December 22, 2008
Plot thickens in allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in Senator Stevens' case
As detailed in this new piece in the Washington Times and this post from The BLT, the accusations of federal prosecutorial misconduct in the prosecution of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens have gotten some new force. Here are some details from The BLT post:
A federal judge this afternoon is scheduled to release a whistleblower complaint in which a federal employee alleges misconduct among a law enforcement officer and prosecution team members during the investigation of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan revealed the substance of the complaint publicly for the first time in an opinion published Friday night about whether to release the document to the public....
A law enforcement officer who worked closely on the investigation and trial is accused of improper conduct with key government witnesses, according to a synopsis of the complaint that was included in Judge Sullivan's 29-page opinion last week. A federal employee working the case reportedly accepted “multiple things of value” — including artwork and employment for a relative — from sources cooperating with the investigation.
The complainant, a federal employee with “extensive knowledge of the investigation and trial in this case,” according to Judge Sullivan, also alleges that a member of the prosecution team schemed to relocate a witness to keep him from testifying and also intentionally withheld evidence from the defense lawyers.
Some related posts:
- Senator Stevens convicted on all counts
- Some sentencing questions after Senator Stevens conviction
- How should (and will) Senator Stevens' political past and future impact his sentencing?
- Prosecutorial misconduct or just standard operating procedures in Senator Stevens' prosecution?
- A sentencing approach to dealing with prosecutorial misconduct
- District Court embraces a sentencing approach to dealing with prosecutorial misconduct (and highlights the impact of effective scholarship)
UPDATE: The new allegation of prosecutorial misconduct have led the lawyers for Senator Stevens filing this new motion seeking to dismiss the indictment or grant a new trial. Here is the potent conclusion to this new filing in US v. Theodore F. Stevens:
In a case awash with extraordinary revelations, the whistleblower’s complaint is perhaps the most shocking and important. An FBI Special Agent has alleged that his or her colleagues engaged in intentional constitutional violations in the course of investigating and prosecuting this defendant and others. Because of their source, these allegations are highly credible. The misconduct is utterly inexcusable. The Court should dismiss the indictment or, at a minimum, grant a new trial and order discovery and an evidentiary hearing.
December 22, 2008 at 04:40 PM | Permalink
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Way to take a national embarrassment (Stevens) and find a way to make it much worse with this bungled prosecution. This is a total disgrace, and reflects horribly on the entire federal criminal justice system. If they pull these types of stunts in a trial they know will receive intense scrutiny; I can only imagine what they get away with when going up against over-worked public defenders. Somewhat seriously needs to beat the notion that a fair trial is more important than a conviction in to the heads of the justice department... If they beleived that we wouldn't end up with train wrecks like this.
Posted by: Monty | Dec 23, 2008 1:08:49 AM
Wait a second: the government employees *investigating a government employee for improperly taking things of value* were themselves improperly taking things of value from witnesses in the investigation? Jeez Louise. If these allegations prove true, it's like we've entered a recursive loop of government ineptitude/arrogance.
Posted by: Observer | Dec 23, 2008 11:19:29 AM
Whatever immunity government employees enjoy, a creative attorney could possibly find a way to sue for damanges because the employee violated his/her oath to uphold and protect the state and/or federal constitutions. What better way to encourage respect for the law?
Posted by: George | Dec 23, 2008 12:04:19 PM