The Justice Department responded today to the public release of an investigative report ordered in 2009 by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan into the failures of the Sen. Ted Stevens prosecution team. The report was authored by Washington, D.C., lawyer Henry Schuelke III.
The statement from Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney is below:
“The Department has cooperated fully with Mr. Schuelke’s inquiry into the prosecution of former Senator Ted Stevens and provided information throughout the process. The Department is in the process of making an independent assessment of the conduct and, to the extent it is appropriate and in accordance with the privacy laws, we will endeavor to make our findings public when that review is final.
“When concerns were raised about the handling of this case following the 2008 conviction of Senator Stevens, the Department conducted an internal review that culminated in the Attorney General ordering a dismissal of this case. Since that dismissal in April 2009, the Department has instituted a sweeping training curriculum for all federal prosecutors, and made annual discovery training mandatory. We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure prosecutors, agents and paralegals have the necessary training and resources to properly fulfill their discovery and ethics obligations.
“We know that justice is served only when all parties adhere to the rules and case law that govern our criminal justice system. While the Department meets its discovery obligations in nearly all cases, even one failure is one too many and we will continue to work with our prosecutors to ensure they have all the support and resources they need to do their jobs. But it would be an injustice of a different kind for the thousands of men and women who spend their lives fighting to uphold the law and keep our communities safe to be tainted by the misguided notion that instances of intentional prosecutorial misconduct are anything but rare occurrences.”