Judge Emmet Sullivan cited a series of prosecutorial missteps that occurred before, during and after the Stevens trial that warrant further investigation and possible charges of criminal contempt. Among the examples he cited Tuesday:
• The government failed to produce witness Rocky Williams' grand jury testimony.
The testimony would have shown that Williams, a trusted Veco employee, didn't work full time at the Stevens renovation project as his time sheets indicated, often with overtime hours as well. Williams was often at the site but working on other Veco projects. The result was that Veco's gift of services to Stevens was thousands of dollars less in value than the $250,000 asserted by the government, though still substantial.
• When the government sent Williams back to Alaska without testifying, prosecutors didn't inform the judge and asserted they acted in good faith.
Williams, subpoenaed as both a prosecution and defense witness, was suffering from liver and kidney disease. Prosecutors said they sent him back to Alaska because his health was failing and they feared he would die if he wasn't treated by his doctor. The defense said it should have been informed so it would have had the opportunity to call him to the stand. Sullivan agreed, and said he should have been told too. And later, an FBI agent said that another reason Williams was sent back was that he did poorly in a mock examination before the trial.
Prosecutors said that they asked Williams to call the defense law firm of Williams & Connolly before he left Washington, and in fact he did and left a message that wasn't returned. Williams called again from Alaska and told defense attorneys about his timesheets.
Williams was indeed in poor health and died in December.
• The government redacted exculpatory information from FBI interview notes that it provided to the defense.
The government was obligated to provide the defense with any material that tended to exonerate Stevens. But the material it turned over was incomplete and sometimes heavily edited. In one record of an FBI interview, the blacked-out section said that Allen told agents that Stevens would have paid a bill for Veco's services if he had given him one. The government turned over the complete document while Allen was still testifying, and he was questioned about it.
• The government failed to turn over exculpatory information on witness David Anderson.
Like Rocky Williams, David Anderson was a supervisor at the Girdwood project. He was also Bill Allen's nephew. And like Williams, all of Anderson's timesheets during the main phase of construction were counted in the benefit Stevens got from Veco. But Anderson told the government that he was in Portland for part of that time, working on a project for his aunt, Bill Allen's sister.
• The government used business records it knew were false.
Again part of the Williams and Anderson controversy. A Veco bookkeeper assembled a summary of the labor and materials used in renovating Stevens' home. She included the full hours of Williams and Anderson when the government knew they had only worked part time. The summary showed expenses of $181,699 from October 2000 to March 2001.
In their defense, the government said thousands of dollars of Veco services were not in the spreadsheet. They also said that they never claimed it was accurate to the penny, only that it exceeded the average $300 annual limit on gifts to senators.
• The government failed to provide the check used by Bill Allen to buy a Land Rover for Stevens' daughter Lily.
In defending the allegation that Stevens got a benefit of about $20,000 in trading an old Mustang for a new Land Rover, Stevens' attorneys spent a long time with witnesses, dealer invoices and window stickers trying to show that Allen didn't pay anywhere near the $44,339 asserted by the government for the Land Rover. When it came time for the government to rebut the defense, it simply produced Allen's check, making the defense effort look ridiculous.
With the jury out, defense lawyers steamed to the judge that the government should have turned over the check before the trial. The prosecutors said they didn't anticipate that the defense would make an issue about the price of the Land Rover. The judge said it wasn't a matter for the government to decide and later directed the jury to ignore all evidence about the vehicles.
• When the government informed the court after the trial that an FBI agent in the case had filed a complaint, it asserted that the matter would have had no effect on the verdict and would be adequately addressed by an internal review.
The complaint, by co-case agent Chad Joy, dealt primarily with the conduct of the corruption investigation in Alaska and his allegations of shortcomings by the chief case agent, Mary Beth Kepner. But Joy also alleged that prosecutors mishandled evidence in the Stevens case and deliberately withheld information from the defense.
• As recently as Feb. 6, the government told the court there was no need for court-ordered discovery or an evidentiary hearing on matters that emerged after the trial.
As recently as last week, new and serious allegations of government misconduct surfaced, demonstrating that not everything had been revealed.