The Justice Department on Wednesday asked a federal judge to drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska.
A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. However, he lost his bid for an eighth full term in office just days after he was convicted. Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial.
The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he has 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 Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.
With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. His decision is said to be based on Stevens’ age — he’s 85 — and the fact that Stevens is no longer in the Senate. Perhaps most importantly, Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.
Holder began his career in the Public Integrity Section; and, according to sources, he was horrified by the failure of prosecutors to turn over all relevant materials to the defense.
The attorney general also knows the trial judge, Emmett Sullivan, well. The two men served together as judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia before each was promoted to higher office.
Holder respects Sullivan and reportedly has watched with growing alarm as Sullivan repeatedly has scolded prosecutors for failing to follow his judicial orders to fully inform defense lawyers about everything from potentially favorable evidence to the travel plans of witnesses. During the trial, prosecutorial missteps led the judge to instruct the jury to disregard some evidence.
This was a prosecutorial cluster-flark from the word “Go.” What the HELL were these prosecutors thinking, might you ask?
Most of the Federal Prosecutors in the Bush years were holdovers from the Clinton administration due to Congress’ unwillingness to confirm Bush’s nominees. Plus Sen. Steven’s indictment was repeatedly brought up and mentioned as if it somehow damned Gov. Palin by association.
Just more politics of personal destruction from the Democraps. Again.
These prosecutors need to be fired. These prosecutors need to be disbarred. And Ted Stevens needs to file a big ole’ personal damages lawsuit as well.