The Justice Department will be dropping all charges against former Senator Ted Steven (R., Alaska) due to the misconduct of its own prosecutors. The actions of the Justice Department in the case has been a continued scandal and the question is now what action will be taken against these prosecutors who scuttled a major criminal case through unethical and grossly negligent conduct. On closer examination, however, the action by Attorney General Eric Holder falls a bit short.
What is astonishing is that the Justice Department took this long to do the right thing despite numerous hearing with Judge Sullivan who was quite angry at the unethical practices. Instead, they continued to force litigation and waste the court’s time in trying to avoid such consequences. It is throwing in the towel just before the court was expected to impose serious sanctions, including a hearing schedule this month of the case. Notably, by voiding the case, the Justice Department may also hope to end the increasingly embarrassing inquiry into its actions during the case and the role of specific prosecutors (including high-ranking officials still at DOJ).
While insisting that it is taking the high ground (shortly before the court ordered the same sanction), the Justice Department is strangely silent on the disciplining of these prosecutors. This punishment is being borne not by the prosecutors but the public. Stevens has long been a scandal in the Senate. If such conduct “will not be tolerated,” one would expect an announcement of the review and possible discipline of the prosecutors, including the possible referral to their bars.
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4 thoughts on “Justice Department To Void Case Against Former Sen. Ted Stevens”
I’ll have to say this was the goal of the Bush DOJ from the outset of the case. No reasonable observer of this case could think that the prosecution wasn’t bucking for this outcome based on their actions. My question is when will attorney’s be investigated and punished for their misconduct?
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), who defeated Stevens in the November vote, called the decision to end Stevens’ prosecution “reasonable.”
“I always said I didn’t think Sen. Stevens should serve time in jail, and hopefully this decision ensures that is the case,” Begich said. “It’s time for Sen. Stevens, his family and Alaskans to move on and put this behind us.”
And to think this man gets to vote. Oh my. Can you spell Potato[e]? Can you say, some real bright ones hold public office. I am sure his heart is in the right place, but can someone turn the light on for the man.
Is it beyond the Bush DOJ to withhold evidence in order to get the result that Stevens just got? I don’t have any evidence, but politicizing the DOJ can lead to these kind of results.
If the accounts of prosecutorial misconduct are accurate, then the prosecutors and others must be prosecuted and “barred” from practicing law by their bars.
I strongly dislike Stevens, but such DOJ misconduct is criminal and I think vacating the decision is the correct action, if all of the DOJ legal staffs involved are investigated and punished, if warranted.
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