Stevens’ mistrial?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is quite surprised to read the headline in the Washington Post declaring: Judge Could Dismiss Stevens’ Indictment or Declare Mistrial.

Your Maximum Leader can’t say as he was following the Ted Stevens case too closely. Indeed, after initial press reports, he sort of figured that Stevens was toasted and there wasn’t much more to know. Boy was he wrong! What is up with prosecutors holding on to exclupatory evidence? This seems to happen quite a bit. (Perhaps it is just TV where it happens…) The piece in the Post starts off:

A federal judge this morning scolded lawyers prosecuting Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) on ethics charges for waiting until the last minute to disclose potentially exculpatory material and said he would hear arguments today from defense attorneys about whether to dismiss the indictment or declare a mistrial.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the powerful 40-year senator “would not be getting a fair trial if it were up to the government.” He halted trial testimony so lawyers could prepare for a 4:30 p.m. hearing on motions to end the case or impose sanctions on the government.

The potentially exculpatory material involves remarks by the executive, Bill Allen, a key prosecution witness, who said he believed Stevens would have paid for the renovations if Allen had ever billed him. Attorneys for the government did not disclose those remarks until late yesterday.

The article goes on to imply that Stevens actually asked for bills (while making an off-hand comment about breaking ethics laws if no bill came). This is singularly at odds with your Maximum Leader’s understanding of the case. But, as your Maximum Leader said, he’s not been paying close attention to the whole deal since he (wrongfully) assumed that the Feds had Ted Stevens’ number.

This gets interesting now. One can suppose that if the judge throws out the charges and sanctions the prosecutors that Stevens might cruise on to another term in the Senate. Interesting…

Carry on.

1 Comment »
maggie said:

Ummm, just the other day Sen. Stevens laid all this on his wife who allegedly handles all the paperwork in the family, so this “exculpatory evidence” might not count for all that much considering what has already transpired.

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