Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"But no one ordered us to follow the law!"

That is, essentially, how the DOJ team that concealed evidence favorable to Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens is getting off from criminal contempt:
Mr. Schuelke bases his conclusion not to recommend contempt proceedings on the requirement that, in order to prove criminal contempt beyond a reasonable doubt under 18 U.S.C. § 401(3), the contemnor must disobey an order that is sufficiently “clear and unequivocal at the time it is issued.” See, e.g., Traub v. United States, 232 F.2d 43, 47 (D.C. Cir. 1955). Upon review of the docket and proceedings in the Stevens case, Mr. Schuelke concludes no such Order existed in this case.
Obstruction of justice charges are possible, if DOJ decides to prosecute its own. Follow the above link to Emptywheel for more quotes & links, including Judge Sullivan's order ("prosecutorial misconduct that permeated the proceedings before this Court to a degree and extent that this Court had not seen in twenty-five years on the bench").


  1. But our adversarial system of justice is teh awesome!

  2. If I were a federal judge, I would enter a form order in every case, expressly ordering the prosecution to comply with Brady.

    I sympathize with Judge Sullivan's notion during the trial (see his order) that no such order was necessary, but plainly he was kidding himself.