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Ted Stevens is no Longer a Useful Political Punching Bag

****Bumped and Updated***

Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped all charges against Stevens:

The U.S. Justice Department has decided to drop all charges against former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens amid accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, NPR reported on Wednesday, citing Justice officials.

Stevens, a Republican who served longer than any other U.S. senator before losing a November re-election race, was convicted in October of seven counts of lying on a Senate disclosure form to conceal $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from an oil industry executive and other friends. Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reviewed the case himself and decided not to continue to defend the conviction in the face of questions about prosecutors'' actions, NPR reported on its website.

Anyone think the prosecutors will be investigated for misconduct?

Me, neither. The prosecution served its purpose. Stevens lost his reelection bid and a Democrat is securely ensconced in the Senate. No need to continue, especially since Stevens' conviction would be hard to defend anyway.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Update: Not only did the prosecution withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense, but one of the FBI agents, Mary Beth Kepner, was having a sexual relationship with Bill Allen, the prosecution's lead witness, and got a special deal plea deal because of it. Additionally, while Allen was on the stand, his lawyer was sending him signals from gallery. The LA Times has documented all the prosecutorial corruption. Here's a portion:

Oct. 2: The defense requests a mistrial, saying prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence when they failed to turn over FBI reports of interviews with former VECO Chief Bill Allen in which Allen reportedly said Stevens would have paid the full cost of the renovations if he had known about it.

An irate [U.S. District Judge Emmet G.] Sullivan temporarily suspends the trial and, after dismissing jurors, orders the government to turn over almost all of its files to the defense. Sullivan further lambastes the lead prosecutor, Brenda Morris, and says he does not trust the prosecutors to make full disclosure on their own.
...

Oct. 6: In a bizarre scene at the end of the day, Sullivan catches Robert Bundy, lawyer to Allen, apparently signaling his client on the witness stand from the spectator section. After dismissing the jury, the judge threatens Bundy with contempt and expulsion from the courtroom.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Sullivan said the next morning. "That's borderline obstruction of justice."

Feb. 13, 2009: After four Justice Department prosecutors ignored Sullivan's order to turn over all documents to Stevens' defense team related to a whistle-blower complaint, the judge holds the lawyers in contempt.

Requested by the defense in December as part of its motion for Stevens' conviction to be overturned, the documents supposedly contained information about Chad Joy, an FBI agent assigned to the case who complained that the prosecution was not turning over evidence and that his FBI partner, Mary Beth Kepner, had an "inappropriate relationship" with Allen.

No matter how you feel about Ted Stevens, no matter how many earmarks he requested, this should not have happened. He deserved, everyone deserves, a fair trial.


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Comments (25)

What's this? I am outraged.... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

What's this? I am outraged.

Signed,

Valerie Plame

I, for one, am glad the ass... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I, for one, am glad the asshat is gone.

Get rid of the crooks. ALL OF THE CROOKS.

I didn't say he wasn't a cr... (Below threshold)

I didn't say he wasn't a crook or a sleaze, RM, but his prosecution was crooked, too. Now that it served its purpose, all charges have been dropped.

Hi-5's all around!... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Hi-5's all around!!! That old trick never fails. Ha ha. Now the cheating in New York state can proceed:

>--FULL--STEAM--AHEAD-->

The prosecution and ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

The prosecution and Stevens are both sleazy. It was a match made in heaven. Now, about those other crooks masquerading as Republicans...

If Steven committed the cri... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

If Steven committed the crime, he should be prosecuted.

If Stevens did not commit a crime, the prosecuters should be investigated.

If Stevens committed the crime but is now getting special treatment because he's "in the club", Holder should be prosecuted.

_Mike_,How about a... (Below threshold)
Rance:

_Mike_,

How about adding:

If Sevens committed the crime, but the prosecution screwed up the trial, the prosecutors should be investigated.

No one is disputing Stevens... (Below threshold)
BobDog:

No one is disputing Stevens' guilt.

Stevens was convicted by the Bush Justice department.

Under Obama the verdict was overturned.

Simple math.

The political angle to this... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

The political angle to this case is to prosecute Ted Stevens until that last dog dies and mount a massive leak campaign about how "right-wing movement ideologue" judges are letting him off the hook in a corrupt process. That's how the Bush Administration played the game. There's no rational political advantage to the Democratic Party for letting Stevens get away with his bribery. Get back to me when Democrat US attorneys get fired in mid-term after engaging in fights with David Axelrod about refusing to prosecute fake vote fraud complaints that benefit Democrats.

You have got to be kidding ... (Below threshold)
guy:

You have got to be kidding me...

If he was caught of doing ANYTHING wrong then he should be made to pay for his crimes. You and I and everyone else would get no special treatment so why should he?

Our leaders must lead by example.
If they lead by making a mockery of the justice system then the people will mock it as well.

This is complete B.S. Stev... (Below threshold)
Joe America:

This is complete B.S. Stevens the scumbag gets to walk after decades of lining his pockets by betraying his duty to the USA? That POS needs to rot in jail until he dies, which I hope is quite soon.

From what I read it is cle... (Below threshold)
Skeeve:

From what I read it is clear that prosecutorial misconduct was very much technical in nature. Prosecution either failed or delayed providing evidence to the defense. Ignored judges requests and things like this - easily avoidable but a sure way to derail the sentencing. One would wonder whether it was done intentionally to archive just this - case dismissal.

JC"Get back to me ... (Below threshold)
retired milirary:

JC

"Get back to me when Democrat US attorneys get fired in mid-term after engaging in fights with David Axelrod about refusing to prosecute fake vote fraud complaints that benefit Democrats.

"

As opposed to firing 90+ of them when you first come into office because they were the wrong political party like Clinton did right?

The key witness of the pros... (Below threshold)
Timothy Wallis:

The key witness of the prosecution changed his story! If he changed his story it pretty much end the prosecution,s case. Its highly unlikely that he would have been prosecuted without this key witness.

Well if its good enough for... (Below threshold)
914:

Well if its good enough for Bill Ayers I have no problem with this guy walking.

This was apparently another... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

This was apparently another example of the Bush Justice Department overreaching to bring charges against someone. Ironic that a Democrat like Holder finally righted what he viewed as a wrong here.

C/O Republican National Cmt... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

C/O Republican National Cmt.
WASHINGTON, D.C.
-----------------------------
"IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME,
A STINKBOMB FOR YOU!"

signed_ Shrub, Yale'68 xoxox
-----------------------------
rsvp: Alberto Gonzales, esq.

I am surprised. Really, jus... (Below threshold)
Kristian H Author Profile Page:

I am surprised. Really, just because a man is probably guilty is no reason to allow the State (and in our case, the most powerful institution in the world) to cheat. I don't care if you are a 16 year old kid from Pennsylvania or Ted Stevens, you NEVER deserve have the police lie, plant evidence, have the prosecution withhold evidence, Judges take kick backs to sentence you to private jails, etc.

It's just sick.

Yeah, Stevens is probably guilty (hell, I think we can safely say that 100% of the Senate and probably 98% of the House are corrupt in some way or another). But I wouldn't want he judicial system perverted to make the ends justify the means. Nearly every day we hear about some body being released from jail for errors (often honest), sometimes after losing half a lifetime. Don't lessen yourselves by allowing DELIBERATE fraud to be used to send a man to prison.

However, I do think the conviction should be vacated, and the charges refiled, to be handled by a prosecutor with integrity (though, that seems to be a rarer and rare things, from Nifong, Spitzer, on).

Paul, I believe if you read... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Paul, I believe if you read the post you would find the JUDGE found the problems with the prosecutors case. Holder had no choice. Give it up man. ww

Also, Paul, if the Bush adm... (Below threshold)

Also, Paul, if the Bush admin didn't bring charges against Stevens, you would probably be the first one on here making silly accusations of favoritism or corruption in the Bush DOJ. So it's a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The prosecution served i... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The prosecution served its purpose. Stevens lost his reelection bid and a Democrat is securely ensconced in the Senate.

So the purpose of the Bush Justice Dept. prosecuting him was to install a Democrat in Alaska? Interesting theory.

In the meantime, the Alaska Republican Party is calling for a do-over. They must have been talking to Coleman's people.

BRIAN U IDI OT... (Below threshold)
914:

BRIAN U IDI OT

That's good, 914. You've gr... (Below threshold)
Brian:

That's good, 914. You've graduated beyond simply "STFU". Your powers of rational thought are growing without bound.

the justice system is parti... (Below threshold)

the justice system is partially fault, but then it would seem that the public's short attention span might also be at fault in this and similar scenarios

Without arguing part & parc... (Below threshold)

Without arguing part & parcel of government conduct and or position, or that too much pie throwing took place at trial, that's what happens when justice systems get politicized. The foxes appoint themselves henhouse guardians. Chickens get scarce. Accountability goes out the window. That's what happened on Wall Street; with the exception the foxes expect us to buy them a bazillion more chickens. Ted Stevens could be the biggest criminal in the world, but amid all the corrupt foxes, what one of them wants to eat his own kind? Foxes eat chickens. Besides, it sets a bad precedent, what with all those chickens on the way. Can a Politically Correct justice system prosecute actual crime? Judicial misconduct went over-the-top during the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton fired sitting FBI Director William S. Sessions, and installed Judge Louis Freeh. And, Director Freeh moved the FBI away from its investigative law enforcement role, to one that reflected the Clinton's PC agenda. We've paid for it ever since: http://theseedsof9-11.com




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