Wednesday, April 22, 2009
"Last fall, the senior senator from Alaska was the poster octogenarian for political corruption. As of yesterday, Ted Stevens is merely another casualty of abusive prosecutors out to make a name for themselves. ... In the motion, Justice said it 'recently discovered' that prosecutors withheld from the defense notes about an interview last April with the state's star witness, Bill Allen, that contradicted his subsequent testimony. Under the Brady Rule for evidence, Justice was obliged to share that with Senator Stevens lawyers. ... The Republican narrowly lost his bid for a seventh term. Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday promised a 'thorough' proble into the conduct of prescutors, which is the least the Department owes Mr. Stevens. The Obama Administration made the political calculation here to wlak away from the original mistake made by Bush Justice rather than further embarass the Department in post-trial hearings. ... Chad Joy, an FBI 'whistleblower,' filed a complaint in early December, saying his partner, Mary Beth Kepner, had an unspecified inappropriate relationship' with Mr. Allen, the prosecution witness", Editorial at the WSJ, 2 April 2009.
"A federal judge ordered a criminal investigation into prosecutorial misconduct in the trial of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, and suggested that the botched case exposed a deeper problem at the Justice Department. US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan appointed a special prosecutor to look into possible criminal contempt-of-court charges against six federal prosecutors who the judge said repeatedly withheld evidence from defense lawyers. ... A federal jury in October convicted Mr. Stevens on seven counts of failing to disclose free home rennovations and other gifts from friends. The verdict came just eight days before Election Day, and the Republican lost his re-election bid by fewer than 4,000 votes, handing Democrats a crucial seat in the Senate. ... 'In 25 years on the bench I have never seen anything approach the mishandling and misconduct I have seen in this case,' Judge Sullivan said. ... Paul O'Brien, part of the new Justice team that sought diusmissal of the case, told the judge, 'I apologize to the court and deeply regret this occurred.' The judge criticized the Justice Department for its internal investigation of the prosecutors, saying that after six months 'the silence has been deafening.' ... Mr. Stevens, wearing cowboy boots with his dark suit, briefly addressed the courtroom packed with relatives and friends, some of whom wiped away tears. The ex-senator, 85 years old, said his faith in the justice system had been shaken, but that with the dismissal of the charges, 'My faith has been restored.' ... In a statement, the Justice Department said it takes allegations of misconduct seriously, but added, 'it's important to recognize that the department's attorneys act responsibly and ethically in the vast majority of cases they litigate'," Evan Perez at the WSJ, 8 April 2009.
Isn't ignoring the Brady Rule DOJ standard operating procedure?
Who is the DOJ kidding? My experience with DOJ attorneys is: there is no more "ethically challenged" group in the entire justice system. These guys make the SEC look good. There is no form of justice obstruction I would out past the typical AUSA, witness intimidation, evidence falsification and suppression, perjury subornation, you name it. I doubt any DOJ misconduct like in Stevens' case, would be exposed in a drug possession case brought against a nobody.