Feature

Ted Stevens gets a break

Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to drop the case against Alaska's former senator

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is off the hook, said Nina Totenberg in NPR. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against Stevens, who last year lost his bid for an eighth full term just days after he was convicted of lying on Senate disclosure forms to conceal gifts from an oil industry executive and others. Stevens’ sentencing had been delayed as his lawyers accused prosecutors of misconduct.  

Holder dropped the case "because of the severe misconduct committed by Justice Department prosecutors,” said John Hinderaker in Power Line, which would make this “the only real instance of potentially politically motivated misconduct in the Bush Justice Department that has come to light.” Stevens ought to demand hearings on whether the “rogue prosecutors were politically motivated.”

“This is definitely an embarrassment" for Justice, said Jason Zengerle in The New Republic. Holder’s decision was reportedly based on Stevens’ age (85), the fact that he’s no longer a senator, and the need to signal to all federal prosecutors that misconduct won’t be tolerated in this administration—even if "transgressions" occurred under the previous one.

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