fighting the conviction the turning point came in December when an FBI agent associated with the case reported misconduct to his superiors in the Justice Department. And by dismissing the indictment the Justice Department is essentially saying it cannot convict the Senator if it plays by the rules.
For years prosecutors have danced along the edge of what is acceptable. The courts and congress have tried to craft rules which help require prosecutors to meet to opposing objectives – that is to win convictions and insure those convictions are just.
In the case of former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens it appears career Justice Department lawyers did not meet those objectives.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Republicans should be demanding a thorough investigation of prosecutorial abuse and election manipulation.
Rick Moran adds:
Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens will walk after being convicted of 7 counts of lying on a financial disclosure form.
That may be true. But what he was lying about was what should have landed him in jail for a good long while. It seems the senator had a crony in the oil supply business who assisted him to the tune of $250,000 to "improve" his house and property. Don't you wish you had someone who would do something like that for you and your house? They added an entire story to the Stevens manse as well as other goodies that somehow, Stevens "forgot" to include on his financial disclosure form.
Now I don't know about you but when someone gives me a gift worth $250,000, I would be darn sure to remember it.
At any rate, the whole thing is moot at this point because the eager beaver prosecutor is being accused of misconduct. Not that Stevens is innocent of the charges or of taking the gift or of being behind a gazillion earmarks over the years. Stevens is walking away scott free thanks to the incompetence of the prosection:
Marc Sheppard Updates:
There’s a heavier hammer about to drop here.