Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Release Of A Report Concerning The Ted Stevens Prosecution

“This morning, the D.C. District Court released the report of the independent counsel it appointed to investigate allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the case against Senator Ted Stevens.  I look forward to reviewing the 525-page report, I hope to hold a hearing with Independent Counsel Hank Schuelke, and if it is possible to arrange a time before the April recess. I know the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is also conducting its own internal investigation, and I also look forward to reviewing its completed report.

“I had expressed at the time to a number of the people involved in that trial I had some real concerns that prosecutors were not meeting their discovery obligations.  I believe everybody before a court should have a fair trial. I don’t care whether it’s a United States Senator or an indigent client.  That means prosecutors have a responsibility to fairly disclose what the evidence is to the other side.  I went so far when I was a prosecutor as to have a rule: we gave a copy of our file to the defense counsel. Things moved quicker that way.  If the press reports we’ve seen are true, there was some serious misconduct on the part of the federal prosecutors in withholding material.  So we will, and I think Senator Grassley will join with me, have a hearing on that matter.”

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