U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan today held four Justice Department attorneys in contempt for failing to turn over 33 documents requested by defense lawyers for ex-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
The contempt findings were directed against Public Integrity Section Chief William Welch II; his deputy, Brenda Morris, lead prosecutor in the Stevens case; trial attorney Kevin Driscoll and Patricia Stemler, chief of the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section. “Is the Department of Justice taking court orders seriously these days?” the judge asked, reports BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. Sullivan said he would wait until the case is over to issue sanctions.
Stevens has asked the judge to order a new trial, or set aside his conviction last October for failing to report gifts from a political supporter on his Senate financial disclosure forms. The case was rocked by a whistleblower complaint from FBI Agent Chad Joy, who accused the lead agent on the case, Mary Beth Kepner, of having an improper relationship with the government’s star witness, Bill Allen. See our previous posts here and here.
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