Beware of the Ides of March! At least some people in the Justice Department should.
While its been well reported that the Justice Department withheld evidence that could have exonerated Ted Stevens and reversed his reelection bid loss, the extent of the injustice has never been fully explored. All that will change on March 15th, the day a federal court has ordered the release of an independent report on Justice’s “systematic concealment” of evidence. According to the WSJ:
…the report ordered by Judge Emmet Sullivan found that federal attorneys prosecuting the late Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska hid “significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated [his] defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.”
That much we know from sections of the report already made public, but several of the offending prosecutors have been trying to prevent the release of the full 500 pages chronicling the extent of their misconduct. Judge Sullivan recently and to his great credit denied their requests and so Americans will see the panorama of abuse.
These prosecutors, working in Justice’s ironically named Public Integrity Section, trampled on Stevens’s rights by ignoring the Brady rule, which requires prosecutors to share exculpatory evidence with the defense. The feds then won a conviction on ethics charges less than two weeks before Election Day in 2008.
The conviction was overturned soon after the election, but by then it was too late. The convicted Stevens barely lost his bid for reelection to a Democrat.
As Judge Sullivan recently noted in explaining all the reasons that the report should be made public, the Stevens loss “tipped the balance of power in the United States Senate.”
The Journal declares that if the Justice Department followed the law, Obamacare would have never received its 60th vote, which is true. I would as a different question, the US Senate was in session on August 9, 2010 the day of the plane crash that took Ted Stevens’ life. If it wasn’t for the Justice Department malpractice Stevens would have never been on that plane and might still be alive. Whoever made those decisions to withhold evidence should be put on trial and if convicted thrown in Jail.