Chaos: DOJ's anti-corruption unit in disarray

At the same time, document-sharing lapses that provoked the Stevens turnaround are also affecting other bribery prosecutions in the state, prompting authorities to take the extraordinary step of releasing two Alaska lawmakers from prison late last week. A new team of government lawyers and FBI agents is reviewing thousands of pages of evidence, trying to assuage the concerns of judges and fielding complaints from defense attorneys.

The developments represent a continuing distraction inside the Justice Department, where new leaders had vowed to restore morale in the career ranks after allegations of political interference during the Bush era, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Before the Stevens debacle, the public integrity unit had been handling a full slate of complex investigations that involved Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Rep. Jack John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) and former representative John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), among others.