Murkowski Morning Meeting - EXTRA Edition: Stevens Trial Investigation
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Murkowski Morning Meeting typically is sent to your e-mail boxes every morning at 9am when the U.S. Senate is in session. Sometimes, though, there is additional news of high interest to Alaskans. And today’s gripping testimony from Special Prosecutor Henry Schuelke III is of high interest to many Alaskans.
Extra Edition – The Stevens Trial Investigation
Henry Schuelke III testified before the U.S. Senate Justice Committee today about his 525-page report chronicling the failures of the Justice Department in the trial of Senator Ted Stevens. Though the Justice Department said they believe the misconduct to be isolated instances, many in the Senate see the need for legislation to attempt to eliminate the chance this happens again.
What follows are lengthy excerpts:
(Key clip begins at 6:40 above)
Sen. Pat Leahy, (D-VT): How would the trial have ended if evidence had been shared?
Schuelke: The foreman was willing to testify to Senator Stevens’ belief he was paying in full and would have “directly corroborated” Senator Stevens’ defense. He was sent home to Alaska without testifying.
(Key clip begins around 6:30 above)
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN): This is some awful behavior by the prosecutors, I think. Just appalling. Do you think that what the prosecutors did… is it illegal?
Schuelke: I think that what occurred in this case in a number of instances was in violation of an obligation imposed by the courts … and so, using your term broadly, I would have to say it was illegal.
(Key clip begins around 2:05 above)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): What was the motivation of the prosecutorial misconduct?
Schuelke: Prosecutors, plaintiff’s attorneys, defense attorneys – I’ve been all three in my career – like to win. It’s what we call contest living… we do not want to undermine our case if it can possibly be avoided. That motive, to win the case --
Sen. Feinstein: No matter what?
Schuelke: -- was the principle operating motive.