****Bumped and Updated***
Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped all charges against Stevens:
The U.S. Justice Department has decided to drop all charges against former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens amid accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, NPR reported on Wednesday, citing Justice officials.
Stevens, a Republican who served longer than any other U.S. senator before losing a November re-election race, was convicted in October of seven counts of lying on a Senate disclosure form to conceal $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from an oil industry executive and other friends. Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reviewed the case himself and decided not to continue to defend the conviction in the face of questions about prosecutors” actions, NPR reported on its website.
Anyone think the prosecutors will be investigated for misconduct?
Me, neither. The prosecution served its purpose. Stevens lost his reelection bid and a Democrat is securely ensconced in the Senate. No need to continue, especially since Stevens’ conviction would be hard to defend anyway.
Hat tip: Instapundit
Update: Not only did the prosecution withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense, but one of the FBI agents, Mary Beth Kepner, was having a sexual relationship with Bill Allen, the prosecution’s lead witness, and got a special deal plea deal because of it. Additionally, while Allen was on the stand, his lawyer was sending him signals from gallery. The LA Times has documented all the prosecutorial corruption. Here’s a portion:
Oct. 2: The defense requests a mistrial, saying prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence when they failed to turn over FBI reports of interviews with former VECO Chief Bill Allen in which Allen reportedly said Stevens would have paid the full cost of the renovations if he had known about it.
An irate [U.S. District Judge Emmet G.] Sullivan temporarily suspends the trial and, after dismissing jurors, orders the government to turn over almost all of its files to the defense. Sullivan further lambastes the lead prosecutor, Brenda Morris, and says he does not trust the prosecutors to make full disclosure on their own.
Oct. 6: In a bizarre scene at the end of the day, Sullivan catches Robert Bundy, lawyer to Allen, apparently signaling his client on the witness stand from the spectator section. After dismissing the jury, the judge threatens Bundy with contempt and expulsion from the courtroom.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Sullivan said the next morning. “That’s borderline obstruction of justice.”
Feb. 13, 2009: After four Justice Department prosecutors ignored Sullivan’s order to turn over all documents to Stevens’ defense team related to a whistle-blower complaint, the judge holds the lawyers in contempt.
Requested by the defense in December as part of its motion for Stevens’ conviction to be overturned, the documents supposedly contained information about Chad Joy, an FBI agent assigned to the case who complained that the prosecution was not turning over evidence and that his FBI partner, Mary Beth Kepner, had an “inappropriate relationship” with Allen.
No matter how you feel about Ted Stevens, no matter how many earmarks he requested, this should not have happened. He deserved, everyone deserves, a fair trial.