You may have read my previous posts about how dirty the Justice Department has become in recent years. Glenn Fine has provided us with some interesting reading materials to substantiate the taint that is growing in the “Halls of Justice.” Well the DOJ just got caught again playing dirty. Remember, these people are the highest, most powerful federal prosecutors in the United States and they are supposed to be investigating crimes and protecting us from bad people. And don’t forget that while they are doing this, they themselves are supposed to be abiding by the same laws and rules which they are enforcing. Too much to ask? Probably.
Last week, William Welch, the head of the DOJ’s “Public Integrity Section” (whatever that means) was held in contempt of court by a federal judge in Washington DC. Why? Because his team of federal prosecutors decided to withhold favorable evidence from former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens during his criminal case on “public corruption” charges. Translation: the prosecutors played dirty to win the case. And what exactly did Welch’s team keep from the defense? A report by an FBI agent who was complaining that the feds were covering up information and trying to hide a witness who would have offered favorable testimony in support of Stevens who was, by the way, convicted. So the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section lacks some integrity, apparently. I was actually surprised to find out that a federal judge held Welch and his gang in contempt of court. Don’t get me wrong, the judge was right to hold them in contempt. I mean, they held themselves out as the symbol of justice and the rule of law, and yet they trampled on these rights in order to win their case. What do you think would have happened to the rest of us lawyers (non-DOJ attorneys) if we would have lied to a federal court?
The New York Times is reporting that Welch and Co. are no longer going to handle the case. Maybe Eric Holder should call Glenn Fine and see if he has some time to hose down the “Public Integrity Section” of the DOJ.
This posting make’s me sick, the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT people, they are suppose to be for the people. This is another example of our screwed up system and until people take the time to stand together united this same BS will keep going on. A small group of self serving people dictate what is right and wrong. It is my understanding that contempt of court is pretty severe, punishable by time in JAIL. But yet these few represent the people, they should be disbared, immediately removed from there postion and jailed for there self serving ways. I would be curious to know if anything happened to the DOJ people who were involved in this…..God Bless you Jeff and the rest of the crew, keep up the fight for the morally right stuff!!!!!!!
I share in your contempt. A big part of the problem is that our judiciary often overlooks or refuses to hold accountable the DOJ’s missteps. The DOJ walks into court with loads of credibility and so they are given leeway to pull these types of stunts without a blink of the eye. Holding DOJ lawyers in contempt of court (and yes, your are right, that is a pretty big deal) is the first step in curbing these types of abuses, and there are many more.