FBI agent accuses colleagues of misconduct in Stevens investigation

posted at 11:38 am on December 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Ted Stevens’ chances on appeal of his conviction on several counts of corruption improved overnight.  An FBI agent has accused several of his colleagues and one of the prosecutors of unethical conduct in the investigation, including lying to the judge about hiding potentially exculpatory evidence:

An Alaska FBI agent has accused fellow agents and at least one prosecutor of misconduct and unethical behavior in the public corruption investigation in Alaska and the trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

The agent’s complaint to internal investigators in the Justice Department was made public Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by the judge in Stevens’ case.

The complaint had sharp words about one supervising agent, accused of getting too close to sources, including Allen. It said agents took gifts and accepted favors from sources and revealed confidential grand jury information and investigative practices to sources and reporters.

And the complaint said that prosecutors deliberately withheld and covered up evidence favorable to Stevens during his month-long trial, contradicting their statements to the judge at the time that their errors in not producing material to Stevens were accidental.

The whistle-blower is no mere observer, either.  The details released by the judge yesterday show that the agent “ran” one of the informants that triggered the investigation and was present at one of the critical meetings.  The allegations include illegal disclosures to Veco’s Bill Allen about other investigations of him and clandestine and unethical meetings between Allen and at least one agent assigned to the case after Allen became a witness for the prosecution.

The judge in the case apparently considers the complaints put forward in the letter substantial enough to release to the public.  Stevens’ attorneys want the convictions dismissed, and the judge has yet to rule on that motion.  Even if he rules against the defense, and that doesn’t seem likely if the judge feels the prosecution lied and manipulated him, Stevens has a pretty good case for an appeal.


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Comments

::facepalm::

DrSteve on December 23, 2008 at 11:53 AM

But he lost his Senate seat so they win either way.

huckleberryfriend on December 23, 2008 at 11:55 AM

It gets deeper. Check this out. Anderson is the Witness who was “let go: via the Prosecutor.

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/ap_alaska/story/624880.html

Have fun reading…

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Would he have won the election without the negative publicity?

PappaMac on December 23, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I don’t know what to think… Part of me is glad because he’s a Republican and no one should be WRONGLY convicted, but I still think he’s a crook and corrupt which angers me more… We do not need Republican crooks and RINO’s that are corrupt to smear the names of the new force in American politics, the NEW AGE of Conservatisiam with our new leaders, Palin, Jindal, Sanford and many other fresh faces with BOLD colors and voices. Kill em all and let God sort em out… Ahhh, never mind…

Mark Garnett on December 23, 2008 at 11:59 AM

What?

misconduct by a prosecutor.

Fitz would never do that. Even if it takes 2 1/2 years to entrap somebody, he would never do anything unethical.

notagool on December 23, 2008 at 12:01 PM

I always thought there was a strong political case against Stevens. But I have always been skeptical of the criminal case. In these political corruption cases that do not involve bribery type scenario where there is a quid pro quo transaction–like, for instance, the pay to play scenario in Blogo’s case–the case boils down to whether the defendant properly filled out the disclosure statements, which are usually filled out by underlings. In essence, the government is federalizing state ethics laws, which are misdemeanors, into federal felonies, which are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Just because Stevens is an easy political target doesn’t make it right.

RedSoxNation on December 23, 2008 at 12:06 PM

“RedSoxNation on December 23, 2008 at 12:06 PM”

dude paid for the senator’s house to be remodeled; dude got govt. contracts. how is this difficult?

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:09 PM

Luckily, pardon season is just a month away…

factoid on December 23, 2008 at 12:11 PM

could the Alaskans call for a re-call election if it turns out they were basically lied into voting the Democrat into a 6yr Senate seat?

jp on December 23, 2008 at 12:13 PM

jp on December 23, 2008 at 12:13 PM

no, we are stuck with Begich.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 12:15 PM

“upinak on December 23, 2008 at 12:15 PM”

ya got yer gov. back at least!

/perpetual optimist

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:16 PM

If anyone is interested, do some research on the Honest Service Doctrine to see how the federal government is federalizing state ethics violations. The doctrine holds that politicians can commit mail or wire fraud by depriving their citizens of their “honest services.” There are two basis theories: bribery or concealing a conflict of interest. While the bribery cases are easy to understand, the concealed conflict of interest cases are much more disturbing, especially in states with part time legislatures whose members have significant conflicts to be concerned with. Interestingly, the Supreme Court had found the doctrine to be unconstitutional in 1986, but Congress, being lead by Joe Biden, of all people, codified the doctrine in 1987 under 18 USC 1346. It is truly one of the most malleable doctrines that prosecutors can use to prosecute anyone who may have concealed a conflict of interest. For those who have never been involved in disclosing conflicts, it is very easy to mess it up. This is especially true for people who do not make decisions based on the conflict. But, to a jury, it is easy to imply that such a conflict was at the heart of any decision.

As a conservative, I am weary about federal power that can easily be used as a political weapon, especially when that weapon is controlled by a Justice Department that is filled with career Prosecutors/Bureaucrats who tend to favor the Democrats view of bigger government (and thus bigger budgets).

RedSoxNation on December 23, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:16 PM

yeah, but it is slowly becoming Democratic. Joy.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Look for the Wall Street Journal to highlight this case as another example of overzealous federal prosecutors, a case similar to the KPMG case..

RedSoxNation on December 23, 2008 at 12:21 PM

FBI agent’s and federal prosecutor’s lie. I’m shocked I tell you, just shocked. /sarcasm off

roux on December 23, 2008 at 12:22 PM

While I feel that guys in their 80s should spend more time on the golf course where they can reminisce about their days in Washington, this stinks. If these allegations are true, these agents knew that they would be instrumental in unseating an elected official.

That…sounds…illegal…to me.

perroviejo on December 23, 2008 at 12:22 PM

“RedSoxNation on December 23, 2008 at 12:21 PM”

just out of curiousity, how much is stevens paying you?

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Looks like we are becoming a one party nation; God help us!!!!

DL13 on December 23, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Mark Garnett on December 23, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Completely agree with you. Stevens should have left the Senate years ago, and regardless of party it’s better that he’s not there anymore. But if he lost because of prosecution that never should have happened, that just rubs me the wrong way. Stevens had to go, but it needed to happen in a legit way. Losing the election because of improper prosecution gives the others continuing Stevens sorry legacy an excuse for his loss- it wasn’t that he was a corrupt scumbag, it was because of an overzealous prosecutor!

smithinmich on December 23, 2008 at 12:24 PM

The judge, who said he wanted to protect the privacy of the complainant and those who were named, covered up almost all identifying details in heavy black ink, making some allegations difficult to follow.

This is the only part I actually care about: the names of the sources and reporters who were in on the frame job. Why the Hell is their privacy so all-fired important? I assume Stephens has the info, so why doesn’t he announce the names? I know I would.

logis on December 23, 2008 at 12:25 PM

dude paid for the senator’s house to be remodeled; dude got govt. contracts. how is this difficult?

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:09 PM

Well, I do know a “dude” gave a Senator’s wife a big pay raise in return for said Senator earmarking their employeer alot of money…

BTW, when does the investigation of Obama and his wife start again?

18-1 on December 23, 2008 at 12:34 PM

“18-1 on December 23, 2008 at 12:34 PM”

sadly, fitz is a bit busy at the moment with another very similar investigation …
[!!]

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Looks like we are becoming a one party nation; God help us!!!!
DL13 on December 23, 2008 at 12:23 PM

God will have nothing to do with it, though Bushmaster might.

Bishop on December 23, 2008 at 12:43 PM

This is becoming a massive problem. There are many state and Federal law agencies lying about politicians and in colusion with the opposing political faction. The press intentionally hides facts and are just as criminal.

Is Ted Stevens a crook? Well, apparently no more (maybe even less so) than any other politician. The prosecutor’s case looks to be unravelling because the investigators lied about the Senator. The judge is releasing information that could get the case dismissed, or reversed on appeal.

If you aren’t taking your news with a grain of salt you are probably delusional. This blog included, Hot Air has all but proclamed Ted Stevens a crook, and Michelle Malkin has made several posts ridiculing the Senator. Take a deep breath, step away from the monitor, and remember people are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty because the MSM doesn’t like them.

Rode Werk on December 23, 2008 at 12:48 PM

sadly, fitz is a bit busy at the moment with another very similar investigation …
[!!]

Buckaroo on December 23, 2008 at 12:36 PM

I hear he may have alot of free time after late January – the rumor is the new management at Mr Fitz’s employer will be looking to downsize his division…

18-1 on December 23, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Completely agree with you. Stevens should have left the Senate years ago, and regardless of party it’s better that he’s not there anymore. But if he lost because of prosecution that never should have happened, that just rubs me the wrong way. Stevens had to go, but it needed to happen in a legit way. Losing the election because of improper prosecution gives the others continuing Stevens sorry legacy an excuse for his loss- it wasn’t that he was a corrupt scumbag, it was because of an overzealous prosecutor!

smithinmich on December 23, 2008 at 12:24 PM

This has happened before. Remember the charges against Newt that were eventually dropped?

Isn’t it interesting how Republicans are far more likely to be charged with various crimes that dissipate after elections?

18-1 on December 23, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Remember all the drama, when the Bush White House decided that some of their federal prosecutors (all serving at the pleasure of the President) were letting politics guide their actions too much–leftist politics at that–and they had to go. Oh the shock, that people in the White House would make such scurrilous accusations against such paragons of virtue as federal prosecutors….

RBMN on December 23, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Would he have won the election without the negative publicity?
PappaMac on December 23, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Maybe upinak will weigh in here, but I’d say he definitely would have won without the conviction and the resulting publicity. He barely lost with the conviction. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d say this is either getting thrown out or overturned on appeal. Some of this stuff came out during the trial. For example, the judge was pretty ticked off about the prosecution sending that witness back to Alaska.

meltenn on December 23, 2008 at 12:56 PM

As the years go by the Democrat party is acting more and more like an organized crime family.

Mojave Mark on December 23, 2008 at 1:02 PM

From the story:

During the Stevens trial, the agent inappropriately met with Allen in a hotel room more than once, the whistle-blower said. During Allen’s testimony, the agent dressed in a way that was meant to be a “surprise/present for Allen,” the whistle-blower said.

Translation?:

A female agent who had had inappropriate meetings in hotel rooms with Allen, showed up at the trial, scantily-clad, as an enticement to affect his testimony?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Almost sounds like Chi.Town politics.

Rick007 on December 23, 2008 at 2:17 PM

…It said agents took gifts and accepted favors from sources…

That’s funny, isn’t that exactly what Stevens was charged with?

We’re on a slippery slope here, as this kind of behavior is no longer out of the norm. We’re being destroyed by corruption, greed and love of self.

I feel like some people a long time ago warned about this kind of stuff, they may have even written some of it down somewhere…

Dorvillian on December 23, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 2:15 PM

The agent was male.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Mojave Mark, the Democratic Party is not acting like a crime family. The are a crime family, or should I say families: the Clintons, the Kennedys, the Jacksons, the Bidens, the Obamas, the Blagoevichs…

drunyan8315 on December 23, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Where was this guy during the trial and before the election?

Done That on December 23, 2008 at 3:03 PM

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 11:55 AM

I can’t believe that with all these multi-layer corruption scandals going on that the people of Alaska were so bent out of shape about “Troopergate” or “Tasergate”. Where’s the sense of perspective?

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Alaska, Minn., Ill., NY, and soon even AZ play topsy turvey musical senatorial chairs.

McCain led the bandwagon to impugn Stevens while already singing in harmony to praise Obama, advancing the Chicago political thugs. McCain ought to ask the NY Governor to appoint McCain the new Senator of New York in order to avoid the embarrassment of being deposed from his AZ Senatorial seat. Heck, the NY Governor might appoint himself the next NY Senator to replace Hillary. Caroline Kennedy Onassis declines to make financial disclosure. “I CAN’T AFFORD TO STAY OUT OF POLITICS ANY LONGER” is no reason for any governor to appoint anyone to a Senate seat.

maverick muse on December 23, 2008 at 3:29 PM

I can’t believe that with all these multi-layer corruption scandals going on that the people of Alaska were so bent out of shape about “Troopergate” or “Tasergate”. Where’s the sense of perspective?

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM

The people who are “bent out of shape” are the transplants from other States mostly democratic idiots who have no clue about Alaska or the history in gneral. I didn’t freak about it, actually I defended it and Sarah’s decision as Monagan is an idiot… who is now going to try to run for Mayor of Anchorage. Ugh!

As I do not think Stevens got a fair trial, I also believe he was used by Bill Allen, as Allen used quite a few people. There are allegations that Allen is a possible pedifile and used Stevens house to “party” with these teenage girls. As it is only heresay, I can say i have heard enough rumors to believe them to a point.

I do think Stevens was given the upgrade to his house, but I think there is a hell of a lot more to this story then it appears. And much of it are those who have been around for years, working with the Oil Sub Comps and the Legislature getting a profit off of these people.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:32 PM

It is truly one of the most malleable doctrines that prosecutors can use to prosecute anyone who may have concealed a conflict of interest. For those who have never been involved in disclosing conflicts, it is very easy to mess it up. This is especially true for people who do not make decisions based on the conflict. But, to a jury, it is easy to imply that such a conflict was at the heart of any decision.

RedSoxNation on December 23, 2008 at 12:18 PM

This is another reason why Palin should never become a senator. They’d have a field day with suggesting “conflict of interest” because her husband works a blue collar job on the North Slope. They already tried to make that argument against her now as governor.

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 3:33 PM

The agent was male.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 2:36 PM

That thought occurred to me. So what’s up with this?:

During Allen’s testimony, the agent dressed in a way that was meant to be a “surprise/present for Allen,” the whistle-blower said.

Maybe he wore a necktie that was a gift from Allen, like BJ wore for Monica?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 3:35 PM

The flood gates of corruption(10-fold) blew open 11/04/2008

christene on December 23, 2008 at 3:36 PM

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Please explain something to me. How is it that the Feds were able to nail so much on this oil services company VECO, and yet they never seem to connect it back to the big three North Slope oil producers? I mean, VECO was bribing legislators to vote on tax legislation that would favor the oil producers. Do the Feds think that VECO did this solely on its own initiative?

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 3:39 PM

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 3:35 PM

There were more then one “agent”. The whistle blower is male… there was a couple others who were in the mix as well. From what I have noted.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:40 PM

That thought occurred to me. So what’s up with this?:

During Allen’s testimony, the agent dressed in a way that was meant to be a “surprise/present for Allen,” the whistle-blower said.

Maybe he wore a necktie that was a gift from Allen, like BJ wore for Monica?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Maybe he came dressed like this.

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 3:45 PM

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 3:39 PM

Big three are a tricky bunch. And as I said earlier there is more to it. Conoco and BP probably knew something was up and stayed as far out of it as possible. Exxon is a different story … and this is what I think is why.

During the time Murkowski was Gov., it was known that Exxon exec.’s were trying to get as much as they could via the contracts for paying the State taxes and such. Murkowski hired a bunch of lawyers and out of State people for this contract people were talking. Allen was a key role in the whole thing as Veco is a world wide company that started here in Alaska. He has the means, equipement, people and so on so he could “out bid” even though it was a underbid for anything service related. Exxon knew this as well as Conoco and BP. But Cheveron, Eni, Marathon also used Veco as they were at the time a reputable company.

Allen could get these companies what they needed. Some companies have their own subs (like Doyon) who could work but at much higher wages. Allen would go and speak to them personally about useing Veco instead.

But the thing you are referring to, is when a Lobbiest for Veco (not the oil comps) was standing on the side when the Legislature was about to take a vote on the Oil and gas tax (via the Murkowski Administration) and it was noted that the lobbiest was talking to a couple of Legislatures concerning it. Someone got mad (the ONE time I like Berkowitz) and told them to leave. And the vote was D.O.A. due to the Lobbiest. Lyda Green, Crowdery, Ben Stevens, Jerry Ward, and a few others are all a part of the “lobbiests” plan to start the new Taxing… which was not what the people of Alaska wanted. it was voted on for the People of Alaska to vote on it. Which never did happen.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:48 PM

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:48 PM

Okay, let me ask a few questions that will sound like “Alaska Oil and Gas for Dummies.”

What does an oil service company do? From what you wrote, I gather that Conoco and BP don’t use VECO, but Exxon does. So it is possible that these oil producers knew about VECO’s shady deals, but weren’t directly involved. The tax scheme that VECO bribed legislators to pass would have benefited VECO and also the other oil producers, but they were not necessarily involved in the bribery.

Am I getting this right?

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 4:04 PM

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:48 PM

One more question: Do you think Murkowski was a crook or just sort of a corruptible character? On a scale of one to ten with ten being the highest, was he, say, a three, a four, a seven, etc.?

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Oil Sub Companies do quite a bit. From making the pad on which the rig will drill, to building the camps for the people to sleep, eat and work.. etc. They are the main backbone to start drilling up here. They are usually the people who start the WHOLE process. Google pictures of Kaparuk/Deadhorse and look at the buildings.

And you are correct on the tax scheme. It really would have helped all oil companies and subs… but Veco would have gotten a good share as well as other Alaskan Sub Comps due to the fact they get a tax deduction (Native Corps).

BP and Conoco have a “contract’ with the Native Sun Comps.. Doyon would be one, Kuupik another, and I could go on. So they couldn’t give Veco the contracts.. but they could use them as a Sub of a Sub.

Are you confused yet?

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 4:12 PM

One more question: Do you think Murkowski was a crook or just sort of a corruptible character? On a scale of one to ten with ten being the highest, was he, say, a three, a four, a seven, etc.?

ramrocks on December 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM

A 9 would do it. He is also speaking for Exxon at Oil and Gas Conventions now. What do you think is going on? I have been watching it since the beginning.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 4:13 PM

There were more then one “agent”. The whistle blower is male… there was a couple others who were in the mix as well. From what I have noted.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 3:40 PM

I get all that. I don’t get the part about how the agent (male or female) dressed “during Allen’s testimony”. What is the significance of this detail to this case?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 4:24 PM

I get all that. I don’t get the part about how the agent (male or female) dressed “during Allen’s testimony”. What is the significance of this detail to this case?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2008 at 4:24 PM

Ahh see now this is the “zing”.

From what I hear (gotta love small town america) the agent was told NOT to talk and was told NOT to go near anything to do with the case.

Nice huh! I wonder who was in charge.

upinak on December 23, 2008 at 4:28 PM

the seat has gone to democrats, he can be cleared now.

rob verdi on December 23, 2008 at 9:36 PM

dude paid for the senator’s house to be remodeled; dude got govt. contracts. how is this difficult?

dude paid for empty lot next to the senator’s house. dude got govt. money

how is this difficult?

Dude’s wife sit on MILCON board (military contracts) and dude gets 7+ billion in military contracts.

DSchoen on December 23, 2008 at 9:44 PM