The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is in the final stages of its investigation of possible prosecutorial misconduct in the botched corruption case against the late former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
However, it remains unclear whether the results of that investigation will be made public.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the report “is just about finalized.”
Holder had been questioned by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) about internal investigations into revelations that the Justice Department Public Integrity Section prosecutors overseeing the case failed to turn over exculpatory evidence to. Stevens’ defense team.
“I haven’t seen much in the way of corrections for those who did what were really offensive prosecutorial approaches, Hatch said. “Not only offensive, but I think there should have been some real serious corrections done.”
“I don’t see anything being done about it, to be honest with you,” he added, saying that “prosecutors running wild like that” helps explain why “some people are losing confidence in what goes on.”
Holder agreed with Hatch that the case was ridden with problems.
“I was bothered by what happened there and I made the decision to drop the case,” he said.
He also pointed out that the OPR investigation into the Stevens case “has not, however, been dropped.”
“There is a multi-hundred page report that has – is just about finalized,” he said, “and I think we’ll see what their conclusions are.”
When asked by Hatch if he was willing to share the report with Senate Judiciary Committee, the Attorney General said that decision “is up to the people at OPR.”
“What I have indicated was I want to share as much of that as we possibly can given the very public nature of that matter and the very public decision that I made to dismiss the case,” Holder said.
Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, was convicted in 2008 of lying to conceal gifts from an Alaska oil executive and other friends. He lost his Senate seat in that fall’s election. But in 2009, as problems in the handling of the case continued to crop up, Attorney General Eric Holder had the charges dismissed. Stevens, 86, was killed in a place crash last August.