Mukasey Dragged into DOJ’s Continued Bungling of Stevens Prosecution
Since former (man, it feels good to type that) Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was convicted on seven felony corruption charges, there have been some serious twists in the case against the 85-year-old man known as “Uncle Ted” to Alaskans.
Just a few weeks ago, a whistleblower came forward reporting that the Justice Department had “intentionally schemed” to relocate a witness in the trial against Stevens. The whistleblower turned out to be an FBI agent, and wrote a lengthy complaint alleging various areas of government misconduct.
Now, the Anchorage Daily News reports that a U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is taking the whole mess right to the top. Sullivan has demanded an accounting from Attorney General Michael Mukasey to answer for the “several attorneys in this matter — in multiple departments within the Department of Justice — [who] may have intentionally withheld important information from the court.”
Seemingly stunned by the conduct of the Justice Department in the weeks following former Sen. Ted Stevens’ trial, the judge in the case today ordered U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to provide an accounting for how his prosecutors handled a whistle-blower complaint last month.
By 5 p.m. Saturday, Mukasey or his designate must turn the so-called “declaration” about who knew what and when about the whistle-blower status of an FBI agent who criticized the government’s handling of the case, ordered U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Friday.
Keep in mind that this was the same crack-squad of government prosecutors whose missteps forced key evidence to be excluded — and had a major typo in their federal indictment against Stevens, which the jurors found during deliberations. Stevens has filed a motion seeking a new trial.