Judge to overturn Stevens conviction? Say what?
by Dracomicron, Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:55:58 AM EDT
Convicted felon and former Senator Ted "series of tubes" Stevens will be getting another chance to break out the Incredible Hulk neck tie in court today.
The Justice Department has asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to toss out Stevens' conviction and vacate his indictment. If the motion is granted as expected, it will kill a high-profile victory against congressional corruption reached last fall when a jury found the senator had lied about gifts and home renovations.
Wait... the Justice Department, who botched the case for the prosecution so badly that the conviction was in spite of their case rather than because of it, now is asking Judge Sullivan to overturn the ruling? Why?
Then it hit me.
This is Holder taking out the trash.
We all know that Stevens is as corrupt as the day is long. That's not what this is about. He certainly deserves to pay for his influence peddling, but, in this trial, justice was not served.
Heck, I figured all along that the trial was what is known on the TV Tropes website as a (if you'll pardon a superhero reference to go along with the Hulk tie) Batman Gambit: a scheme in which someone manipulates those around them to achieve some circuituous end. In this case, the end of the Bush Justice Department may have been trying to get the case thrown out and exonerate Stevens just before his contentuous election. If that's true, they didn't figure on the jury convicting him regardless of procedural shenanigans... it turned out to be more of a Vizzini Gambit: You know, where the Sicilian in The Princess Bride switches the cups on The Man In Black, only to find that they were both poisoned?
Regardless, the important thing was that the entire thing was enough of a fiasco that Mark Begich managed to win the senatorial seat, creating an important Democratic landfall in an overly Republican state. Requesting that the conviction be tossed out now makes Obama and Holder look like they are apolitical and interested in due process and can't really cause too much damage now that the voters have spoken.
The prosecutors who handled the trial have been removed from the case and their conduct is under investigation. Sullivan held Justice Department lawyers in contempt in February for failing to turn over documents and called their behavior "outrageous."
How convenient that this gives the Obama administration a chance to review and likely dismiss a solid chunk of the politicized Bush Justice Department.
[Stevens' lawyer, Brendan] Sullivan said the Justice Department was forced to request the dismissal because of "extraordinary evidence of government corruption."
Sometimes the excessive irony of a situation makes it all worthwhile.