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Statement from Ken Wainstein Attorney for Joe Bottini

We would like to thank the Senate Judiciary Committee for its careful examination today of the Special Prosecutor’s report on the investigation of the Senator Ted Stevens trial.  We are particularly grateful that the Senators went behind the Special Prosecutor’s bald accusations and questioned the underpinnings of his finding that our client and AUSA Jim Goeke intentionally violated the law and their solemn duty as federal prosecutors to play by the rules.  Members of the Committee—and particularly Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, and Senator Feinstein—raised several important and probing avenues of inquiry:

Intent:  Senators asked the Special Prosecutor about the evidence supporting his conclusion that AUSA Bottini was guilty not just of mistake and oversight but rather of an intentional, knowing, and willful effort to suppress exculpatory evidence.  The Special Prosecutor failed to cite any evidence that our client’s errors were intentional.  

Our client’s efforts to disclose the information he allegedly suppressed:  Senators pointedly asked about the repeated efforts by AUSAs Bottini and Goeke to disclose the precise information that the Special Prosecutor contends they tried to suppress.  The Special Prosecutor was unable to reconcile those efforts with his finding of intentional suppression—which was one of the most puzzling and troubling omissions in the report.

Mismanagement:  Senators asked about the mismanagement that plagued this case.  Senator Grassley called it a “case study in poor management” and criticized the Special Prosecutor’s report for failing to take that mismanagement into account, citing specifically the failure by Public Integrity Section leadership to provide the structure and management that would have prevented the chaos that marked the pretrial preparation process and avoided the resulting disclosure violations.

Process:  Senators pointed out that the subjects were completely cut out of the process leading up to the issuance of this report, thereby highlighting the utter absence of due process afforded these public servants prior to the Special Prosecutor publicly branding them as criminals.

We commend the Senators for asking these tough questions.  We are hopeful that the scrutiny of the Special Prosecutor's report will continue, and we are confident that Congress and the American people will ultimately see that the report is based on nothing more than flawed reasoning, slanted factual analysis, and a process that denied our client and his colleague the fundamental right to answer and test the accusations against them.  We are grateful that, with today's hearing, the United States Senate has started the process of affording Joe and Jim that important right.

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