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Tag: Ted Stevens

Lead Agent in Ted Stevens Case Under Ethical Review

The late Sen. Ted Stevens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mess from the bungled prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens isn’t  over yet.

The website Main Justice reports that the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the lead FBI agent in the case, Mary Beth Kepner.

New of the probe surfaced when FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified this week before the House Judiciary Committee.

To read the full story click here.

Congressmen Call to Disbar Ted Stevens’ Prosecutors

Rep. Gohmert/gov photo

By RYAN ABBOTT
Courthouse News Service

WASHINGTON –– The prosecutors who concealed evidence to score a conviction against the late Sen. Ted Stevens should be disbarred, officials said at a congressional hearing Thursday.

“I don’t believe that the people that took Ted Steven’s life, how they should ever be able to practice law again,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who added that he didn’t personally like Stevens, but felt the prosecution was an injustice.

A federal jury convicted in the Alaska senator of felony corruption in 2008 for lying about home renovations and other gifts he had received from executives of VECO Corp., an oil field services company.

To read the full story click here.

Column: Stevens Case Shows that Prosecutors Need Supervision

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens/campaign photo

Michael Carey is the former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and the host of the weekly public affairs show “Alaska Edition” for Alaska Public Television.

 By Michael Carey
Los Angeles Times

ANCHORAGE — As his trial on corruption charges approached in the fall of 2008, Ted Stevens railed to me in an email: “What did I do, Michael? What did I do?” The wounded rage smoldering in that rhetorical question to a reporter reflected his belief that he had done nothing wrong. He continued to insist on his innocence after aWashington, D.C., jury found him guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms.

Stevens’ conviction was dismissed in 2009 after the Justice Department’s admission that government lawyers failed to turn over evidence the Stevens defense should have received. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over Stevens’ trial, soon authorized an investigation of the prosecutors’ conduct, a move as rare as the trial of a U.S. senator.

Last week, the judge’s investigator, Special Counsel Henry F. Schuelke, issued his findings, which Stevens will never read. He died in a 2010 airplane accident.

To read full column click here.

Report: Prosecutors Concealed Evidence in Ted Stevens Prosecution

 

Sen. Ted. Stevens

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The conclusion in an independent report released Thursday on the bungled prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Steven is anything but surprising: The Prosecution screwed up big time.

Talking Points Memo’s Ryan J. Reilly reports that the voluminous report concludes that the Justice Department prosecutors engaged in “systematic concealment” of information that would have helped the defense.

Stevens was convicted of public corruption, but the Justice Department later admitted that the prosecution withheld info from the defense and a judge vacated the conviction. The indictment and conviction probably cost Stevens a re-election.

TPM writes that the report does not recommend prosecuting any Justice Dept. lawyers.

“It should go without saying that neither Judge Sullivan, nor any District Judge, should have to order the Government to comply with its constitutional obligations, let alone that he should feel compelled to craft such an order with a view toward a criminal contempt prosecution, anticipating its willful violation,” the report states, according to TPM.

Read report

Taxpayers Dish Out Nearly $1.8 Million to Defend Lawyers in Failed Prosecution of Late Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

Brad Heath
USA Today

WASHINGTON – The federal government has spent nearly $1.8 million defending prosecutors from allegations they broke the law in the botched corruption case against former Alaska senator Ted Stevens, Justice Department records show.

The case against Stevens fell apart three years ago when the Justice Department admitted its attorneys had improperly concealed evidence that could have helped his defense. A court-ordered investigation concluded in November that prosecutors had engaged in “significant, widespread, and at times intentional misconduct,” but that they should not face criminal contempt-of-court charges.

Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the department has paid about $1.6 million since 2009 to private lawyers representing the six prosecutors targeted by that court investigation. It also paid $208,000 to defend three prosecutors from a separate finding that they had committed civil contempt of court.

To read more click here.

Washington Post Editorial: Questions Remain About the Ted Stevens Prosecution

Ted Stevens

By The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — IN THE SPRING of 2009, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. took the extraordinary step of asking a federal judge to dismiss corruption charges against former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). This was no easy decision.

Mr. Stevens had been prosecuted by the Justice Department’s vaunted Public Integrity Section and convicted of failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts from an Alaskan oil services firm and its former chief executive.

Yet Mr. Holder rightly sought a reversal of the conviction and vowed not to relaunch the prosecution after learning that his lawyers had failed to turn over information to the defense that could have called the government’s case into question.

To read more click here.

Feds Won’t Charge Son of Late Sen. Ted Stevens

Sen. Ben Stevens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Stevens family has had its share of legal luck.

The latest: The Anchorage Daily News reports that ex-Alaska state Senate President Ben Stevens, son of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, won’t be prosecuted in what the paper described as  a “rapidly fading Alaska political corruption investigation.”

The paper reported that family friends of Stevens said he recently received a letter from fed prosecutors saying he won’t face charges. The paper reported that a “government source” confirmed that the letter had been sent.

The paper reported that the FBI raided Steven’s office in 2006 along with five other state lawmakers. Four were convicted.

Steven’s father, the late Sen. Ted Stevens, was convicted of public corruption charges in 2008. However, a fed judge, at the request of the Justice Department, vacated the conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct. Prosecutors failed to turn over materials to the defense team.

To read the full story click here.

Edwards Case a Test for Justice Dept.’s Public Integrity Section

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — After screwing up the case against Sen. Ted Stevens, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section will get another chance — this time with ex-Sen. John Edwards– to prove it can take down a high profile public figure without any major goofs.

You might recall the Public Integrity Section convicted Ted Stevens on very-straight forward public corruption charges in 2008, only to have the whole thing tossed out for prosecutorial misconduct after prosecutors failed to turn over key evidence to the defense.

“This case is just as important for the government as it is for Edwards,” Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and co-author of “The Prosecution and Defense of Public Corruption” told the Christian Science Monitor.

The Public Integrity Section “certainly understands they’re under the microscope,” he said.

Since the Stevens case, the unit has gotten a new new chief, former New York-based federal prosecutor Jack Smith, the Christian Science Monitor reported. And the Justice Department has ordered training for prosecutors to assure that they disclose key evidence to defense attorneys.

“Will a federal prosecutor ever make another mistake in the course of complying with his or her disclosure obligations?” US Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer asked at a recent symposium, according to the paper. “Of course. We are human – and in an age when the discovery in a single case may consist of terabytes of information, the challenges are significant.”

The paper reports that the Justice Department will have its challenges when prosecuting Edwards. The two-time presidential candidate  has claimed he had no idea his aides spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars to hide his lover, campaign videographer Rielle Hunter during the 2008 bid for president.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert J. Higdon Jr. and Brian S. Meyers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina along with Deputy Chief Justin V. Shur and Trial Attorneys David V. Harbach II and Jeffrey E. Tsai of the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.