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Ear to the Ground

Justice Dept. Wants Stevens Conviction, Charges Dropped

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Posted on Apr 1, 2009
senate.gov by way of Wikimedia Commons

Former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska probably lost his seat because he was convicted of corruption charges, but now his guilt may be in doubt. At the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge to set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment because of prosecutorial shenanigans.

Los Angeles Times:

In the filing, O’Brien and two other Justice Department officials said they were appointed in February by the acting assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division to conduct post-trial litigation in the case. They reviewed documents and interviewed witnesses, and they found that one key piece of previously undisclosed and possibly exculpatory evidence had been kept from the defense.

That piece of evidence was an April 15, 2008, interview between authorities and their key witness for the prosecution, Bill Allen, who was Stevens’ contractor and former close friend.

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By caffeine head, April 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the justice system is partially fault, but then it would seem that the public’s short attention span might also be at fault in this and similar scenarios

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By Folktruther, April 2, 2009 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Re-indict him, Inherit, re-indict him.  And THEN commit hari-kari.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Either we believe in our justice system or we don’t.

Holder has no reason to like or love Stevens.  What do you all suggest he do?  He can’t continue the prosecution on illegal evidence.  He can’t drop the charges according to you.  What’s Holder supposed to do to satisfy you, commit hari-kiri?

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By ma77hew, April 2, 2009 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Please can we just start over. This government is not by and for the people. It is by and for the criminal-ruling elite. How much more will we take of this. When will we put down hope and pick up our self respect and show these war mongers and criminals what justice REALLY looks like.

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By samosamo, April 2, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

By everynobody, April 2 at 8:28 am
**********************************
One of the many problems I see with blogs is the propensity by posters to think they are factually informed. Factually informed is not the modus operandi of most posters who opine and emote through ignorance.
**********************************

Welcome to the world of the american mainstream media better known as the ‘ministry of truth’ where still about half of america know the truth as that 4 or 5 conservative owners of the msm want them to know.
Here on the net, there is information galore that will never make it through the msm but everyone has to question the sources, all sources. And then here on the net your have to decide when some jerk is in reality a real conservative operative disrupting the commenting through repeating his/her BS or floating disinformation or attacking someone who knows what is real. I think I found one of those operatives out on a post here titled ‘Obama’s plan to save the world’. It was someone called matt t who had about 40 comments on this one post and I decided to google his sources and and some people he referenced. He didn’t comment again there and I just think I may have called him out to where he wouldn’t comment, he could have gone to the store and died in a car wreck.
But always remember that a neoconservative knows how to attack and make you blink first or if that just makes you say ‘I’ll get back to you’ then they just won even if you were right.
And I have been called out but I try to research and if I am wrong I admit it. As Chalmers Johnson quoted John Maynard Keynes once, and I paraphrase this, when asked why he wasn’t a cold war warrior anymore, Johnson said, ,when I get new information, I change my view’.

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By knute, April 2, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

3 questions : 1. Does age trump accountability ?2. Are we to assume from this that there is nothing wrong in our elected leaders taking favors, to the tune of over 1/4 million rebuilding his home while in office from a company that relies on favorable decisions by that same elected reprsentitive for buisness gains in his state ? 3. Isn’t this a prime example of whats wrong with our politics ?

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By Folktruther, April 2, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Inherit- Stevens is obviously as guilty as sin.  He could be re-indicted and tried again.  But as a TD truther, samosamo, commented, he knows where all the Senate and other bodies are buried.

the whole legal process of letting him go is not evidence of the incorruptablity of Obaama’s legal posisition.  On the contrary, it is evidence of the Attorney General’s continuing corruption.  Which Obama is continuing as he continues other Bush policies.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 2, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Where was Botch’s Justice Dept outrage when DeLay engineered FIVE more Congressional seats for Republicans in Texas????

This is what happens in politics.  Stevens was a ROTTEN senator, almost as bad as Jim Bunning and James Imhof (though not as flat-out stupid as Bunning).

The evidence was thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct, but not because Stevens didn’t do the stuff they said he did.  He’s not guilty, by law.  But that sure doesn’t make him innocent!

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By garth, April 2, 2009 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Yesterday morning, a caller to C-SPAN from Rhode Island said that he knew some of the people in the Justice Department involved in the Stevens case and that Stevens said if he were to go to jail for this, he’d bring down the Senate.  After so many years there, he knew where the bodies were buried.
Although it’s a nameless voice on tv, his comments make more sense than Eric Holder’s reasons, one of which was Stevens’s age, 80.
A Justice Department reporter said that that was the type of thing you take into account at sentencing not to undo a conviction.
It looks like the Obama administration has swallowed the Bush policies hook, line and sinker.
There are no laws for the lawless.

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By photoshock, April 2, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

If the Attorney General can direct a trial and verdict, such as in this case, surely one person who deserves more than this is Sami El-Arian.
He has endured much at the hands of the shrub’s ‘war on terror,’ and the ensuing prosecutions, yet there is nothing mentioned about dropping the case against him because of ‘prosecutorial shenanigans.’
Should not somebody raise the spectre of favourtism and racism against the A.G. if nothing is done to reverse years of hardship and loss of revenue and reputation, done by an overzealous and ill-advised prosecution of an innocent man?

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By Jason!!, April 2, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

LostHills,

Everyone in politics is corrupt at one level or another.

Party affiliation matters not. As soon as they are empowered, they quickly turn into rulers of oppression.

They make their own loopholes yet stimulate the economy to build courthouses and prisons for you and I.

Privatly run prisons no less to meerly enrich their corrupt supporters.

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By everynobody, April 2, 2009 at 5:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the many problems I see with blogs is the propensity by posters to think they are factually informed. Factually informed is not the modus operandi of most posters who opine and emote through ignorance. Stevens may well (I say may) have broken laws but; being a nation of laws it matters how evidence and prosecution are carried out. Never forget the presumption of innocence and the necessity of proving guilt. The last 8 years should (and does) provide ample evidence of the importance of these points of law. We are in grave danger of losing all of our rights to our willingness to give up our rights for a phoney sense of security supplied by the very people ready and willing to steal our rights. Go figure; I can’t.

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By samosamo, April 2, 2009 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

Hmmm, this is beginning to smell like dead fish. What seemed really bad all of a sudden became a ‘plausible’ action by holder when I read the piece at politico.com as holder is supposed to be a stickler for precise prosecutions and would not tolerate any mishandling of cases. Heres the link:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/20778.html

But now we get from the l.a. times a version that does not mention that about holder. So I am sitting here thinking just what was the motivation for dropping the charges. Could it have been a trade off for ‘confirming’ holder’s appointment as a.g. by keeping stevens from being sentenced? Seems possible.
The one thing I know for myself is that stevens is at the least guilty of a ‘quid quo pro’ gain by his position as an elected member of congress and he has been let off the hook. I just can’t help shaking my head about so much that is going on in this new administration and I am fast getting to the only point left to believe is that: at least mccain did not get elected along with palin.

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LostHills's avatar

By LostHills, April 2, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

The Obama administration is just a continuation of the Bush administration, and that should be aparent to all by now…..

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By Folktruther, April 1, 2009 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Stevens is a crook, whose expensive gifts in his home he stated were ‘borrowed’ and didn’t belong to him.

The prosecutors were also criminals.  The solution is to put them all in prison.  But the American power regime is too corrupt. It is only the powerless that go to prison in America.  for the powerful, Obama wants to look forward, not backward.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 1, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

When Oliver North ran for US Senator from Virginia as a Republican, Sen. John Warner refused to endorse him saying that while North’s convictions were overturned, it didn’t mean he could forget that North had actually committed the crimes for which he was convicted.

Stevens may be a crook but it’s almost as if it was deliberate that the Botch WH would make an overturnable conviction.

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By samosamo, April 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Horse shit! This bastard is guilty not just of those charges being dropped but the other illegal activities he has been connected to by investigations. That’s a very big problem that a technicality can, and rightly so, cause a judicial case to be dropped, or a new trial brought up on further evidence and then say or infer that this creep is completely innocent will only damage a system that should hold people accountable. It sucks as I really expect alaska to hold a special election so stevens can reclaim his seat. As a matter of fact, it sounds just like a trick to get one of their buddies off the hook because he was about to start ‘naming names’ of other electorates skeletions. From AP:
“”“While reaction in the Senate was muted, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, called the whole episode grossly unfair.

“I am deeply disturbed that the government can ruin a man’s career and then say, ‘Never mind.’ There is nothing that will ever compensate for the loss of his reputation or leadership to the state of Alaska,” Murkowski said.

Noting Stevens’ age, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said, “He’s already been punished enough.”
**********************************************
I just still don’t see how this one trial could completely exonerate stevens, he was convicted on just more than one charge(actually 7 counts) if I am not mistaken. This guy should be horse whipped and thrown in prison. National treasure he is not!

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By Inherit The Wind, April 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Finally an honest A OF G!

After 8 years of Botch

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