The Justice Department filed court papers this morning asking a federal judge to toss out the conviction of former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on corruption charges.
The move comes as a federal judge was preparing to conduct hearings to probe allegations of prosecutorial misconduct by the team that tried one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress. Stevens, 85, was convicted in October on seven counts of making false statements on financial disclosure forms to hide about $250,000 in gifts and free renovations to his Alaska home. Stevens’s attorneys have urged U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to drop the case and prevent prosecutors from seeking to retry the former senator, who lost a reelection bid about a week after his guilty verdict.
They have argued that prosecutors with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section withheld key pieces of evidence and mishandled witnesses.
So, prosecutors screwed the case up royally. There should be consequences for that. Will there be?
As for Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens, he may not be a criminal under the legal definition, but he was an entrenched Washington corruptocrat whose arrogance and fiscal recklessness remain a stain on the GOP.