Former Senator Ted Stevens’ original indictment on felony ethics charges has been dismissed. His prosecutors, however, are under criminal investigation for prosecutorial misconduct in the case. Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin has commented on the case which eventually to the loss of Ted Stevens’ Alaskan Senate Seat. See photos and a video below.
Senator Stevens was convicted in the Fall of 2008 in Federal court on seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms. He was found guilty two weeks before his Senatorial election race. He lost by about 4,000 votes which was 1.2% of the total vote. It was a very close race with Stevens nearly winning, even as a convicted felon, against Democrat Mark Begich.
It is reported that Stevens’ has spent $2 million on his defense. Today, the court dismissed the original indictment, with Judge Emmet Sullivan saying “In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case.”
Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin issued this statement:
Senator Stevens deserves to be very happy today. What a horrible thing he has endured. The blatant attempts by adversaries to destroy one’s reputation, career and finances are an abuse of our well-guarded process and violate our God-given rights afforded in the Constitution. It is a frightening thing to contemplate what we may be witnessing here – the undermining of the political process through unscrupulous ploys and professional misconduct. Senator Stevens and I had lunch together recently at my home and he reiterated the faith he held for vindication; he never gave up hope. It is unfortunate that, as a result of the questionable proceedings which led to Senator Stevens’ conviction days before the election, Alaskans lost an esteemed statesman on Capitol Hill. His presence is missed.
This case is pure political drama. There was an FBI whistleblower who revealed that the lead FBI investigator was having a sexual relationship with the prosecution’s star witness. Reports say the FBI and the prosecutors hid evidence in the form of prosecutor’s notes, which could have affected the case in a positive manner for Stevens. One juror repeatedly had violent outburst during jury deliberations, and another lied, saying her father was ill, and then went off to California to watch a horse race. Perhaps the most dramatic of all, the U.S. Department of Justice, themselves, asked the court for the dismissal of the original indictment, with prejudice, meaning that the case cannot be brought forward again in the future.
Now, the federal prosecutors are facing criminal investigation, ordered by Judge Sullivan. It is not known if Ted Stevens will sue the government for reimbursement of his legal fees. Additional details on the Ted Stevens case can be read here.
Sarah Palin (Photos)
Ted Stevens (Video)