Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ defense attorney, Brendan Sullivan, delivered a stinging rebuke to the prosecution team at today’s hearing before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. “We were no match for corrupt prosecutors,” he said, turning the government’s allegations of corruption against Stevens back on the government.
• Sullivan criticized the former Acting Associate Attorney General for the Criminal Division (a reference to Matt Friedrich). “One of the most remarkable things” was that Friedrich after the October verdicts “goes out to the steps [of the courthouse], gathers the prosecutors in a family photo and says to the world, ‘The Department of Justice is proud of its team,’” Sullivan said. “How could the leading attorney of the Department of Justice over the Criminal Division make such a statement?” It is “how corruption can flourish,” Sullivan said.
• Sullivan acknowledged that the “lead prosecutor” (a reference to Brenda Morris, who joined the prosecution team two months before the October trial) didn’t participate in the key April 15, 2022 interview of lead government witness Bill Allen. Allen owned an oil services company that the government alleged provided home renovations services to Stevens that the senator didn’t report on his financial disclosure filings. But notes taken by two unidentified prosecutors, unearthed by a later DOJ review team, found that Allen in April 2008 gave an account of the disputed project that contradicted his later testimony at trial. The notes should have been turned over to the defense under Brady, the government said in a motion to dismiss the indictment.
• Sullivan said it was “interesting” that five prosecutors participated in the Allen interview, but only two sets of notes surfaced.
• He accused the prosecutors of allowing their professional ambition to override their obligation to provide exculpatory material to the defense. “A loss in such circumstances blights a career, and maybe even ruins it. So they abandoned all decency to win a conviction,” Sullivan said.
• “It is clear from the evidence that the government engaged in intentional” misconduct, he said. “While there could have been some mistakes in there, most of it was clear, intentional, devious and willful.”