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Inquiry slams prosecution of Stevens corruption case by Justice Department
“The process resulting in today’s special prosecutor’s report deviated dramatically from those principles, and the result is a good man’s human errors have been miscast as intentional criminal misconduct,” Mr. Wainstein, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said Thursday.
“We have written the attorney general to explain how far this process deviated from these principles, and to assure him and Joe Bottini’s Justice Department colleagues that, despite the mischaracterizations in today’s report, Joe is a man of honor and integrity who has devoted his entire career to serving these principles and the Department of Justice and its mission,” he said.
Mr. Bottini is among several named in the Schuelke investigation. The others are William M. Welch II, head of the Justice Department’s corruption-fighting Public Integrity Section; Brenda K. Morris, the Public Integrity Section’s principal deputy; and two lawyers from the section, Nicholas A. Marsh and Edward P. Sullivan. An assistant U.S. attorney in Alaska, James A. Goeke, also is named in the report.
During the trial, Bill Allen, the government’s key witness and a wealthy oil contractor, testified that another witness told him Stevens asked to be billed for the work on his home only to “cover” himself so the work would not appear to have been an improper gift. It turned out to be one of the more damaging moments of Allen’s testimony and helped undercut the defense’s contention that Stevens intended to pay for all of the renovations to his Girdwood, Alaska, home.
But the new prosecution team found notes from the original team indicating that Allen, when first interviewed, had no recollection of such a conversation with the other witness.
The Schuelke report does not recommend that any criminal charges be brought, but blames prosecutors for intentionally withholding and concealing evidence.
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About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
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