Was Ted Stevens driven from office in a scam prosecution?
The Justice Department plans to drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens, the 85-year old Alaska Republican convicted last year of lying on Senate financial disclosure forms to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations from a businessman, according to a news report this morning.
But he was already found guilty!
Attorney General Eric Holder has concluded that the conviction of Stevens cannot be supported because of problems with the government's prosecution, which had been openly criticized by the trial judge, National Public Radio first reported.
Justice will withdraw its opposition to a defense motion for a new trial and will dismiss the indictment against Stevens, NPR reported, but that will require a court filing and none had been filed yet. Stevens' lawyer, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., said this morning that he had not been notified that the charges were being dropped but that he planned to attend an already scheduled meeting with Justice Department lawyers at 10 a.m. EDT to discuss the case. "I do not have any confirmation from any government official.,'' said Sullivan, who said he been told by someone outside the department that the charges will be dropped. Sullivan, one of the highest-profile defense lawyers in Washington, has long fought for the charges to be dropped in a case tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.