Probe finds prosecutorial misconduct at Stevens corruption trial

Story highlights

  • Investigator looked at possible misconduct by U.S. attorney's office
  • Report found investigators concealed evidence favorable to Stevens
  • Stevens was found guilty of making false statements
  • Conviction was later vacated
The lawyer appointed to investigate the conduct of the U.S. attorney's office in Washington during the corruption trial of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens "is not recommending any prosecution for criminal contempt," a federal judge said Monday.
The special prosecutor's still-sealed report, however, found "systemic concealment" of information that would have proven favorable to Stevens at his criminal trial. The longtime Alaska lawmaker had claimed he did not knowingly file false information on his Senate disclosure forms. He died in a plane crash last year in his home state.
In his order Monday, federal Judge Emmet Sullivan said the full 500-page report could be publicly released in next month. He termed the government's misconduct "significant, widespread, and at times intentional."
Sullivan said the months long, internal investigation by Henry Schuelke III found evidence federal investigators engaged in "concealment and serious misconduct that was previously unknown and almost certainly would never have been revealed — at least to the court and to the public — but for their exhaustive investigation."
The Justice Department had previously admitted two instances where prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory information to Stevens' defense team.
Stevens had been found guilty in the fall of 2008 of making false statements, specifically failing to disclose gifts he had received. Eight days later he lost his Senate re-election race.
The government, however, in April 2009 dismissed the indictment — thereby vacating the conviction — after acknowledging the prosecutorial misconduct. The Obama administration agreed not to retry Stevens, who died in plane crash some months later.