10 years anniversary: Ted Stevens still exonerated - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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10 years anniversary: Ted Stevens still exonerated

It was 10 years ago this month that Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens walked out of court smiling — and vindicated: The corruption charges were thrown out.

Rather than Sen. Stevens being the one who was corrupt, it was the Justice Department that was. Prosecutors were found to be so determined to get a conviction that they’d even withhold evidence that would have — and should have — ended their investigation. Even U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder could not justify the disgrace that the case had become. Holder threw in the towel:

“After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial,” Holder wrote on April 1, 2009, in a carefully worded statement. He had no choice.

Then, on April 7, 2009, United States District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan blasted the prosecution, “In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case.”

He threw out the conviction: “There was never a judgment of conviction in this case. The jury’s verdict is being set aside and has no legal effect.”

Judge Sullivan ripped the prosecution in a 14-minute speech that accused them of withholding evidence that would have exonerated Stevens, who had been charged with concealing that he had not paid full value for renovations to his Girdwood cabin. Stevens and his wife had, in fact, paid $160,000 for renovations that were later independently appraised at less than $125,000.

Judge Sullivan went further. He appointed Henry F. Schuelke III, a Washington attorney, to investigate six Justice Department prosecutors, the chief of the Public Integrity Section, and his deputy chief. Sullivan wanted to know if the attack dogs of the Justice Department should face criminal charges.

“How does the court have confidence that the public integrity section has public integrity?” Judge Sullivan asked. [t]he government’s ill-gotten verdict in the case not only cost that public official his bid for re-election, the results of that election tipped the balance of power in the United States Senate.”

[Read the March 15, 2012 legal report returned to Judge Emmet Sullivan that details the problems with the Stevens investigation.]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Had Ted not died in the float plane crash I would wager he would have been re-elected had he wished. . Nobody has done more for Alaska and it’s people than “Uncle Ted” It is not even close.

  • The very same “people” that pulled off the travesty of justice against Ted Stevens, are now in control of the Alaska legislature. A person should notice, the very individual that helped perpetrate this injustice against “Uncle Ted”, managed to lose reelection as a U.S senator and as Alaska’s governor.. Absolute support of the obama agenda did not get him more than one term as senator. The “fine fellow” should have resigned and delegated his stolen position as senator, back to it’s rightful owner, Ted Stevens. Alaska will forever be short changed by this perversion of the “political process”.

  • One of my prized possesions is a handwritten note from him.

  • I think Holder and the dems knew exactly what they were doing.

  • The democrats did a hit job on the election of Ted Stevens. I was told Mueller was part of that, same person investigating Trump—— they did all they could to make people believe he was in collusion with Russia—-

    In actuality Democrats had fake dossier and it was Hillary & under Obama that they got uranium!!
    Hope the true crooks get caught in a set up job and with making money similar to mafia!!!!

  • Read: “Licensed to Lie.” Tells the story of overzealous and corrupt prosecutors in the Steven’s trial.

    • A good read. Lots of dirty cops in DC, including Mueller, Comey. And yet, Hillary is still making money on the lecture circuit. Trump in 2020, by a landslide……again.

  • Today, we are seeing yet another manifestation of the corruption that may be systemic at the Department of Justice and the FBI. Like that which was revealed in the unjust prosecution of Senator Stevens, the fraudulent investigation of President Trump is centered around withheld and manufactured evidence, obfuscation of the truth, misleading judges and failure to comply with court orders. The institutional culture at the DOJ and FBI MUST change if we are to retain democracy in this country.

    RIP, Senator Stevens.

  • Is the same crew in Washington DC trying to hang ‘russian collusion’ on President Trump? Clean house time.

  • Mueller and the political assassination of Ted Stevens

    By FRANK MCQUEARY
    SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR

    It is the 10th anniversary of the political assassination of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, which occurred two years before his untimely death in a plane crash on Aug. 9, 2010.

    I have been watching the coverage of the “Russian collusion investigation” and the trial of Paul Manafort.

    A picture is starting to take shape:

    If you were in Alaska in 2007 and 2008 you had a ringside seat to see the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice fabricate a criminal case against US Senator Ted Stevens.

    The head of the FBI at the time was Robert Mueller.

    While ultimately cleared of all charges, the case against him cost Stevens his seat in the US Senate in 2008.

    The heart of the DOJ/FBI prosecution was the allegation that Stevens had failed to disclose over $250,000 worth of work on his Girdwood “chalet”.  It was $250,000 of work ostensibly done by his friend Bill Allen’s company, VECO, in addition to the $180,000 which Stevens had paid for the so-called improvements.

    Events would eventually make it obvious that Stevens overpaid by $80,000 or more and should have been suing to get some of his money back.

    But the FBI/DOJ team had a different narrative they were selling.

    On July 30, 2007 they hired a locksmith and invited news and TV crews to observe their “raid” on Sen. Stevens home.

    The Anchorage Daily News, in the person of Rich Mauer, as well as reporters from Anchorage TV station Channel 2 and commentator-for-hire Shannon (Shannyn) Moore were there by invitation.

    What this intrepid band of reporters failed somehow to notice was that there was no way that $180,000 much less the alleged additional $250,000 from VECO, had been spent on upgrading Ted’s rather modest chalet.

    Nor did they see any incongruity in the FBI, normally religiously silent about ongoing investigations, inviting them to what became a show and tell.

    Nor, it is worth noting, have any of these intrepid souls had the moral courage to set the record straight by admitting that they were duped by the investigators.

    But why would Sen. Stevens’ friend Bill Allen testify to something which was patently untrue?

    Undisclosed by the FBI/DOJ team were several salient facts:

    Bill Allen was in the process of selling his company, VECO, to CH2MHill for net cash proceeds somewhere in the neighborhood of $432,000,000.

    The majority of those proceeds were allowed to flow through to Allen family members and trusts as well as several minority owners. Only the $70,000,000, which was to go directly to Bill Allen, was impounded by the DOJ pending his cooperation in the prosecution of Sen. Stevens.

    Also undisclosed was the fact that Allen, once named Alaskan of the Year, now drunken and brain-damaged from a motorcycle accident, was himself under investigation by the Anchorage Police Department for illicit sexual relations with a minor, and that the investigation was being quashed by the FBI/DOJ.

    The carrot for Allen’s cooperation was the release of his $70,000,000; the stick was the frozen investigation of Allen’s own corrupt criminal acts.

    Ultimately the illegal prosecution of Sen. Stevens was thrown out, first by Judge Emmett Sullivan, and then by Eric Holder.

    But it cost Stevens his seat in the US Senate.

    In July of 2008, just months before the elections, a DC jury convicted Stevens. Using the suborned false testimony of Bill Allen, hiding evidence of Stevens’ innocence, the FBI and DOJ had piled on charges and leaked so much false and damaging evidence to the “press” that the Washington DC jury returned a conviction.

    But all this was only part of the story. In Florida, a minor league Democrat named Vic Vickers, packed up his household goods and headed to Alaska. He changed his registration to Republican, filed to run for US Senate and proceeded to spend a million dollars on “campaign” ads that said little, other than “Stevens is a crook.”

    And, in Washington DC, the Democratic National Committee, then under Chuck Schumer’s leadership, was grooming Mark Begich to replace Stevens. In Alaska Begich was cautious in his criticism of Stevens because of Stevens’ popularity. In DC where his financial and political support was based he was vicious in attacking Ted.

    Apologists in the years since Stevens’ conviction was overturned have tried to paint the indictment as the work of the Bush Administration and the exoneration as the work of the Obama administration.

    The reality is that it was an entrenched bureaucracy which was putting its thumb on the scales of justice.

    When whistleblower Special Agent Chad Joy revealed just some of the improprieties and illegal activities on the part of the FBI/DOJ, you would have expected that heads would have rolled. But the only one in the FBI to suffer much more than a slap on the wrist was Chad Joy, the whistleblower who went public and revealed the ethical lapses on the part of both the FBI investigation and the DOJ prosecution.

    Needless to say his career in a bureaucracy run by Robert Mueller did not thrive. One year later he was no longer with the FBI His partner, Mary Beth Kepner, who was found guilty of a myriad of ethical and legal lapses, was still with the FBI years later.

    Similarly in the DOJ not much happened to the malfeasants. Only Nicholas Marsh suffered a self-imposed penalty when he committed suicide.

    It was during this period of time under Mueller’s leadership at the FBI that Mueller first partnered with DOJ’s Andrew Weissman. Weissman had promulgated the practice of intimidating witnesses and soliciting false testimony, hiding evidence and procuring high-profile convictions, which were later overturned on appeal, but not before lives were ruined and in some cases lost. When his brutal and dishonest practices had been focused on racketeers and crime lords, no one seemed to care about his tactics.

    In the summer of 2008 when I and others had encouraged Stevens to mount a vigorous campaign and proclaim his innocence loudly and broadly, the former federal prosecutor explained that he had to walk a very narrow path because under the RICO statutes that were being used, any public comments he made concerning the investigation could be interpreted by the DOJ/FBI investigators as “obstruction” and could lead to new charges.

    Ultimately Stevens did hire a campaign manager in August of 2008. It was too little, too late. Many former supporters were either intimidated by the aggressive manipulation of facts by the FBI or convinced of Stevens’ guilt by the staged display and leaking of information about the investigation to sympathetic media.

    Stevens ultimately lost the election by a mere 3,000 votes in spite of the false “conviction” and the overwhelmingly negative coverage in the Anchorage Daily News by the rabidly anti-Stevens reporter Rich Mauer.

    Mark Begich, with the help of Chuck Schumer and the DNC went on to become Alaska’s Junior Senator, just in time to provide the 60th vote for Obamacare and vote in lockstep with Obama’s redistribution agenda.

    In April of 2009 Judge Emmet G. Sullivan dismissed the ethics conviction of Ted Stevens. In a 14 minute diatribe he said that he had never seen “mishandling and misconduct like I have seen” in the Stevens trial. He then appointed a special counsel to determine if the prosecutors themselves should face criminal charges themselves.

    A powerful US Sen. Stevens was the bureaucratic cabal’s first major political victim. But now it is after a bigger fish, the president of the United States.

    Frank McQueary is a life-long Alaskan and political activist and student of Alaska history.

  • Them bastards are still looking for other victims all over alaska to steal more land, money and whatever is not bolted down.

  • Ted was and still is a crook and the phone tapes prove it.

    • And you’re a phony POS. To try and ignore everything Ted Stevens did for Alaska, is to demonstrate, not only your idiocy, but your liberal slant and slander of a truly great Alaskan, that will be remembered by all Alaskans as a ‘True Alaskan’. Put that in your meth pipe and smoke it!!!

  • It is too bad the FBI did not make charges based on their investigation of Ben and Ted into quid pro quos. They knew about them.

  • I aways voted for Ted Stevens. Sarah Palin threw him under the bus. Republicans ate their own here.

  • Ya gotta wonder. Eric Holder exonerating Ted Stevens. What deep state secrets did Ted have on Eric? Kind of rich. You also have to wonder if the case, which was run largely out of the DC office of the DOJ, was intentionally thrown. There were a lot of good prosecutors in Alaska who were excluded from the prosecution, because DC intervened to the detriment of the case. So who in the deep state was really pulling the strings and why? And why was Ben Stevens not heard from for ten years after the FBI raided his Senate offices in Juneu?

  • I considered Ted a great friend. He lived life large and was an amazing Senator that put Alaska first always. The day after his indictment he called me and said he wanted to get out of DC and come to Sitka. Mid day the following day we went fishing in Sitka sound on a local charter boat. That was something we did together typically at least once every year, and he always paid for his spot on the boat. He was very upfront about always paying his own way. I did not pry into the charges levied against him but at one point he said “I don’t understand any of this. Katherine made the payments for the remodel and we paid every bill we ever received”. I took the Senator the following day to KCAW, Sitka’s public radio station where he gave an unannounced and impromptu interview with their news director Ribert Woolsey open to any and all questions..
    Senator Ted was first and foremost an honest man. The political ruin of his career and defamation he endured was the very beginning of discovery of our country’s corrupt justice and investigation system. Now 11 years later we are finding out just how deep and wide spread this corruption has been. For Ted’s sake I hope a special committee looks into all of this. Until such time I have little faith in the integrity of our Congress and justice system. God bless Senator Ted Stevens.

  • There is no exoneration of Ted Stevens. Not in this “miscellaneous” filing or any other. Ted Stevens became a crook and none of the report states he was out of the woods on any issue concerning him. He was into corruption up to his nose and then some, with a pedophile, Bill Allen, hanging on his, Ted Stevens, shirt tail for work Ted Stevens wanted done. And, to make matters more complicated, Ted Stevens condoned all of it, he knew all of it as an attorney and went along with it. Remember that he was investigated on these charges and rightly so. He simply was able to stay out of jail.

  • Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, is draining the swamp, as he promised. The US DOJ is at ground zero in the swamp. In part, the swamp is being drained for you, Ted. RIP.

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