U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan today dismissed all charges against Ted Stevens, the former Republican Senator from Alaska that lost a close race for reelection last year. Judge Sullivan also took the unusual step of ordering a criminal investigation into possible wrongdoing by federal prosecutors that brought the case against Stevens:
A federal judge has dismissed corruption charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens and opened a criminal investigation into prosecutors who mishandled the case.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said the misconduct was the most serious he has ever seen in nearly 25 years on the bench. He appointed attorney Henry Schulke (Shul-KEE) as special prosecutor to investigate the Justice Department team for possible criminal contempt charges.
To paraphrase former Reagan appointee Ray Donovan, where does Stevens go to get his election back now? Stevens’ tenure of late in the Senate has hardly been a hallmark of virtue but he would have represented an important Republican vote standing in the way of the President’s über liberal agenda. How the Stevens saga is handled by Republicans will signal much about the tenor of the 2010 elections. Why? Because Stevens was the victim of Department of Justice careerists’ ambitions run amok during a lame duck presidency. This is the same sort of bureaucratic power President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are expanding at a geometric rate.
There is an interesting dissonance in the Stevens incident as it compares with the liberal agenda in Washington today. On the hand we have a voracious Congress that indignantly demands to retroactively abrogate private contracts between citizens and their employers on the slim justification that Congress has public money in the game. On the other hand we have a United States senator that clearly lost reelection because of probable criminal misconduct by government prosecutors. Is anyone concerned about the tyranny of the bureaucratic oligarchs in these incidents? It’s no wonder that Atlas Shrugged, written fifty years ago, finds itself on the bestseller lists today.