Middle of last year, I made a plea for then 84 year old Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens who had been indicted on several fraud charges.
Last fall, the senior Senator from Alaska was the poster octogenarian for political corruption. As of yesterday, Ted Stevens is merely another casualty of abusive prosecutors out to make a name for themselves.
The Justice Department yesterday moved to set aside an October conviction on ethics charges and forgo any future trials for Senator Stevens. He walks free, in other words, an innocent man. In the motion, Justice said it “recently discovered” that prosecutors withheld from the defense notes about an interview last April with the state’s star witness, Bill Allen, that contradicted his subsequent testimony. Under the Brady Rule for evidence, Justice was obliged to share that with Senator Stevens’s lawyers.
This was one of many prosecutorial missteps that came to light after Mr. Stevens was found guilty less than two weeks before Election Day. The Republican narrowly lost his bid for a seventh term. Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday promised a “thorough” probe into the conduct of prosecutors, which is the least the Department owes Mr. Stevens.
So, Eric Holder’s Justice Department, under a Democratic administration restores justice to a former Republican Senator. It’s nice to finally have a Justice Department we can look up to (do you hear that Alberto?).
And as for Stevens, it’s so nice to be able to say:
I told you so!