Sen. Steven’s conviction to be voided; Can we have a re-do in Alaska’s Senate race?
Posted by danishova on April 1, 2009
Nina Totenberg of NPR reports:
NPR’s has learned that the Justice Department will drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska.
A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. Stevens was longest-serving Republican in the Senate, however, he lost his bid for an eighth full-term in office just days after he was convicted. Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial.
According to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against Stevens rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.
The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he’s called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the office of public integrity. That’s the department’s section charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.
With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Stevens lawyers are expected to be informed Wednesday morning that the department will dismiss the indictment against the former senator…
A look back:
- Corruption Conviction of Sen. Stevens Enhances Democrats’ Prospects.
FBI whistleblower alleges Stevens trial misconduct – UNETHICAL: Agent says prosecutors covered up evidence, corruption investigations tainted.
This will be fun to watch.
- In a list dominated by Republicans (which for some reason has no mention of Sen. Chris ‘lyin’ weasel’ Dodd or Barney ‘My boyfriend worked at Freddie Mac’ Frank), CREW put Stevens on its “20 Most corrupt members of Congress” list with a big red “convicted” stamp. Their website already has a wealth of stories about prosecutorial misconduct in the left margin, yet the use of a stamp implies that they deserve some credit for his conviction.
Another view here:
1. Hot Air headlines call it a Bombshell.
The head of the Alaska Republican Party today called on Sen. Mark Begich to step down from the U.S. Senate, saying that the state’s voters would have re-elected former Sen. Ted Stevens had they known the U.S Department of Justice would abandon its prosecution of him.