Let me say right up front, I didn't like Ted Stevens, the former Republican Senator from Alaska. He was just the sort of porkbarrel spending politician that I abhor. Like so many others in Washington D.C., he treated the taxpayers like they were his personal ATM machine. He was an entrenched political insider, a career politician who'd been in the Senate since 1968. He was the most Senior Republican on Capitol Hill. When Stevens was convicted on corruption charges, I assumed he finally got exactly what he deserved.
It turns out he didn't. Thanks to Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, we now know there was massive prosecutorial misconduct in the Stevens case. Kudos to Holder for sticking to the principles of the law. Without them, we'd have no justice at all. The case against Ted Stevens has been dropped. Emmett Sullivan, the judge in the Stevens case, has appointed his own prosecutor to investigate the prosecutors in the Stevens case. Here's what Sullivan said about the prosecutorial misconduct:
...U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said yesterday that he has no faith in [a Justice Department] investigation after seeing so much "shocking and disturbing" behavior by the government.
"In 25 years on the bench, I have never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I have seen in this case," he said.
Among other things, the prosecutors wittheld evidence from the defense which would have contradicted the testimony of a key witness against Stevens. The prosecutors SHOULD be prosecuted.
After Stevens' conviction was overturned, the political spin machine cranked up, as sure as day follows night. The spin from the left basically went like this - "This proves the Bush Justice Department was crooked, and now the Obama Justice Department will fix it." Here's a NY Times op-ed to beat that drum:
For eight years the Bush Justice Department cynically put politics and ideology above the law. So it is gratifying to see how Attorney General Eric Holder is handling the case against Ted Stevens...Given the flagrant partisanship of the Bush Justice Department, it is especially reassuring to see Mr. Holder ignore party lines to do the right thing by Mr. Stevens. It has been far too long since the attorney general seemed interested in enforcing ethics and nonpartisanship in a department that has been shockingly lacking in both.
With all due respect to the New York Times and the rest of the liberal media, what in the hell are they talking about ???? Maybe it hasn't occurred to the Times, but Ted Stevens is a REPUBLICAN. If the Bushies were only interested in partisanship and ideology, they wouldn't have brought any charges against Stevens at all, especially when Stevens' Senate seat was about as secure as could be prior to the corruption charges being brought against him. Stevens had been a sitting Senator for 30 years. If the Bushies were only interested in partisanship and ideology, they wouldn't have willingly shot down Stevens' seat and handed it to the Democrats (which is exactly what happened) during an election year that had the Dems so close to a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
Being the inquisitive sort, I set about the task of trying to find out the political affiliations of the actual prosecutors in the Stevens case, the ones who actually committed the misconduct. Here are the names and brief biographies of the prosecutors who are being investigated. I'm sad to report that I've only been able to come up with the political affiliation of one of them, but it's a biggie. The supervisor of the Stevens prosecutorial team, the boss, was William Welch, a Democrat who had his eye on another job. He wanted to become the U.S. Attorney General for the state of Massachusetts.
I wonder why those crazy partisan Bushies would prosecute a sitting Republican Senator (the first such prosecution in a generation), and then allow a Democrat with political aspirations to head up the prosecution ? Weird, huh ? Or maybe the liberal media is just full of it. You decide.
Not that the right wing isn't doing a little spinning also. I keep reading on the right wing blogs that this was a partisan hit job against Stevens to steal his Senate seat, and that the timing of Stevens' conviction (a week before the election) was a Machiavellian conspiracy by the Dems. There's one big problem with this scenario - Stevens was the one who insisted on expediting his trial so it would be over before the election. I don't know about the partisan hit job thing yet, but the timing of it definitely didn't come from the Democrats.
I have a feeling there is much more to come on this story.
About This Blog