Open Letter

As Alaskans for Justice we come together – across political lines, across generations, across the largest and most diverse state in the Union – to demand accountability from the U.S. Department of Justice in the case of Ted Stevens.  We protest the cruel and unjust treatment of the Senator at the hands of federal prosecutors and investigators who abandoned the pursuit of justice to advance their own goals. 

Nearly four years ago, the prosecutors launched their shameful vendetta against Senator Stevens by indicting him just weeks before the primary election.  We are outraged that to date, no concrete steps have been taken to hold accountable the prosecutors and investigators who perverted the justice system that is supposed to protect the rights of all Americans.

The 525-page report recently filed by the court-appointed special counsel makes it clear that the prosecutors’ case against Sen. Ted Stevens was built on deception and executed with duplicity.  Among other abuses, prosecutors and investigators colluded to procure and present to the jury false testimony by the government’s star witness and hide critical evidence that would have helped prove the Senator’s innocence. 

As a result of this prosecutorial vendetta, a highly respected statesman, who dedicated his life to the service of Alaska and the Nation, was subjected to an unjustified public assault on his reputation and career.  His family endured years of unnecessary suffering.  And finally, all Alaskans were deprived of the right to make an informed choice in the 2008 Senate election.

Without the Senator’s determination to clear his name, the dedication and skill of his defense team, the courage of one FBI investigator to reveal the gross misconduct, and the commitment of the judge to find out and make public the truth, we might never have known the extent of the corruption at the heart of the prosecution’s case.  The time has come for concrete action to redress this legal atrocity. 

As citizens of Alaska and the United States, we urge you, as chief law enforcement officer of the federal government, to fulfill your oath to support and defend the Constitution.  We demand that you:

  • Fire the deceitful and corrupt prosecutors and investigators identified in the special counsel’s report and terminate further government funding of their legal expenses.
  • Initiate, using an independent counsel, a full criminal investigation into the conduct of the prosecutors and investigators and request the bar associations in which they are members to open disbarment proceedings.
  • Publicly release the complete text of the upcoming Office of Professional Responsibility report on the Stevens prosecution.
  • Apologize to Catherine Stevens and the other members of the Stevens family and to the people of Alaska.

These steps, of course, will not be enough to ensure that the Department of Justice will live up to its mission to “ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”  The record of prosecutorial misconduct at the Department in recent years is as inexcusable as the Department’s utter failure to properly supervise its prosecutors and investigators in the Stevens case.

Unfortunately, Americans cannot trust the Department of Justice to reform itself.  Therefore, we support passage and enactment of Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012, bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Lisa Murkowski and designed to prevent the gross misconduct that was the hallmark of the Stevens prosecution and investigation team.

Mr. Attorney General, when the Department of Justice fails to live up to its statutory and constitutional obligations and loses the trust of the public, its ability to protect our Nation from real criminals is dangerously eroded.  You have an opportunity here to strengthen fundamentally the administration of justice by taking the steps outlined above and by reversing the Department’s opposition to the Murkowski bill.  We urge you to rise above the internal politics of the Department and do what’s right for the Nation and the Constitution.

Alaskans for Justice