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Federal Judge Holds Justice Lawyers in Contempt in Sen. Stevens Case

Judge Emmet Sullivan/court photo

Judge Emmet Sullivan/court photo

It was just a matter of time before this happened. The prosecution has had one misstep after another during and after the trial.

By ERIKA BOLSTAD
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON — The judge who oversaw Ted Stevens’ corruption trial on Friday held in contempt four Justice Department prosecutors for failing to turn over documents to the former U.S. senator’s lawyers.
Calling their conduct “outrageous” as employees of “the largest law firm on the planet,” U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan told the Justice Department attorneys Friday afternoon that they must give the documents to Stevens’ legal team by 5 p.m.
Later in the afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department sent out an announcement saying, “The Government has complied with the court’s order and produced to defense counsel the documents discussed at today’s hearing. We will continue to litigate in court matters related to the jury’s conviction of Senator Stevens.”
The judge said he wasn’t going to address on Friday what sort of penalties the contempt citing will have for the Justice Department lawyers. They include the head of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, William Welch; the lead trial attorney in the case, Brenda Morris; the attorney who was handling the work product question within the Justice Department, Kevin Driscoll; and the chief of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal appeals section, Patty Merkamp Stemler.
Sullivan told them he would address the questions of sanctions when the case concludes.
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