Former Sen. Ted Stevens (R., Alaska) and his allies are continuing their implausible campaign to rehabilitate the disgraced Senator and portray the Justice Department’s gross negligence as a vindication of the ethically challenged Stevens. Alaskan legislators in the House passed a resolution demanding not only an apology from the federal government but a lawsuit to recoup his fees and costs in defending himself.
The following resolution passed 34 to 1 with democratic support as HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 10:
Expressing support for Senator Ted Stevens and severe displeasure and indignation with the federal government’s deplorable investigation and prosecution of the Senator.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
WHEREAS United States Senator Ted Stevens’ public service began with his military service during World War II; and
WHEREAS Senator Stevens served the State of Alaska for over 50 years as a United States Attorney, member of the Alaska House of Representatives and United States Senator; and
WHEREAS Senator Stevens was the longest serving Republican and seventh longest serving senator in the history of the United States; and
WHEREAS Alaska and its communities owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Stevens for his tireless efforts on behalf of the state; and
WHEREAS the United States Department of Justice has moved “to set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment [against Senator Stevens] with prejudice”; and
WHEREAS the prosecutors in the case withheld information that should have been provided to the defense during the trial; and
WHEREAS the Department of Justice’s prosecution team was found in contempt of court for wilfully failing to abide by the laws and procedures of the federal court; and
WHEREAS, under 5 U.S.C. 1502(a)(1) (Hatch Act), a federal “employee may not use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election”; and
WHEREAS questions have arisen as to whether provisions of the Hatch Act have been violated; and
WHEREAS the dismissal of these charges does not restore Senator Stevens’ reputation and legacy or compensate Senator Stevens for his legal expenses and loss of future income; and
WHEREAS the federal government cannot be sued without its permission, except as
15 provided under 28 U.S.C. 1348 (Federal Tort Claims Act);
BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska House of Representatives demands that the federal government grant Senator Stevens permission to sue the United States Department of Justice for redress; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that federal employees involved with Senator Stevens’ prosecution be investigated for violations of the Hatch Act and, if found guilty, be subject to penalty under the Act; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Government should issue a formal apology to Senator Stevens and the People of Alaska for this heinous miscarriage of justice.
COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.
The suggestion of a Hatch Act claim is entirely laughable. The case was started by the Bush Administration, which desperately wanted Stevens or a Republican to win. The other problem is that Stevens was not acquitted. The prosecutors blundered. The jury clearly rejected Stevens’ testimony.
However, the most otherworldly provision is “WHEREAS the dismissal of these charges does not restore Senator Stevens’ reputation and legacy or compensate Senator Stevens for his legal expenses and loss of future income.” Stevens (and his family) were viewed by many as a virtual perpetual motion machine of corrupt practices. For a prior column, click here . To “restore Senator Stevens’ reputation and legacy” would require decades of new special dealings, sweetheart deals, and windfall investments with business interests. One does not re-build the lifetime reputation of self-dealing and flagrant unethical conduct overnight.
Of course, this may be moot when the giant divine hand gets its grip on the not-so-honorable member.
For the resolution, click here.