(Via AoSHQ) I suspect that Attorney General Holder isn’t going to be very thrilled about this:
WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed the corruption conviction of former Sen. Ted Stevens on Tuesday and took the rare and serious step of opening a criminal investigation into prosecutors who mishandled the case.
“In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case,” U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said.
Sullivan appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Justice Department lawyers who repeatedly mishandled witnesses and withheld evidence from defense attorneys during the monthlong trial that ended with Stevens’ conviction in October.
The article goes on note that the special prosecutor has been put into place specifically because the judge does not have confidence in the Justice Department’s ability to conduct an internal review of its past conduct. Whatever your opinion of former Senator Stevens and the original trial, that’s a pretty definite negative statement about the DoJ’s professional ethics.
More as we get it: in the meantime, here’s a previous NRO article (also via AoSHQ) that’s somewhat critical of Sullivan’s preliminary decisions yesterday.