DOJ’s Corruption Unit a Mess After Stevens Case
Posted Jun 18, 2009 4:05 AM CST
By Molly McDonough
The Justice Department is still reeling from the abandoned corruption prosecution of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.
And to top it off, the Washington Post reports that newly discovered evidence threatens to undermine other cases while the DOJ's Public Integrity Section changes personnel.
The Post reports specifically that the section's senior managers responsible for overseeing the Stevens case, William Welch and Brenda Morris, have been moved to other roles. This follows a transfer of two other lawyers who had worked on cases alleging influence peddling in Alaska.
A new team of prosecutors and FBI agents reviewing discovery in the Alaska cases reported to the court that they'll complete their task by July 31. And they're already producing documents that they have determined should have been turned over to defense lawyers long ago.
One defense lawyer, John Henry Browne, who represents Alaska lawmaker Victor Kohring, thought he would get a dozen or so documents. But he's now sorting through a stack of more than 1,000 pages.
"There are a number of smoking guns in here," Browne is quoted saying. He added that he wouldn't be surprised if the DOJ dismissed cases rather than expose the case's former prosecutors to cross-examination about why they failed to share documents.
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