Select Page

James Joyner at OTB, this morning brings news abot the latest action of Eric Holder’s Justice Dept:

Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped the case against Ted Stevens, NPR’s Nina Toalatenberg reports.

A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, however, he lost his bid for an eighth full term in office just days after he was convicted. Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial.

According to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against Stevens rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he’s called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the office of public integrity. That’s the department’s section charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Stevens’ lawyers are expected to be informed Wednesday morning that the department will dismiss the indictment against the former senator.

Says James:

Unfortunately, while I have no reasonable doubt that Stevens was guilty of the crimes with which he was charged, I also believe Holder is doing the right thing here. It’s well past time to reign in federal prosecutors who, in high profile cases, seem willing to use any means necessary to get their man.

So, good for Eric Holder for making the hard, right call here. Let’s hope it sends the right message.

And what message is that, James?

That so long as you’re not in the way of a Democrat agenda, Justice isn’t really the issue?

And seemingly, that’s what went down here.

Consider the comparative silence by the Democrats and the press (yes, I repeat myself) once Stevens was out of office, despite there still being a legal question of his guilt or innocence.

That series of events raised the question of just why it is they went after Stevens in the first place, and Holder’s actions, particularly in light of his justice dept’s inaction on such cases as William Jefferson, Nancy Pelosi (she of Starkist Tuna) Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd, Charles Schumer and Barney Frank, gives us the answer. We’re dealing with political motivation.

And political motivation is likley what caused them to drop the case as well.

Don’t misunderstand me; I agree fully that reining in procecutors who overstep is worthy. (See Michael Nifong)

But other than dropping the case, what is it that you suppose will happen to them for their part in this?  They’ll quietly be given raises or more lucerative positions for aiding the party.  After all, they helped Dems gain control of the Senate, assuming Franken.

Seems to me that the case got dropped so as to get the over zealous nature of the proceutors out of the public eye as quickly and quietly as possible. The Democrats are having enough PR problems just now, and this stuff going center court likely wouldn’t help them any.

Cross posted from BitsBlog.
    Log in