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Archive for August 8th, 2009

Weekend History Series: Nixon and Haldeman Discuss FBI and Watergate

Some Fed Prosecutors Think Atty. Gen. Holder Sold Out in Ted Stevens Case

This controversy is far from over. But apparently some prosecutors outside of Washington feel Atty. Gen. Eric Holder bowed to politics when he dismissed the Ted Stevens case. Are they right? Or was Holder just trying to do the right thing?
Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Dan Levine
The Legal Pad

When Attorney General Eric Holder dismissed all charges against former Republican Senator Ted Stevens in March, he won plaudits from several quarters – including the New York Times editorial page – for putting the law above politics.

A few career federal prosecutors perceive the decision more cynically, however. Stevens, a longtime senator from Alaska, had been convicted on seven counts by a Washington, D.C., jury for lying on a financial disclosure form.

But prosecutors soon came under fire from the trial judge for failing to turn over interview notes to the defense, which an FBI whistleblower alleged was intentional. Those disclosures led Holder to toss the conviction and announce that Stevens would not be retried.

Despite the allegations, prosecutors contacted by The Recorder in three federal districts outside D.C. – who requested anonymity because they currently work for the Justice Department – said Holder’s decision rankled, partly because no official determination had yet been communicated to the field as to whether the DOJ personnel on the Stevens case truly acted in bad faith.

The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating, along with a special counsel appointed by the trial judge. If it turns out that the disclosure failures had been a mistake, then Stevens should not have been let off the hook without a retrial, these prosecutors believe.

To Read More

FBI Agent Charged With Negligent Homicide in Shooting Death of Puerto Rican Cop During Raid

Any time something tragic like this happens, it’s a public relations nightmare.

puerto-rico-map

By The Associated Press
Authorities charged an FBI agent with negligent homicide on Friday in the alleged “friendly fire” shooting death of a Puerto Rican policeman during a gun battle with kidnappers last year.

Justice Secretary Antonio Sagardia told reporters that special agent Jared Hewitt is accused of shooting 12-year police veteran Orlando Gonzalez Ortiz during a joint raid to rescue a kidnap victim.

Sagardia said Hewitt is no longer in Puerto Rico, but FBI commanders have assured local authorities that he will soon travel to the U.S. Caribbean territory for the prosecution.

“We are working shoulder to shoulder with the federal authorities, hand in hand,” Sagardia said in the capital, San Juan.

For Full Story

Secret Service Tipped Off Philly Police About Officer Running Criminal Check on Pres. Obama

Chief Charles Ramsey/dept. photo

Chief Charles Ramsey/dept. photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Secret Service has triggered a Philadelphia Police Department probe into why one of its officers used his police car computer on Wednesday to run a criminal background check on President Obama, the Associated Press reported.

The Secret Service notified the police department after learning of the breach from the National Crime Information Center, the wire service reported.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the department is investigating the matter and the officer faces possible discipline.

Last month, two DeKalb County police officers in Georgia were accused of doing the same thing, the AP reported. They were put on paid administrative leave.