Stevens: Agent, witness had sexual affair during trial

Did an FBI agent have a sexual affair with a key witness against Ted Stevens while giving testimony?  Stevens’ attorneys leveled that accusation yesterday in court, and it could derail the federal prosecution of the former Republican Senator.  An FBI whistleblower tipped off the defense:

Attorneys for former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) have accused an FBI agent involved in the Stevens corruption investigation of having an inappropriate relationship with a key witness in the case.

Based on a complaint by an FBI whistleblower, Agent Chad Joy, the Stevens defense team claims that Mary Beth Kepner, the lead FBI agent on the case, had a personal relationship with Bill Allen, the CEO of an Alaska oil services firm and a witness against Stevens.

Stevens’ lawyers state that Joy’s memo “strongly suggests that the inappropriate relationship was sexual.” Joy stated that Kepner “wore a skirt for Allen” on a day that he was to testify in the case.

Joy also charges that Kepner may have provided secret grand jury information to Allen about other ongoing federal investigations.

The affair may be the lesser of the concerns prosecutors have over this motion.  Joy informed the prosecution of the relationship on or before December 2nd, but did not reveal it to the court on that day.  That could represent prosecutorial misconduct if the judge rules that the information was relevant and germane to the defense — and it’s hard to argue that a sexual relationship between a key witness and an FBI agent wouldn’t go to credibility.

Of course, this doesn’t make Stevens into a wide-eyed innocent.  But Allen was one of the prime movers of the alleged corruption involving Stevens.  He ran the firm that did all of the construction work on Stevens’ house, the events that triggered the FBI investigation in the first place.  The FBI and prosecution chose his version of those events over Stevens’ and presented them as fact to a jury in order to gain a conviction against the Senator.

If Allen and one of the investigators had a sexual relationship, that decision certainly looks a lot less solid.  Was the agent serving on behalf of the people, or on behalf of her boyfriend?  That’s a question the defense had the right to raise at trial, and if the prosecution knowingly suppressed that information, then there should be hell to pay in Alaska.

We’ve used our quota of sexual double entendres in the contraception stimulus thread, but Stevens may have a good case to argue that he got railroaded — or at least did not get his full measure of justice.