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More prosecutorial misconduct from the last Justice Department
April 1, 2009 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) un-convicted.
posted by anotherpanacea (77 comments total)

 
Well I'm sure everyone will be OK with this.
posted by mullingitover at 1:19 PM on April 1, 2009


April Fool!

Oh. Wait.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:22 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Finally. White people might stop getting screwed by the system.
posted by flarbuse at 1:23 PM on April 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


Out of all the cases of prosecutor misconduct, it's nice to see that the people getting cleared are the weakest and least politically connected.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 PM on April 1, 2009 [20 favorites]


I'm OK with it. I mean, it sucks, but I'm OK with the decision to remove the indictment. They fucked up, and failed to give Stevens a fair trial. Stevens is a thievin' rat bastard who is entitled to a fair trial. The prosecutors were anxious to add his scalp to their collection, and they cheated. Meanwhile, Stevens is out of office, his seat filled by a member of the opposing party. Life goes on.
posted by Mister_A at 1:23 PM on April 1, 2009 [23 favorites]


My panties were well and truly bunched when the story broke yesterday. But there seems little argument that the prosecution - for whatever reason - fucked things up past any semblance of justice. Like it or not, Ted Stevens did not receive due process.

We spent a lot of time over the last few years screaming about the rule of law. This what the rule of law looks like. I'm going to focus on that positive.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:24 PM on April 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


The Justice Department is a series of boobs.
posted by Bummus at 1:24 PM on April 1, 2009 [48 favorites]


Even assholes deserve justice.
posted by aerotive at 1:26 PM on April 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Out of all the cases of prosecutor misconduct, it's nice to see that the people getting cleared are the weakest and least politically connected.

Well, no doubt he's got great lawyers and good contacts, but do you really think that the Obama administration wants this case to fall apart? I say bravo to Holder for making a clean break on a case clearly tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.

I'd bet anything you care to name that Stevens was guilty, but that doesn't mean the DoJ should get away with botching the case this badly.
posted by yoink at 1:27 PM on April 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't have a problem with this. The justice department has so much on its plate already with the prosecution of Bush and Cheney for high treason and human rights violations that they can't spare the resources for a relatively minor corruption case.

(that's still happening, right?)
posted by bunnytricks at 1:27 PM on April 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Incompetence? Or deliberate destruction of the system from inside?

It's the question we'll be asking for decades. Not just about this, but about all of the Bush Administration.

After all, in some ways Katrina worked: there are a lot fewer Democrats voting in Louisiana. And Wall Street, well that worked too, for the rich and best connected.Expensively blowing expensive up shit in Iraq isn't bad for your budget if you're a seller of weapons systems or a contractor paid handsomely to rebuild blown up Iraqi infrastructure. And who wants big government if Republicans can manifestly prove government doesn't work? Incompetence? Or deliberate destruction of the system from inside? We'll never really know.
posted by orthogonality at 1:30 PM on April 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


Honestly, all I care about is that he's out of office.
posted by hellojed at 1:31 PM on April 1, 2009


The Justice Department is a series of boobs.

I want to motorboat them. Or is it waterboard? I get those confused.
posted by educatedslacker at 1:34 PM on April 1, 2009 [15 favorites]


Honestly, all I care about is that he's out of office.

Let's just hope that doesn't somehow get reversed, too.
posted by Bummus at 1:35 PM on April 1, 2009


Well, no doubt he's got great lawyers and good contacts, but do you really think that the Obama administration wants this case to fall apart?

Remember the 12 minute (or whatever) standing ovation Stevens got when he left the senate for the last time? The one lead by Harry Reid? Dropping the charges against this guy would win Obama a lot of credit with senators who have worked with Stevens for years, which in turn would make it easier for him to pass his plans (he only needs to flip one or two senators)

Why exactly do you think Obama wouldn't want the charges dropped?
posted by delmoi at 1:38 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if the trial was mishandled, then dropping the case is probably the appropriate thing to do. Stevens is no longer in office and the world knows he's a world class fuck-head, it's not the sentence he deserves, but in the absence of of a fair trial, it will have to do.
posted by quin at 1:38 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fucking idiots in the Public Integrity Section. Apparently they looked at the notes from an interview of their key witness and they contracdicted the testimony.

Terrible lawyering in this case by DOJ
posted by Ironmouth at 1:45 PM on April 1, 2009


Incompetence? Or deliberate destruction of the system from inside?

Yes, it's possible. But nevertheless I find it somewhat hard to believe that a low-level prosecutor would risk his entire career (i.e. his ability to litigate) for someone else's political gain:
In February, Sullivan held three prosecutors in contempt for failing to comply with a court order. Six members of that prosecution team withdrew from the case in matters dealing with allegations of misconduct.
Those are some pretty serious shenanigans for your average Joe prosecutor to knowingly take on.

Or perhaps I'm just not jaded enough yet. This feels like a never attribute to malice... kind of moment to me, though.
posted by Brak at 1:46 PM on April 1, 2009


Tubal ligation?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:46 PM on April 1, 2009


Why exactly do you think Obama wouldn't want the charges dropped?

Because it allows Stevens to paint himself as the victim of a frivolous prosecution (which he's already doing), and therefore lets the Republicans see themselves as having been unfairly victimized in the last election (they "should" have hung on to the Alaska senate seat). None of that is true, of course, but politically it's damaging to the Democrats. If you think that Obama will get one kind word or thought out of the Republicans for this act then you've been watching a very different political process than I have since his election. They will swell with righteous indignation at how badly they were treated, they'll trumpet to the skies the false notion that this proves that all claims about Republican party malfeasance are the work of embittered liberals in the media and the DOJ, and Obama won't gain a scrap of political capital from it.

Regardless of the politics of the question, though--are you actually suggesting that the DOJ should just ignore due process in this case?
posted by yoink at 1:48 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn this partisan Justice Department! Using it for...what? Oh, nevermind.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:50 PM on April 1, 2009


Now he can dedicate his life to the search for the real corrupt influence peddler.
posted by klangklangston at 1:50 PM on April 1, 2009 [12 favorites]


Between Doogan, Grussendorf, Ross, and Stevens, I want out of my state. Maybe Redoubt will massively explode and preserve this fiasco in ash.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:52 PM on April 1, 2009


You're OK with Palin though?

I kid, I kid.
posted by Mister_A at 1:54 PM on April 1, 2009


pesky law and order.

Ohh no quick Pa the barns on fire!
Form a bucket brigade!
Damn Injuns.
posted by pianomover at 1:58 PM on April 1, 2009


Oh, hell yeah. Palin's mah girl.


You betcha.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:58 PM on April 1, 2009


So wait.. the Bush DOJ fucked up procedure so bad when it investigated a powerful sitting Republican Senator that he now gets to legitimately go free? Shocking... I mean it is shocking anyone is surprised about this.
posted by edgeways at 2:08 PM on April 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm OK with it. I mean, it sucks, but I'm OK with the decision to remove the indictment. They fucked up, and failed to give Stevens a fair trial.

I think the misconduct was probably deliberate; it was flagrant enough at the time for the judge to have dismissed, but he chose not to, much to the chagrin of Bush Justice, I bet.

Now let's see some prosecutions of prosecutors.
posted by jamjam at 2:08 PM on April 1, 2009


Why exactly do you think Obama wouldn't want the charges dropped?

I know Obama has only been President for a few months, but constantly and repeatedly kowtowing to Republicans and right-wing criminal interests is starting to become a problem.

We elected you, Mr. Obama, not the Republicans. Stop letting right-wing criminals out of jail and giving them billions of dollars, for fuck's sake.

Or if you have to do this for "political reasons", take a breather from working so hard to benefit Republicans and start getting some laws enacted that actually help and protect the law-abiding and financially responsible people who elected you. Do your Goddamn job.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:13 PM on April 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


Because it allows Stevens to paint himself as the victim of a frivolous prosecution (which he's already doing), and therefore lets the Republicans see themselves as having been unfairly victimized

Yeah, unfairly victimized by the bush administration. How is that bad for Obama again? Especially since his DOJ was the one who 'rescued' Stevens.

Also, your whole comment is based on the premise that it matters what people "will say" I just don't get that. So many times I see people arguing "X must do Y or they will say this!" but who cares if they say that? I mean, what is the practical, real world consequence of republicans "painting" themselves as victims? They are already saying they were victims, that the election was stolen by ACORN, etc.

Also you seem to be conflating all democrats and all republicans together, and everything that is bad for one side as being aligned with the other.

I mean, it seems like you're saying: The stevens prosecution was bad for a republican, therefore it was bad for all republicans, therefore it was good for Democrats, therefore because there was a problem with it, there is a problem with the democrats, and therefore there is a problem with or for Obama, because he is a democrat. And you think Obama agrees with that, and therefore would not want the prosecution not to go forward or something?

The reason this is good for Obama is as follows: Obama needs to flip one or two senators to break a filibuster. Senators all love each other, including Ted Stevens, and Obama helping out one of their friends will make them more likely to help him out. Just like how he didn't kick Lieberman out of the caucus or take away his committee chairs, then Lieberman comes back and helps wrangle votes on the stimulus.

This also good for Obama because, you know, we would hope he cares about DOJ prosecutors engaging misconduct.
posted by delmoi at 2:17 PM on April 1, 2009


I don't think a prosecutor in DoJ is going to sabotage a case like that, jamjam. These guys are ambitious, and they wanted that conviction–bringing down a sitting US Senator is a big feather in your cap– and that, in my opinion, is what drove them to this misconduct.
posted by Mister_A at 2:17 PM on April 1, 2009


Regardless of the politics of the question, though--are you actually suggesting that the DOJ should just ignore due process in this case?

What?

My point was that it would be nice if people who were not rich and well connected got the same level of consideration.
posted by delmoi at 2:20 PM on April 1, 2009


In other political news, Norm Coleman is still not Senator, vows to continue fighting.
posted by ardgedee at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2009


The DOJ OJ'd Stevens.
posted by adipocere at 2:26 PM on April 1, 2009


Even assholes deserve justice.

Yes, but sometimes that means getting fucked. [Non-prison-rape-cist]
posted by chillmost at 2:26 PM on April 1, 2009


Yeah, unfairly victimized by the bush administration. How is that bad for Obama again? Especially since his DOJ was the one who 'rescued' Stevens.

delmoi, surely you are aware of the right-wings inability to string facts together to form a reasoned opinion
posted by nola at 2:34 PM on April 1, 2009


No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! NO!
posted by Navelgazer at 2:35 PM on April 1, 2009


"I'd bet anything you care to name that Stevens was guilty, but that doesn't mean the DoJ should get away with botching the case this badly."
Heard this a million times from coaches, I say it myself - you play how you practice.
If you can't close a case without breaking the law when there's some doubt as to whether someone really is guilty or not - you're not going to be able to do it when the guy is dead to rights.
The justice dept. got fat, lazy and political under Bush. They as out of practice of actually implementing something by the book. Hell, last month Sullivan was yelling at them for ignoring a court order. Which, actually, they'd sort of gotten used to doing (generally speaking, but in this case as well). Welch was one of those guys appointed by Albert Gonzales after the constant shuffling and reshuffling and screwing with the U.S. atty's, all that. So you've got a team that can't even play ball with each other, much less handle something this big.
That's the thing - Stevens was (is) a whale. You want the government to be able to nail malfeasance on that level. This is like letting Capone walk and keep walking. Makes them look like a bunch of ineffectual schnooks. Think maybe that emboldens other folks to cross the line?
I don't mind a small government, but I do want an effective one. This is just bullshit.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:50 PM on April 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Man, there is a soft spot in my heart for the "seriesoftubes" tag.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 3:16 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't a pardon from Obama be possible in this case? It permits Obama to look good to the entire Senate, it takes the attention off of the case, plenty of people will recognize that Stevens lost a remarkably powerful position as punishment for his actions, which means he did not escape retribution in entirety, and there is that quiet little suggestion that since Stevens would be pardoned for crimes he may or may not have committed, the shadow of guilt would hang over his head.

After all, it's letting an old man who lost his job stay out of jail. Does he deserve it? Maybe not. Does it do any good to put him in jail? Not likely. Those jail cells should be reserved for a small handful of Wall Street brokers who knew what they were doing, and while I'm quite irritated that they're not, it does no good to throw Stevens in instead.

Save your wrath for those who can still do more damage. Let an 85 year old man retire and fade into history.
posted by Saydur at 3:38 PM on April 1, 2009


We elected you, Mr. Obama, not the Republicans. Stop letting right-wing criminals out of jail and giving them billions of dollars, for fuck's sake.

Are you actually seriously saying that the President should ignore due process and move to keep Stevens in jail just because Stevens is a Republican? I take it your only complaint about the Bush administration's politicization of the DOJ was that it politicized it the wrong way.
posted by yoink at 3:40 PM on April 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


delmoi, surely you are aware of the right-wings inability to string facts together to form a reasoned opinion

If they're unable to string facts together, then how could they string the fact that Steven's charges were dropped with any other facts?

And furthermore, what does it matter what they think?
posted by delmoi at 3:41 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Senators all love each other, including Ted Stevens, and Obama helping out one of their friends will make them more likely to help him out.

This is absurd. Do you really picture Olympia Snowe saying to Obama: "you know, I was going to vote against you on this, but since you sprung my buddy Ted out of the slammer, I've decided to throw in with you!"?

The Ted Stevens thing was settled business for the Obama administration. No politician wants to be in the position of tossing out cases for prosecutorial misconduct (even if that misconduct occurred on the other guy's watch). This decision buys Obama no brownie points at all from the Republicans and gets him a certain amount of flak from zealous Dem partisans. He would much rather have seen the whole thing stay out of the newspapers. It's a gutsy and salutory move on the administration's part to wash their hands of the whole prosecution.
posted by yoink at 3:45 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


"We elected you, Mr. Obama, not the Republicans."

BP, you do realize he probably doesn't read this site, right?

I keed, I keed
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:47 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, some people hold that accepting a pardon implies legal guilt. If Stevens wants to be able to continue to say he was innocent, he can't accept the pardon without dealing with that implication.
posted by nomisxid at 3:49 PM on April 1, 2009


Because it allows Stevens to paint himself as the victim of a frivolous prosecution ...

But, wasn't it a prosecution by the Bush administration's DoJ? Goes to show how they fucked up most everything they touched.
posted by ericb at 3:50 PM on April 1, 2009


But, wasn't it a prosecution by the Bush administration's DoJ?

And this will mean what, exactly, to the people who are gaily throwing around the phrase "the Obama recession"?
posted by yoink at 4:03 PM on April 1, 2009


Stevens doesn't need a pardon, the case is going to be dismissed. There'll be no conviction to pardon.
posted by orthogonality at 4:09 PM on April 1, 2009


And this will mean what, exactly, to the people who are gaily throwing around the phrase "the Obama recession"?

True, but, thankfully, "84%, think the current economic conditions were inherited and not caused by President Barack Obama."
posted by ericb at 4:12 PM on April 1, 2009


His real p;unishment? Now he will be forced to become a lobbyist in DC and make tons of money.
posted by Postroad at 4:16 PM on April 1, 2009


BP, you do realize he probably doesn't read this site, right?

I heard he was omniscient.
posted by pompomtom at 4:19 PM on April 1, 2009


I saw a clip of Stevens talking to reporters as he left a court session and I thought, if he were my grandfather I'd be trying to find a way to take away his car keys.

Really, should there be an upper age limit on tenure.?

At 84, I suspect that there are other's in control of the Senator's office.
posted by lemuel at 4:23 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ted Stevens is a broken old man. He's done his worst. Someday his name will have the same antique stench as "Tammany". The less time spent remembering him the better.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:28 PM on April 1, 2009


At 84, I suspect that there are other's in control of the Senator's office.

I hear some guy called Mark Begich actually goes so far as to sign things as 'senator' in Ted's place.
posted by yoink at 4:38 PM on April 1, 2009


As I understand it, some people hold that accepting a pardon implies legal guilt.

Dick Cheney is obviously not one of them. He's still pissed that Bush didn't grant a full pardon to his innocent friend Scooter Libby.
posted by Poolio at 4:55 PM on April 1, 2009


People keep saying things along the lines of "Of course he was actually guilty, but...". I've read up on some of the misconduct in this case and this isn't only a due process issue. Some of the prosecutorial misconduct involves failure to turn over exculpatory evidence that casts extreme doubt on the entire prosecution.

For example, Stevens was supposed to have knowingly gotten all that free work done on his house. Except that one of the pieces of evidence the prosecution didn't turn over was a note written in Stevens' own hand in which Stevens told his chief of staff (or top advisor or something) to make sure that he was fully billed for the work to avoid just this sort of problem since it is the same sort of thing that happened to a previous senator.

That's not a due process issue; well, ok, it is but it is also a case of the prosecution appearing to prosecute a guy who seems to have been factually innocent of at least some of the charges against him.

I, too, thing Stevens is probably a scumbag. Why? He's the Republican Senator from Alaska. So I feel bad about thinking that he's a scumbag because I have no basis for it other than the fact that lots of other people have said he's a scumbag. Do you guys have more of a basis than that? 'Cause I don't.
posted by Justinian at 5:02 PM on April 1, 2009


for god's sake they got hats printed up that said "Corrupt Bastards' Club" but I guess since he sent a memo saying that he really wanted to pay Bill Allen back (but didn't actually follow up on that according to VECO's bookkeeper, who said that all the Stevens stuff was "off the books") it doesn't really count as corruption.
posted by Challahtronix at 5:37 PM on April 1, 2009


This is absurd. Do you really picture Olympia Snowe saying to Obama: "you know, I was going to vote against you on this, but since you sprung my buddy Ted out of the slammer, I've decided to throw in with you!"?

Yes. I mean, I wouldn't expect her to come out and say that, I think it will influence her and other republicans to feel more favorably towards Obama. Ted Stevens is someone that they worked with for years, knew very well, and gave a standing ovation to when he left the senate. Whatever we might think of him, he was well liked by his colleagues, especially other republicans.

No politician wants to be in the position of tossing out cases for prosecutorial misconduct

That's not true, the Dallas District Attourny has been going through old cases and getting people released from jail based on DNA evidence. So obviously some politicians do want to toss out old cases. Furthermore, that just makes no sense.

Also, you keep insisting you know what's going on in Obama's head, which is bizarre. You say Along with saying what "no politician" wants, you also say: "He would much rather have seen the whole thing stay out of the newspapers." But how could you possibly know that? You seem to be assuming that Obama thinks exactly the same way that you do, even though other people on this very site disagree with you.

So apparently you think that both you and Obama share some kind of genius that other people just don't get. It's not just that you think you're right and I'm wrong, you're certain that Obama himself agrees with you. That seems kind of delusional.

Frankly, I don't even think Obama was involved in this decision at all, it was likely made by Eric Holder.
posted by delmoi at 5:52 PM on April 1, 2009


wait- I'm seeing conflicting stories on this- did Ted Stevens pay VECO back, or didn't he? The bookkeeper says it was all off the books and Stevens didn't pay them, but Stevens has canceled checks?
posted by Challahtronix at 5:53 PM on April 1, 2009


It's not just that you think you're right and I'm wrong, you're certain that Obama himself agrees with you. That seems kind of delusional.

No, I'm just certain about what kinds of news stories a President thinks are "good news" and what kinds of news stories he thinks are "bad news." "Bad news" includes "Department of Justice makes royal hash out of prosecution case; cock it up so badly that they decide the only thing to do is give up on the case altogether." Good news would be "DOJ prosecutors praised by judge for their thoroughness and professionalism" in a story buried on page A16 of the Times.

You're the only one here claiming to read minds. You are making the utterly bizarre claim that Republican moderates were so deeply enamored of Ted Stevens that Holder's decision to chuck the case against him will sway them to vote for the President's agenda. Now that's delusional.
posted by yoink at 6:24 PM on April 1, 2009


I like how people are reacting either like this is a travesty, or that this is a brilliant political move by Obama, wholly discounting the possibility that they simply want to restore due process to a nation that had problems with that for a while.

Wait, did I say like? Not the word I was looking for, sorry.
posted by JHarris at 6:30 PM on April 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I take it your only complaint about the Bush administration's politicization of the DOJ was that it politicized it the wrong way.

Your observation that Stevens was convicted by a Bush-appointed DOJ is completely and totally irrelevant. The guy is a convict and deserves to stay that way, regardless of who's in charge. That Obama should let Stevens go to placate the Republican Party is a disgusting travesty of justice.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:32 PM on April 1, 2009


Most of the internet can indeed attributed to three types of tubes: recta, vaginae, esophagi.

He was right about the components, but they seem, for the most part, to be connected in parallel.

*shudder*
posted by Sys Rq at 6:44 PM on April 1, 2009


I just wish they'd change the name of that damn airport. It makes me feel dirty every time I fly in or out of Anchorage.
posted by Nabubrush at 6:55 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, I'm just certain about what kinds of news stories a President thinks are "good news" and what kinds of news stories he thinks are "bad news." "Bad news" includes "Department of Justice makes royal hash out of prosecution case...

Well, the fact that the previous DOJ fucked it up is obviously a bad thing, but on the other hand the fact that the prosecution is being dropped and the misconduct is being investigated is a good thing. Obviously it would be better if Stevens had been prosecuted properly, but he wasn't. That's no Obama's fault because all of this happened during the Bush administration. You seem to agree with that, but you also seem to be saying that most everyone else is too stupid to figure it out, and furthermore Obama agrees with you that everyone else is too stupid to figure it out.

You're the only one here claiming to read minds. You are making the utterly bizarre claim that Republican moderates were so deeply enamored of Ted Stevens that Holder's decision to chuck the case against him will sway them to vote for the President's agenda. Now that's delusional.

Dude, did you see this?
Full list of senators speaking on behalf of Stevens today: Harry Reid (D-NV), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kay-Baily Hutchison (R-TX), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Larry Craig (R-ID), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS). John Warner (R-VA) also praised Stevens in advance of the Alaskan senator’s farewell address.
The guy got a standing ovation in a room packed with senators. He was obviously well liked in the chamber. You don't have to be a mind reader to know that people don't like injustice being done to their friends, and they will be happy with the person who ends that injustice. I'm not saying that this one thing alone will flip any votes, but that is one small thing that other senators who did like Stevens will probably appreciate.

(by the way, if you follow politics at all you'll see that a lot of what goes on in the senate is based on friendships, personal relationships, and ego stroking)
posted by delmoi at 7:36 PM on April 1, 2009


"The guy got a standing ovation in a room packed with senators."

Senators, like whores and ugly buildings, all get respectable and well-liked with age.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:50 PM on April 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know Obama has only been President for a few months, but constantly and repeatedly kowtowing to Republicans and right-wing criminal interests is starting to become a problem.

please - didn't people just spend 8 years screaming about bush's political interference with the department of justice?

obama has done NOTHING to affect the outcome of this case - guess what? - that's how things are SUPPOSED to work

That Obama should let Stevens go to placate the Republican Party is a disgusting travesty of justice.

he didn't - he allowed the people in charge of the matter to make the decision - that is how it's supposed to work

i didn't elect him to take over the jobs of prosecutors and judges
posted by pyramid termite at 8:39 PM on April 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


i didn't elect him to take over the jobs of prosecutors and judges

I helped elect Obama to fix the abuses and mistakes of eight years of the Bush administration. Amazingly, Stevens' felony conviction is not one of those mistakes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 PM on April 1, 2009


If the prosecutors misbehaved, then the conviction should be overturned.

In a reasonable country the fact that Senator Stevens had his house remodeled either for free or at a cut rate by his buddy the oil services company employee should have been enough to get him tossed out of office on his ass, conviction or no conviction. What I don't get is why the Bush DOJ went after a sitting Republican senator [I'm repeating a question I asked over at politicalfilter]. I assume that Mr. Steven's years in the senate were filled with instances of petty graft like this so why the DOJ decide to prosecute this ? Was the DOJ run by clowns during the Bush years?
posted by rdr at 11:00 PM on April 1, 2009


Was the DOJ run by clowns during the Bush years?

Duh.
posted by ericb at 3:18 AM on April 2, 2009


Dude, did you see this?
Full list of senators speaking on behalf of Stevens today: Harry Reid (D-NV)


I wish it were surprising that Reid would do this, but since he is America's Worst Democrat™ and the Senate Majority Quisling, I should have expected this by now.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:21 AM on April 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


When asked for comment, Maryland State Senator Clay Davis (D-Baltimore) said "Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiiiit."
posted by Spatch at 5:16 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


What did anyone expect, given how unbelievably incompetent the Bush Justice Dept was? Those prosecutors couldn't make one prosecution stick. They made over 100 nonprosecution agreements in one case! The only reason to do that is when you don't have a clue where to look for evidence or you are too lazy to do it. So you just offer immunity for evidence and let them do it for you. That is rank incompetence.

It is breathtaking. The lawyers the Bush Administration hired are pathetic. They screwed the case against Stevens up. I don't mind that much - dude is 84 and it serves no real purpose to lock him up. But there is no excuse for the horrible mismanagement of these cases under the Bush DOJ. As a retired lawyer, I'm heartsick at the incompetence.
posted by Tena at 7:14 AM on April 2, 2009


(by the way, if you follow politics at all you'll see that a lot of what goes on in the senate is based on friendships, personal relationships, and ego stroking)

That pretty much sums up 90% of all human activity with one another.
posted by edgeways at 12:00 PM on April 2, 2009


somebody someplace is having a serious OJ moment.
posted by that's MISTER drunk to you at 12:19 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I helped elect Obama to fix the abuses and mistakes of eight years of the Bush administration. Amazingly, Stevens' felony conviction is not one of those mistakes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

For whatever reason, they did break it. They broke it so bad that the only way to cope with it was to throw the whole damned thing out.

The point here is that we are supposed to be a nation under due process of law. The prosecutors in this case did not do their jobs properly. They withheld evidence from the defense, and ignored the judges' instructions, repeatedly. So much so that the judge in the case ruled they were in contempt of court at one point.
posted by Irontom at 1:07 PM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


D'OJ!
posted by iamkimiam at 12:14 AM on April 3, 2009


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