Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Prosecuting The Prosecutors

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/04/07

The federal judge overseeing the Senator Stevens (R-AK) case dismissed the charges against Stevens. The charges where a jury found Stevens guilty. This is the case that got heavy nationwide publicity. Stevens was accused of filing false Senatorial documents. And the trial took place during the general election cycle, finishing up with that conviction – and Stevens’ appeal – shortly before the actual election. Stevens lost his re-election bid by 4000 votes.

Now that the election is over and a Democrat won Stevens’ US Senate seat, all Hades is breaking loose.

From the Washington Post:

At least twice, the judge instructed the jury to ignore evidence introduced by the prosecution. After the trial, the problems didn’t end. A witness complained about being lied to by federal authorities about an immunity deal. And an FBI agent filed a report that accused prosecutors and fellow agents of misconduct.

If those allegations are true, there are no possible excuses of ‘accidental misconduct.’ And that means criminal misconduct.

During the two-hour hearing, the judge said he couldn’t trust the Justice Department to conduct an internal probe into the actions of prosecutors. So, the judge said, he was taking the rare step of starting criminal contempt proceedings and appointed an outside attorney, Henry F. Schuelke III, to investigate the misconduct allegations. After gathering evidence, Schuelke will submit a report to the judge with a recommendation on whether to hold the prosecutors in contempt for violating court rules.

The judge can then hold a trial to examine the allegations and decide what sanctions to impose. He can fine them or send them to jail. Those being investigated are Welch, Morris, Joseph Bottini, Nicholas Marsh, Edward Sullivan and James Goeke. Morris has declined to comment in the past. Other prosecutors could not be reached or did not return phone calls seeking comment.

How’s that for an indictment of the Department of Justice? The federal judge cannot trust the people at the Department of Justice to do the right thing. It is important to note that the vast majority of people in the various departments are career employees and only the very few at the very top are political appointees.

And with all this information regarding (alleged) prosecutorial misconduct to get a Republican Senator convicted of a crime just before the election, the Democrat who won by a scant 4000 votes is not at all interested in a ‘re-do.’ Why should he be? He won fair and square over his opponent who was convicted on charges that have since been withdrawn. There couldn’t have been politics involved in tainting the election. Compare all this with other events. The New York Times kills a story regarding close campaign ties between Obama and ACORN, ties that may possibly be illegal. An Arkansas judge waits until an election cycle ends before issuing her judgment against President Clinton for subornation of perjury. Her reason: she didn’t want her judgment against him to affect the election process.

Somehow, the fair-play meter is off kilter.

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