One of the prosecutors implicated in the 500-page report detailing the prosecutorial misconduct during the botched Ted Stevens case is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that it should be made public.
Edward P. Sullivan, a Justice Department trial attorney at the time of the case, is appealing U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s Feb. 8 ruling to make the report available to the public on March 15. Judge Sullivan ordered an investigation into the alleged misconduct and appointed Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III to author the report. Sullivan filed an appeal notice Thursday, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to determine whether the report should be released.
The prosecutors investigated in the case have until March 8 to file any comments or objections to the findings. It appears as if Sullivan is the only prosecutor to file an appeal thus far.
“To deny the public access to Mr. Schuelke’s report under the circumstances of this case would be an affront to the First Amendment and a blow to the fair administration of justice,” Sullivan wrote in his 55-page ruling last month.
Judge Sullivan presided over the 2008 public corruption case against the Alaska Senator — the longest serving Republican in the history of the Senate. Stevens was convicted in federal court in 2008 of lying about illegally accepting gifts. But Attorney General Eric Holder sought to dismiss the case in 2009 when news that the prosecution withheld evidence that might have helped the defense surfaced.
The other prosecutors investigated were William Welch, then the head of the Public Integrity Section, department trial attorney Brenda Morris and Alaska Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Bottini and James Goeke. Justice Department lawyer Nick Marsh, who was also under investigation, committed suicide in 2010.