Justice Department wants the guilty verdict against former Senator Ted Stevens
thrown out. It will not pursue a new
trial, and wants all charges dropped.
The office of Attorney General Eric Holder announced the news this (Wednesday)
morning. In a statement, Holder said
that after careful review, he's concluded that quote, "certain information
should have been provided to the defense for use at trial." Holder said in light of that and considering
all the case's circumstances, it's in the interest of justice to dismiss the
The Justice Department revealed
today that testimony by the government's star witness wasn't turned over to the
defense until last week.
Emmet Sullivan, who presided over the trial, has scheduled a hearing in
Washington D-C for next Tuesday (April 7th) to address the
Government's motion. The Judge is
expected to drop all charges.
Ted Stevens' lawyer says the former
Senator WILL APPEAR in court next week.
Brendan Sullivan spoke to reporters in Washington today.
-- STEVENS 1: "...FIRST PLACE." (:26)
office released a written statement by Stevens this morning. In it, he said the cloud that's been surrounding
him has been removed. He called it
"unfortunate" that his re-election bid last fall was affected by quote,
"proceedings now recognized as unfair."
85 year old also thanked his family, friends, and colleagues in the Senate who
have stood by him, and thanked Alaskans who've supported him. Stevens is reported to be traveling in Alaska
was convicted in October of lying on senate financial forms about gifts worth
more than a quarter-million dollars. He
was never sentenced - instead, post-trial proceedings have been tied up with
the fallout from accusations of government misconduct during the case.
Anchorage based F-B-I agent filed a complaint shortly after the trial alleging
a fellow agent and prosecutors acted unethically. A government witness also said his testimony
was influenced by prosecutors, although he changed his story about that claim
Justice Department switched prosecutors last month after some of the team was
held in contempt by the trial judge for failing to turn over documents to the
lawyer Brendan Sullivan blasted the initial prosecutors.
-- STEVENS 2: "...COURTROOM." (:28)
Department motion to dismiss the case, which was filed this morning, says the
government recently discovered information about an interview its lawyers did
last April with the government's main witness, Bill Allen.
admitted during the trial that his oil field services company Veco performed
major renovations to Ted Stevens' Girdwood home for free. (MORE)
in the interview last April, Allen said he did NOT remember conversations about
giving Ted Stevens invoices for the work.
That was different than what Allen said 6 months later at trial when he
gave damaging testimony. He said mutual
friend Bob Persons told him not to worry about sending Stevens an invoice,
because Stevens was just protecting himself ((quote, "covering his ass")).
Allen said a year ago that if his workers had performed efficiently, the fair
market value of their labor and materials would have been more in line with
what Stevens and his wife paid to contractors.
Justice Department says it found prosecutors' notes about last year's interview
just last week, and turned them over immediately to Stevens' lawyers. It noted that the information would have been
used by Stevens at trial to cast doubt on Bill Allen's testimony.
General Holder says the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility
Senator Lisa Murkowski says the news is bitter-sweet. She says while she's pleased for Stevens and
his family, she's disturbed by what happened.
-- STEVENS 3: "...NEVER MIND." (:15)
In a statement,
Alaska Congressman Don Young said justice has "finally been served."
Murkowski and Young pointed out that lost his re-election bid shortly after the
guilty verdict came down last fall.
replacement in the U-S Senate, Mark Begich, put out a statement this morning
saying the Justice Department's decision to end the prosecution is
"reasonable." Begich has long said
Stevens should NOT serve jail time, and in this morning's statement said he
hopes Stevens, his family and Alaskans can move on and put this behind them.