The long-awaited investigative report concerning prosecutorial misconduct in the federal corruption trial of the late Sen. Ted Stevens has been released publicly. Alaska Dispatch will post more lengthy content later today about this breaking news.
The 525-page report was compiled by special investigator Henry F. Schuelke III, appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over Stevens' 2008 trial. The appearance of prosecutorial misconduct during the trial, which ended with a guilty verdict, spurred an infuriated Sullivan to initiate the investigation after he threw out Stevens' conviction.
Parts of Schuelke's report were made public in court filings in November, but last month Judge Sullivan ordered the full text be made public. A legal challenge to Sullivan's order from one of the prosecutors held the possibility of delay, but the report has been released on time.
Apparent from the partial release in November was a conclusion by Schuelke that Stevens' prosecutors willfully engaged in various forms of improper behavior, including "systematic concealment" of evidence that could have helped Stevens defend himself in the corruption case. It did not, however, recommend criminal contempt charges against the government lawyers.
Alaska's senior senator, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, plans to unveil legislation this week to remove the possibility of such misconduct from occuring again.