CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* GAO: The Special Prosecutor In The Stevens Case Recently Found That Two Unidentified AUSAs From The DC US Attorneys Office Advised That It Was The Practice Of That Office Not To Produce FBI 302s As Jencks Material.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 18, 2012

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The withholding of evidence by prosecutors and police in criminal matters happens far more often than we would like to believe. It is a cancer on our American justice system. The prosecutors who cheat to get a conviction are almost never held accountable for ruining the lives of those they have unjustly convicted.

Many of us believe the FBI and DOJ have done exactly this in the case of Dr. Bruce Ivins. Only full disclosure of all of the relevant documents will prove whether the FBI ever had a case against Dr. Ivins, or if they just took a convenient way out of telling an inconvenient truth, or if they have never actually solved the anthrax case at all.

Two of my novels deal with these issues.

Both are available at amazon.com in paper and kindle editions.

http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-M.-Weinstein/e/B002IZ1BNK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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25 Responses to “* GAO: The Special Prosecutor In The Stevens Case Recently Found That Two Unidentified AUSAs From The DC US Attorneys Office Advised That It Was The Practice Of That Office Not To Produce FBI 302s As Jencks Material.”

  1. DXer said

    Justice Dept. issues draft guidance to forensic experts

    The Justice Department has issued draft guidance for forensic experts at the FBI and other of its component agencies

    June 3, 2016, at 11:19 a.m.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is issuing draft guidance for forensic experts at the FBI and other of its component agencies.

    The documents released Friday are meant to clarify what forensic experts can and not say while testifying at trial or preparing scientific reports.

    The announcement follows concerns about forensic sciences practiced at the department, which last year announced that experts had overstated the strength of evidence involving microscopic hair analysis in cases dating back decades.

    The draft guidance covers seven forensic disciplines, including drug and chemical analysis, body fluid testing, latent fingerprints and toxicology.

    A second round of proposals planned for later this year will cover DNA, hair analysis, explosives and other subjects.

    The documents are available for public comment through July 8.

    Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Comment: The DOJ perhaps should provide standards on what the prosecutors can say — and what documents they can withhold from disclosure while spinning some party’s guilt for a crime.

  2. DXer said

    DOJ fights federal judge’s order for lawyers to attend ethics training, Published May 31, 2016

    FoxNews.com
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/31/doj-fights-federal-judges-order-for-lawyers-to-attend-ethics-training.html

    Comment: It seems that a reviewing court may find that only the DOJ attorneys on the pleadings are subject to the court’s remedy.

  3. DXer said

    Judge orders D.C. to pay $13.2 million in wrongful FBI hair conviction case

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/judge-orders-dc-to-pay-132-million-in-wrongful-fbi-hair-conviction-case/2016/02/28/da82e178-dcde-11e5-81ae-7491b9b9e7df_story.html

    A D.C. Superior Court judge has ordered the District government to pay $13.2 million to Santae A. Tribble, who was jailed for 28 years after being wrongfully convicted of killing a Southeast Washington taxi driver in 1978.

    The award Friday brings to $39 million the damages amount the city has been ordered or agreed to pay over the past year to three District men wrongly imprisoned for decades.

    They were convicted at trial through exaggerated claims about the reliability of FBI forensic hair matches, a pattern uncovered by the D.C. Public Defender Service and featured in a series of articles in The Washington Post.

    [FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades]

    Tribble, 55, was exonerated in 2012 after DNA testing revealed that he could not have contributed hairs found in a stocking near the scene of the crime in which the attacker reportedly wore a stocking mask. At trial, an FBI examiner testified that the hairs microscopically matched Tribble’s, and prosecutors suggested to the jury that it would be a “1 in 10 million” coincidence if the hairs came from someone else. The jury convicted him in January 1980.

    Tribble’s case and the others helped trigger a federal review that in April disclosed that FBI examiners systematically overstated testimony in nearly all hair match cases against criminal defendants for two decades before 2000.

  4. DXer said

    “In the many other trials that took place across the country before, during and after the Gates case, the approach to forensics had not changed. Forensic “scientists” were still intent on stretching a flimsy spandex shield over a mountain of unscientific interpretation.”

    Justice Delayed? Justice Cancelled?
    William Fisher

    THURSDAY, 03 MAY 2012 03:04
    http://therealnews.com/t2/component/content/article/100-more-blog-posts-from-william-fisher/1008-justice-delayed-justice-cancelled

  5. DXer said

    Excerpt:

    The failings documented by The Post point to the need for better scientific standards in forensic testing and a more open process for the disclosure of evidence and information in criminal proceedings. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is weighing legislation to expand the role of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to set such standards.

    Congress also should change the law regarding discovery. Prosecutors should not be deciding which pieces of evidence seem exculpatory and must be turned over to the defense. They should be required to open their files to defense lawyers, with exceptions for witness protection or national security.

    Comment: If you knew what AUSA Kohl and AUSA Lieber withheld from you — documents and evidence inconsistence with the finely spun narrative in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary — you would weep for Dr. Ivins.

    GAO will only obtain it if it presses harder than it has.

    Washington Post opinion:

    Failures at the FBI crime lab

    By Editorial Board, Friday, April 20, 7:23 PM

    KIRK L. ODOM was incarcerated for 20 years and Donald E. Gates for nearly 30 for crimes they did not commit. Santae A. Tribble spent 28 years behind bars, even though DNA evidence now shows he almost undoubtedly was not the culprit.

    All of the men were erroneously convicted in the District, in part, on the basis of forensic evidence analyzed by the FBI. Problems within the FBI lab, particularly with hair-sample analysis, were well known to the agency and the Justice Department; a task force spent some nine years reviewing cases after a whistleblower revealed possible shortcomings.

    Editorials represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as determined through debate among members of the editorial board. News reporters and editors never contribute to editorial board discussions, and editorial board members don’t have any role in news coverage.

    In a series of articles, The Post’s Spencer S. Hsu and a team of reporters documented how the Justice Department failed to notify lawyers representing prisoners whose fate hinged on the FBI analysis. Some prisoners spent years behind bars before becoming aware of the lab issues.

    The problem continues to this day. The full results of the Justice Department task force’s investigation have not been made public. Even when the task force discovered flaws in a case, the information was turned over only to prosecutors, who were then left to decide whether the results needed to be brought to the attention of defense lawyers. In addition, the task force reviewed only cases involving one FBI analyst whose work was called into question; The Post identified cases where other analysts’ work resulted in convictions of innocent defendants.

    The FBI argues that hair-sample analysis — in which samples from a suspect are analyzed microscopically and compared with samples found on a victim or crime scene — is a vital and legitimate tool. Advances in DNA testing, which allows for genetic analysis of evidence, “should not be perceived as diminishing the value of prior practices and testimonies,” according to an FBI statement. Administration law enforcement officials say that all hair samples collected after 1996 have been subjected to DNA testing, when possible; they point out that such testing is sometimes off limits because of the size or condition of the sample. “In cases where microscopic hair exams conducted by the FBI resulted in a conviction, the FBI is evaluating whether additional review is warranted,” the statement said.

    This does not go far enough. The agency should not be considering “whether additional review is warranted” but how such a review should be conducted; members of the defense bar should be part of these discussions. Any review should, as a start, include DNA testing of hair samples in all cases that ended in conviction — regardless of which analyst performed the work — for which the defendant is still imprisoned or on parole. The Justice Department should make its task force results public; if such broad disclosure presents privacy or security problems, the department should at least make all FBI forensic analysis and task force material available to defense lawyers.

    The failings documented by The Post point to the need for better scientific standards in forensic testing and a more open process for the disclosure of evidence and information in criminal proceedings. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is weighing legislation to expand the role of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to set such standards.

    Congress also should change the law regarding discovery. Prosecutors should not be deciding which pieces of evidence seem exculpatory and must be turned over to the defense. They should be required to open their files to defense lawyers, with exceptions for witness protection or national security.

  6. DXer said

    DERSHOWITZ BLASTS ZIMMERMAN PROSECUTION: ‘NOT ONLY IMMORAL, BUT STUPID’

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/04/20/Dershowitz-prosecution-immoral

    With ABC News’ release of the George Zimmerman photo showing blood flowing freely from his head, the question becomes whether Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the case, had access to the photo before charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

    The arrest affidavit did not mention the photograph, or the bleeding, gashes, and bruises on Zimmermans’ head. Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School stated upon release of the arrest affidavit that it was “so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge … everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense.”

    After the release of the photo, however, Dershowitz went much further, telling Breitbart News that if the prosecutors did have the photo and didn’t mention it in the affidavit, that would constitute a “grave ethical violation,” since affidavits are supposed to contain “all relevant information.”

    Dershowitz continued, “An affidavit that willfully misstates undisputed evidence known to the prosecution is not only unethical but borders on perjury because an affiant swears to tell not only the truth, but the whole truth, and suppressing an important part of the whole truth is a lie.”

    When asked if it made a difference whether the prosecution had the bloody photograph at the time they charged Zimmerman, Dershowitz responded, “We do know that there were earlier photographs before the affidavit was done that strongly suggested blood on the back of the head, and we know the police had first access to him, so if there was blood they [the prosecution] would know about it …

    “I’ve had cases in Florida against prosecutors,” Dershowitz said, “and this is not the first time they have willfully omitted exculpatory evidence. It’s a continuing problem. Here, it’s not only immoral, but stupid. The whole country is watching. What do they benefit from having half-truths in an affidavit?”

  7. DXer said

    The Frontline documentary last night was heavyweight — to include an interview with District of Columbia United States Court of Appeals Judge Harry Edwards.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/real-csi/

  8. DXer said

    The Washington Port reports today that Department of Justice Officials feels that they are not under any legal and constitutional obligation to inform the public of errors in forensic analysis.

    Convicted defendants left uninformed of forensic flaws found by Justice Dept.
    By Spencer S. Hsu, Published: April 16
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/convicted-defendants-left-uninformed-of-forensic-flaws-found-by-justice-dept/2012/04/16/gIQAWTcgMT_story_1.html

    Is that correct?

    Where is the government accountability?

    Separately, is the DOJ alternatively under a moral obligation?

    We have heard all about how Dr. Ivins used screen names while posting on the internet and edited Wikipedia and that in the early 1980s he stole a book from a sororitiy
    — are we going to see the forensic reports on the ink, photocopier toner, paper, stable isotope analysis etc.? Are the documents explaining his time in the lab relating to the work with the rabbits going to be produced?

    Is GAO going to obtain and disclose the forensic reports and September/October 2001 contemporaneous documents being withheld by the DOJ — potentially exculpatory of Dr. Ivins — or will Wikileaks or Anonymous. Or will a whistleblower have to do it in litigation?

    DOJ officials — especially prosectors — certainly have a difficult job.

    “It’s human to make mistakes,” said Steven D. Benjamin, president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “It’s wrong not to learn from them.”

    Excerpts from today’s article which has very important implications and should be nominated for a Pulitzer:

    Convicted defendants left uninformed of forensic flaws found by Justice Dept.
    By Spencer S. Hsu, Published: April 16

    Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people nationwide, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.

    Officials started reviewing the cases in the 1990s after reports that sloppy work by examiners at the FBI lab was producing unreliable forensic evidence in court trials. Instead of releasing those findings, they made them available only to the prosecutors in the affected cases, according to documents and interviews with dozens of officials.

    In addition, the Justice Department reviewed only a limited number of cases and focused on the work of one scientist at the FBI lab, despite warnings that problems were far more widespread and could affect potentially thousands of cases in federal, state and local courts.

    ***
    Justice Department officials said that they met their legal and constitutional obligations when they learned of specific errors, that they alerted prosecutors and were not required to inform defendants directly.

    ***

    The review was performed by a task force created during an inspector general’s investigation of misconduct at the FBI crime lab in the 1990s. The inquiry took nine years, ending in 2004, records show, but the findings were never made public.

    In the discipline of hair and fiber analysis, only the work of FBI Special Agent Michael P. Malone was questioned. Even though Justice Department and FBI officials knew that the discipline had weaknesses and that the lab lacked protocols — and learned that examiners’ “matches” were often wrong — they kept their reviews limited to Malone.

    But two cases in D.C. Superior Court show the inadequacy of the government’s response.

    ***

    Seeking to learn whether others shared Gates’s fate, The Post worked with the nonprofit National Whistleblowers Center, which had obtained dozens of boxes of task force documents through a years-long Freedom of Information Act fight.

    Task force documents identifying the scientific reviews of problem cases generally did not contain the names of the defendants. Piecing together case numbers and other bits of information from more than 10,000 pages of documents, The Post found more than 250 cases in which a scientific review was completed. Available records did not allow the identification of defendants in roughly 100 of those cases. Records of an unknown number of other questioned cases handled by federal prosecutors have yet to be released by the government.

    The Post found that while many prosecutors made swift and full disclosures, many others did so incompletely, years late or not at all. The effort was stymied at times by lack of cooperation from some prosecutors and declining interest and resources as time went on.

    Overall, calls to defense lawyers indicate and records documented that prosecutors disclosed the reviews’ results to defendants in fewer than half of the 250-plus questioned cases.

    ***

    He added: “It is deeply troubling that after going to so much time and trouble to identify problematic conduct by FBI forensic analysts the DOJ Task Force apparently failed to follow through and ensure that defense counsel were notified in every single case.”

    Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said the federal review was an “exhaustive effort” and met legal requirements, and she referred questions about hair analysis to the FBI. The FBI said it would evaluate whether a nationwide review is needed.

    “In cases where microscopic hair exams conducted by the FBI resulted in a conviction, the FBI is evaluating whether additional review is warranted,” spokeswoman Ann Todd said in a statement. “The FBI has undertaken comprehensive reviews in the past, and will not hesitate to do so again if necessary.”

    ***

    Forensic experts typically assessed the varying characteristics of a hair to determine whether the defendant might be a source. Some factors were visible to the naked eye, such as the length of the hair, its color and whether it was straight, kinky or curly. Others were visible under a microscope, such as the size, type and distribution of pigmentation, the alignment of scales or the thickness of layers in a given hair, or its diameter at various points.

    Other judgments could be made. Was the hair animal or human? From the scalp, limbs or pubic area? Of a discernible race? Dyed, bleached or otherwise treated? Cut, forcibly removed or shed naturally?

    But there is no consensus among hair examiners about how many of these characteristics were needed to declare a match. So some agents relied on six or seven traits, while others needed 20 or 30. Hilverda, the FBI scientist in Tribble’s case, told jurors that he had performed “probably tens of thousands of examinations” and relied on “about 15 characteristics.”

    Despite his testimony, Hilverda recorded in his lab notes that he had measured only three characteristics of the hair from the stocking — it was black, it was a human head hair, and it was from an African American. Similarly, Scholberg’s notes describe the nightgown hair in Odom’s case in the barest terms, as a black, human head hair fragment, like a sample taken from Odom.

    Hilverda acknowledged that results could rule out a person or be inconclusive. However, he told jurors that a “match” reflected a high likelihood that two hairs came from the same person. Hilverda added, “Only on very rare occasions have I seen hairs of two individuals that show the same characteristics.”

    In Tribble’s case, federal prosecutor David Stanley went further as he summed up the evidence. “There is one chance, perhaps for all we know, in 10 million that it could [be] someone else’s hair,” he said in his closing arguments, sounding the final word for the government.

    ***

    Yet examples of FBI experts violating scientific standards and making exaggerated or erroneous claims emerged in 1997 at the heart of the FBI lab’s worst modern scandal, when Bromwich’s investigation found systematic problems involving 13 agents. The lab’s lack of written protocols and examiners’ weak scientific qualifications allowed bias to influence some of the nation’s highest-profile criminal investigations, the inspector general said.

    From 1996 through 2004, a Justice Department task force set out to review about 6,000 cases handled by the 13 discredited agents for any potential exculpatory information that should be disclosed to defendants. The task force identified more than 250 convictions in which the agents’ work was determined to be either critical to the conviction or so problematic — for example, because a prosecutor refused to cooperate or records had been lost — that it completed a fresh scientific assessment of the agent’s work. The task force was directed to notify prosecutors of the results.

    The only real notice of what the task force found came in a 2003 Associated Press account in which unnamed government officials said they had turned over results to prosecutors and were aware that defendants had been notified in 100 to 150 cases. The officials left the impression that anybody whose case had been affected had been notified and that, in any case, no convictions had been overturned, the officials said.

    But since 2003, in the District alone, two of six convictions identified by The Post in which forensic work was reassessed by the task force have been vacated. That includes Gates’s case, but not those of Tribble and Odom, who are awaiting court action and were not part of the task force review.

    The Gates exoneration also shows that prosecutors failed to turn over information uncovered by the task force.

    In addition to Gates, the murder cases in Texas and Maryland and a third in Alaska reveal examples of shortcomings.

    All three cases, in addition to the District cases, were handled by FBI agent Malone, whose cases made up more than 90 percent of scientific reviews found by The Post.

    ***

    Boyle was executed six days after the Bromwich investigation publicly criticized Malone, the FBI agent who worked on his case, but the FBI had acknowledged two months earlier that it was investigating complaints about him.

    The task force asked the Justice Department’s capital-case review unit to look over its work, but the fact that it failed to prevent the execution was never publicized.

    In Maryland, John Norman Huffington’s attorneys say they were never notified of the findings of the review in his case, leaving them in a battle over the law’s unsettled requirements for prosecutors to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence and over whether lawyers and courts can properly interpret scientific findings.

    ***

    Todd, the FBI spokeswoman, said bureau lab reports for more than 30 years have qualified their findings by saying that hair comparisons are not a means of absolute positive identification. She requested a list of cases in which agents departed from guidelines in court. The Post provided nine cases.

    Todd declined to say whether the bureau considered taking steps to determine whether other agents intentionally or unintentionally misled jurors. “Only Michael Malone’s conduct was questioned in the area of hair comparisons,” Todd said. “The [inspector general] did not question the merits of microscopic hair comparisons as a scientific discipline.”

    Experts say the difference between laboratory standards and examiners’ testimony in court can be important, especially if no one is reading or watching what agents say.

    “It seemingly has never been routine for crime labs to do supervision based on trial testimony,” said University of Virginia School of Law professor Brandon L. Garrett. “You can have cautious standards, but if no one is supervising their implementation, it’s predictable that analysts may cross the line.”

    ***

    A common theme among reform-minded lawyers and experts is taking the oversight of the forensic labs away from police and prosecutors.

    “It’s human to make mistakes,” said Steven D. Benjamin, president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “It’s wrong not to learn from them.”

    ***

    More specifically, the D.C. Public Defender Service, Benjamin’s group and others said justice would be served by retesting hair evidence in convictions nationwide from 1996 and earlier. “If microscopic hair analysis was a key piece of evidence in a conviction, and it was one of only a limited amount of evidence in a case, would it be worthwhile to retest that using mitochondrial DNA? I would say absolutely,” said Adams, the former FBI lab director.

    The promised review by federal prosecutors of hair convictions in the District would not include cases before 1985, when FBI records were computerized, and would not disclose any defendant’s name. That approach would have missed Gates, Odom and Tribble, who were convicted earlier.

    Representatives for Machen, the FBI and the Justice Department also declined to say why the review should be limited to D.C. cases. The Post found that 95 percent of the troubled cases identified by the task force were outside the District.

    • DXer said

      Is forensic evidence trustworthy?
      By Maggie Koerth-Baker at 5:28 pm Monday, Apr 16
      http://boingboing.net/2012/04/16/is-forensic-evidence-trustwort.html

      ***

      Even ideas you think you can trust implicitly—like fingerprint evidence—turn out to have serious flaws that are seriously under-appreciated by cops, lawyers, judges, and juries.

      Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon lawyer, was at the center of international controversy in 2004 after the FBI and an independent analyst incorrectly matched his prints to a partial print found on a bag of detonators from the Madrid terrorist bombings.

      Dror asked five fingerprint experts to examine what they were told were the erroneously matched prints of Mayfield. In fact, they were re-examining prints from their own past cases. Only one of the experts stuck by their previous judgments. Three reversed their previous decisions and one deemed them “inconclusive.”

      Dror’s argument is that these competent and well-meaning experts were swayed by “cognitive bias”: what they knew (or thought they knew) about the case in front of them swayed their analysis. The Mayfield case and studies like Dror’s have changed how fingerprints are used in the criminal justice system. The FBI no longer testifies that fingerprints are 100 percent infallible.

      • DXer said

        In another difficult unsolved case involving a murder 5 years ago and involving hair analysis, AUSA Rachel Lieber address hair and fiber found on a knife found at the crime scene. A Washington attorney with three housemates was found stabbed. The government reasoned that a knife found on the scene had been planted and charged all three housemates were charged with obstruction of justice.

        Forensics Expert Discusses Fibers Found on Knife at Robert Wone Obstruction Trial

        Updated: Friday, 28 May 2010, 6:25 PM EDT
        Published : Friday, 28 May 2010, 5:24 PM EDT

        http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/dc/forensics-expert-discusses-fibers-found-on-knife-at-robert-wone-obstruction-trial-052810

        “Douglas Deedrick’s testimony about the fibers is very important in this trial and attempted to help answer many key questions such as: Where did the blood, hair and fibers found on the knife recovered from the crime scene come from? Were they put there by the three men on trial or is the knife the actual murder weapon?”

        For the prosecution to win a conviction in this case, it is imperative for them to prove someone tampered with the crime scene.

        It is the government’s theory the knife found at the crime scene was planted and some of the fibers found on the knife came from a bloody white towel found in the room where Wone was killed.

        Deedrick testified he found 15 colored fibers on the knife and 12 white cotton fibers.

        But on cross examination by the defense Friday, Deedrick admitted white cotton fibers are very common and “in most cases” have little value as evidence.

        Deedrick also admitted under cross examination he only did one fabric imprint test on a replica knife similar to the one found at the crime scene.

        The test showed the towel found at the scene could have been used to produce an odd blood pattern found on the knife.

        The prosecution maintains Wone’s blood was wiped onto the knife by someone tampering with the evidence at the scene.

        ***

        Late Friday afternoon, the defense asked Deedrick about some hair he found on the knife when he examined it back in 2006. Deedrick said it appeared to be small pieces of hair from someone of Asian descent. A victory for the defense which claims the knife is the murder weapon.

        The defense showed Deedrick some notes he made during his examination and asked him if they were accurate. He acknowledged he did in fact find “a couple of dark brown cut hair frags that could be mongoloid [or asian].”

        Defense Attorney Bernie Grimm then showed Deedrick the shirt Wone was wearing the night he was killed and asked if the stab marks were in a location where Wone may have had chest hair.

        Deedrick said yes.

        But the prosecution was not going to let that answer go unchallenged. On redirect examination, Rachel Lieber asked Deedrick if the cut Asian hairs found on the knife could have also gotten there by someone wiping the knife with a towel, he also replied yes.

        Question:

        Why do possible scenarios suffice as evidence in light of the legal standard governing a criminal prosecution?

        If there were a DNA analysis showing it to be the victim’s hair, can everyone agree that it needed to be produced and is more pertinent evidence than a prosecutor’s spin and innuendo?

        http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/

        • DXer said

          If Dr. Ivins altered the record for Flask 1029 to avoid getting in trouble for an unauthorized transfer, then he was subject to indictment for obstruction of justice and tampering with the evidence. GAO should obtain the forensics relating to the ink used to fill out that form to include date the ink was manufactured. If the earlier entries were written using ink not manufactured until later, then that is evidence that the record was redone and falsified.

  9. DXer said

    In reviewing the paper record, the GAO should review all 302s not produced by the FBI but relevant to the assignment tasked.

    http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=741&sid=2793954

    GAO’s evolving role: From accounting to accountability

    Monday – 4/9/2012, 6:31am ET

    By Jack Moore

    ***

    In March 2006, a team of investigators at the Government Accountability Office used counterfeit documents to smuggle into the country enough radioactive material to create two dirty bombs. It was part of a reportdetailing gaps in security protections at the U.S. border.
    Last year, alone, the agency examined whether the Food Drug and Administration had done enough to assess the health risks of consuming raw oysters and conducted an undercover operation of for-profit online colleges.

    It’s all a far cry from the green eyeshade accountants that once peopled the General Accounting Office.

    A 2004 law realigning its compensation system also made a change to the very public face of the agency: it’s name. GAO would henceforth stand for Government Accountability Office.

    ***

    “Some might wonder why GAO felt a need to tinker with an institutional identity so strongly associated with government economy, efficiency and effectiveness,” then-Comptroller General David Walker, wrote in a July 2004 Roll Call op-ed. But GAO’s mission had evolved , he said.

    “Today, most GAO blue-cover reports go beyond the question of whether federal funds are being spent appropriately to ask whether federal programs and policies are meeting their objectives and the needs of society,” Walker wrote.

    **

    GAO produces nearly 1,000 reports a year, recommending improvements to government programs that are estimated to have saved billions. Last year, GAO estimates its recommendations saved $45.7 billion.

    “We get to look at all the issues that are facing the federal government and we also get to be the good guys,” said Tim Bowling, GAO’s chief quality officer. “That is to say, we’re able to provide useful information to congressional decision-makers and able to provide oversight for the federal government for the benefit of our citizens.”

    In his role, Bowling is responsible for ensuring GAO’s reports adhere to professional standards. “Quality is absolutely essential to who we are because people rely on us for telling it like it really is,” he added.

    ***

    “That can involve a wide variety of approaches — from a nationwide survey to an investigation at a particular installation,” Bowling said. “In some cases, there’s a lot of interviewing and paper research, data mining.”http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=741&sid=2793954

    GAO’s evolving role: From accounting to accountability

    Monday – 4/9/2012, 6:31am ET

    By Jack Moore

    ***

    In March 2006, a team of investigators at the Government Accountability Office used counterfeit documents to smuggle into the country enough radioactive material to create two dirty bombs. It was part of a reportdetailing gaps in security protections at the U.S. border.
    Last year, alone, the agency examined whether the Food Drug and Administration had done enough to assess the health risks of consuming raw oysters and conducted an undercover operation of for-profit online colleges.

    It’s all a far cry from the green eyeshade accountants that once peopled the General Accounting Office.

    A 2004 law realigning its compensation system also made a change to the very public face of the agency: it’s name. GAO would henceforth stand for Government Accountability Office.

    ***

    “Some might wonder why GAO felt a need to tinker with an institutional identity so strongly associated with government economy, efficiency and effectiveness,” then-Comptroller General David Walker, wrote in a July 2004 Roll Call op-ed. But GAO’s mission had evolved , he said.

    “Today, most GAO blue-cover reports go beyond the question of whether federal funds are being spent appropriately to ask whether federal programs and policies are meeting their objectives and the needs of society,” Walker wrote.

    **

    GAO produces nearly 1,000 reports a year, recommending improvements to government programs that are estimated to have saved billions. Last year, GAO estimates its recommendations saved $45.7 billion.

    “We get to look at all the issues that are facing the federal government and we also get to be the good guys,” said Tim Bowling, GAO’s chief quality officer. “That is to say, we’re able to provide useful information to congressional decision-makers and able to provide oversight for the federal government for the benefit of our citizens.”

    In his role, Bowling is responsible for ensuring GAO’s reports adhere to professional standards. “Quality is absolutely essential to who we are because people rely on us for telling it like it really is,” he added.

    ***

    “That can involve a wide variety of approaches — from a nationwide survey to an investigation at a particular installation,” Bowling said. “In some cases, there’s a lot of interviewing and paper research, data mining.”

  10. DXer said

    LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITORIAL, March 20, 2012
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-stevens-20120320,0,395588.story

    EDITORIAL
    Ted Stevens’ case, today
    One clear lesson from his trial is that we need a higher bar for prosecutors.

    *** Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is awaiting a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility — but in the meantime, Congress can make it harder for overzealous and negligent government lawyers to subject other defendants to the sort of outrageous ordeal Stevens endured.

    ***

    In 2009, citing concerns that prosecutors had failed to provide Stevens’ defense with potentially helpful evidence as required by a 1963 Supreme Court ruling, Holder asked a federal court to dismiss the charges and not proceed with a new trial. A fuller picture of the prosecutors’ lapses emerged last week with the release of a troubling 514-page report from a special counsel appointed by the judge in Stevens’ trial.

    The counsel, Henry F. Schuelke III, concluded that the investigation and prosecution of Stevens “were permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated Sen. Stevens’ defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.” For example, the government alleged that repairs to Stevens’ home were worth $250,000, $90,000 more than Stevens said he paid. But prosecutors didn’t disclose that Bill Allen, whose company did the work — and who testified against Stevens — had told the government the work was worth only $80,000.

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski, like Stevens an Alaska Republican, has introduced legislation that would require prosecutors to promptly provide to the defense any evidence that “may reasonably appear to be favorable to the defendant” — a stronger formulation than the Supreme Court used. Evidence gathered after the initial disclosure would have to be provided “as soon as is reasonably practicable.” If a court found that the prosecution had failed to disclose evidence, it could postpone proceedings, order a new trial or even dismiss the charges.

    Given long-standing complaints about prosecutors withholding evidence, Congress should have enacted such legislation without the goad of the Stevens case. But if it takes violations of the rights of a senator to produce action, so be it.

  11. DXer said

    The DOJ withheld the positive tests for Ames from Al Qaeda and from the remains of the hijackers from the NAS. If the prosecutors thought the findings were due to contamination at the FBI lab, that was all the more reason to produce the documents so as to have that conclusion confirmed by the independent experts on the NAS panel.

    The DOJ has withheld all the family’s 302s bearing on Dr. Ivins’ alibi and claim that he was asleep at home. (They can be redacted as necessary under exemptions under FOIA).

    The DOJ has withheld all forensic reports showing the photocopiers at USAMRIID were not of the brand and model used.

    The DOJ has withheld all forensic reports showing that there was no match to the ink, pen, paper, or tape used among the many hundreds of pages taken from Dr. Ivins home and office.

    So it’s nice that “prosecutors now take annual disclosure training.”

    And it is nice that we know Dr. Ivins did not kiss his prom date in high school, edited WIkipedia, used screen names while posting on the internet, and when his wife was out of town in the early 1980s, made some trips to steal a ritual book from a sorority or two.

    The DOJ and its proxies never disclosed that the USG’s key witness, the first counselor, received instructions of aliens every night in 2000, thought she had a microchip implanted in her butt, annotated the psychiatrist’s reports, and feared murderous astral entities were trying to murder her. If the public had been told that, it could have factored that in upon hearing her report that she thought Dr. Ivins was murderous in July 2000.

    The DOJ should have made the disclosure of relevant evidence favorable to Dr. Ivins — the Brady and Jencks material would have been included in its responses to FOIA requests.

    For example, the FBI removed the key lab notebook pages from the days in question from USAMRIID and as a result USAMRIID could not produce them under FOIA.

    Upon DOJ’s failure to produce such documents, the Government Accountability Office should do so.

    In particular and most importantly, the GAO should understand why none of the documents about Dr. Ivins work with rabbits — explaining his time in the lab — were produced. The GAO should understand why there is no mention of his work with rabbits in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary.

    There is a roadmap of the documents that the DOJ officials asked be pulled in John Peterson’s in-box. (and they can be retrieved from the server). A large group of DOJ and FBI officials participated in the vetting and culling of materials that were produced.

    The Federal Diary
    Joe Davidson
    Seeking justice at the Justice Department

    By Joe Davidson, Published: March 19

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about federal employees is their sense of mission. They are a dedicated bunch, serious about helping this nation meet its promise.

    This certainly is true of the many Justice Department employees I’ve met during years of covering Washington.

    So, last week’s report about the 2008 prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was particularly disgusting. Independent investigators depict poorly managed prosecutors intentionally subverting justice.

    Stevens’s conviction undoubtedly contributed to his reelection defeat, which would mean prosecutors also subverted the electoral process.

    The report has ramifications that go beyond the named prosecutors and law enforcement agents, whose misdeeds are finely detailed. It sullies the reputation of the department, emphasizes the need for better training and could affect employee morale.

    “People worry they are one inadvertent mistake away from having their careers ended,” said one Justice Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Aware of that concern, he added, the department does not want “to put them in a trick box so if they make an honest mistake their careers are over.”

    A former U.S. attorney, Matthew D. Orwig of Dallas, doesn’t think the Stevens case will produce a morale problem.

    “Very, very isolated cases that get a lot of attention will not change the way the average U.S. attorney operates,” he said. Every federal prosecutor he has dealt with in his private practice, he added, “has handled himself or herself very, very honorably.”

    That wasn’t the situation in the Stevens prosecution, where federal employees were the villains and the convicted person the victim.

    Stevens, in fact, might have been guilty. It’s hard to tell now because the actions of prosecutors led to his corruption conviction being thrown out. A federal judge held government lawyers in contempt for failing to provide certain information to his attorneys. Shortly after taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. assigned a new team to the Stevens case. What it found after the conviction led Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to dismiss the charges against Stevens in April 2009, at the government’s request and to the department’s credit.

    Under the law and department policy, prosecutors are required to provide defendants information favorable to them. Yet, the report by investigators Henry F. Schuelke III and William Shields is replete with examples of that not being done, examples they found “astonishing.”

    About one item that could have helped Stevens, the investigators wrote: “The complete, simultaneous and long term memory failure by the entire prosecution team, four prosecutors and the FBI case agent, of the same statement about an important document made at the same meeting by their key witness in a high profile case is extraordinary.”

    Schuelke and Shields said that “our investigation found evidence which compels the conclusion, and would prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that information “was intentionally withheld from the attorneys for Senator Stevens,” yet was insufficient to convict prosecutors of violating criminal contempt law.

    But the evidence is sufficient enough to shame the department.

    The dishonor done to the department is real. So is the department’s effort to right the wrong.

    That effort started in April 2009 and includes an extensive program to improve agency procedures and training of federal prosecutors and law enforcement officers. That month a working group was formed to evaluate policies and practices and to recommend improvements. A career prosecutor was appointed in January 2010 as a full-time czar overseeing disclosure practices in criminal cases.

    All federal prosecutors now take annual disclosure training. Rookie prosecutors go to a boot camp, which includes topics related to the issues that got the Stevens crew in trouble.

    Not only prosecutors, but also law enforcement officers such as FBI agents are trained. Last year, 26,000 law enforcement officers each had four hours of training (is that enough?) in criminal disclosure policies, and annual refresher courses were planned. In February, “train-the-trainer” programs were held to extend instruction to other agencies.

    “We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure prosecutors, agents and paralegals have the necessary training and resources to properly fulfill their discovery and ethics obligations,” said Laura Sweeney, a department spokeswoman.

    Justice Department officials insist problems in the Stevens case do not represent the usual way of doing business.

    Maybe not, but those on the other side of the courtroom view things differently.

    “The duty to provide favorable evidence has often been misunderstood or ignored,” Lisa Monet Wayne, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers president, said in a statement supporting legislation sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “Even well-intentioned prosecutors lack the clear statutory guidance necessary to ensure the full and prompt disclosure to the defense of favorable evidence. That lack of disclosure contributes to unjust and wrongful prosecutions and convictions.”

    Murkowski’s bipartisan bill would create a national standard for the early disclosure of information favorable to federal defendants.

    “This bill is not about seeking vindication for Ted,” she told reporters last week. “It’s about learning the vital lessons from the Justice Department’s failure of his prosecution and making our criminal justice system work the way our Constitution envisioned that it would.”

    • DXer said

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304692804577281852966541834.html

      ***

      What happened to Ted Stevens will keep happening to ordinary Americans unless judges change the rules.

      ***

      The two cases present a simple solution for dealing with prosecutorial misconduct: Thirty days before trial, or at some reasonable time, the trial judge should convene a conference and issue a specific order directing prosecutors to produce all evidence that “tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigate the offense,” as required by the American Bar Association’s ethics rules. This should include the requirement that prosecutors contact the relevant law-enforcement personnel to make certain all such evidence is disclosed as soon as possible.

      Issuing this order pretrial, at a time when most prosecutors are re-interviewing witnesses and reviewing their file, would encourage a more careful review of their case and their obligations. If prosecutors had a checklist similar to those the medical profession has used to dramatically reduce errors in intensive care units, they would not only discover more exculpatory evidence but develop valuable data about weaknesses in their evidence-gathering and evaluation processes.

      This proposal can be implemented tomorrow by every state and federal judge in the nation without the need for legislation. Ultimately, it will benefit prosecutors, defendants and the courts by eliminating any confusion surrounding the disclosure of exculpatory evidence.

      The Supreme Court has long held that a criminal conviction will not be reversed for failure to disclose exculpatory or impeaching evidence unless the appellate court finds that the undisclosed evidence was “material,” or so important that it “undermines confidence in the outcome of the trial.” It can be difficult for a prosecutor, particularly in the heat of battle, to decide before a trial whether undisclosed evidence that appears favorable to the defense will be considered “material” by appellate courts after a conviction.

      With this dilemma in mind, decades ago the American Bar Association promulgated an ethics rule which has been substantially adopted in 49 states, Guam and the District of Columbia: Prosecutors are obligated to make timely pretrial disclosure of any evidence they know about that “tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigate the offense.”

      A direct order by a judge to follow the ethics rule and disclose all evidence that “tends to negate guilt” will act as a deterrent to the overzealous prosecutor. Disobedience of a direct court order is contempt, which is an ongoing offense. So contempt prosecutions of unscrupulous prosecutors whose suppression of exculpatory evidence is discovered many years after the act won’t be derailed by statute-of-limitations problems (which have been a significant obstacle to prosecuting prosecutors).

      Most failures to disclose exculpatory evidence are the result of inadvertence or negligence, and their eventual discovery would not normally result in disciplinary actions, much less criminal charges. The importance of this order would be to hold prosecutors accountable in the most egregious cases—such as Stevens’s, in which the special prosecutor found not one but multiple instances where the prosecution “willfully” withheld information pointing to Stevens’s innocence.

      This simple proposal is not original or heretical. It has been raised in similar forms by many scholars and follows long-standing ABA policy. It does nothing more than provide a concrete way to enforce an ethics rule that our profession assures the public we follow, an ethical rule that protects our most cherished objective—a fair trial.

      Ms. Gertner, a former judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, teaches at Harvard Law School. Mr. Scheck is the co-director of the Innocence Project, a national organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals.

  12. DXer said

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/federal-prosecutors-need-to-play-fair-with-evidence/2012/03/16/gIQADXTMLS_story.html

    The Post’s View

    Federal prosecutors need to play fair with evidence

    By Editorial Board, Published: March 18

    A REPORT RELEASED last week lays out in shocking detail the government’s badly marred prosecution of the late senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Unforgivably, prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that could have helped the former senator refute corruption charges.

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. moved to dismiss the case against Mr. Stevens, who died in a 2010 airplane crash. But the lengthy report underlines the need to revamp rules governing the government’s handover of exculpatory evidence. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Mr. Stevens’s state of Alaska, has introduced a reform bill that should serve as a starting point for such discussion.

    Prosecutors are required to disclose “material” evidence that could plausibly help a defendant; this includes information that implicates a different culprit or that raises questions about the credibility of a government witness. The determination is left entirely to the prosecutor, and prosecutors may opt not to turn over information that at first blush appears beneficial to the defendant if they conclude it is not “material” to the case.

    Ms. Murkowski’s bill would mandate that prosecutors turn over all evidence in their possession that may “reasonably appear to be favorable to the defendant,” whether or not it is deemed material to the case. The bill allows prosecutors to seek judicial approval to withhold information that may harm national security or endanger victims or witnesses. Three federal court districts — two in Alabama and one in Florida — already require prosecutors in their jurisdictions to abide by such rules. The proposal is supported by a diverse coalition that includes the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Bar Association.

    While taking up Ms. Murkowski’s proposal, lawmakers should consider going further. “Open file discovery” would allow defense lawyers to review all evidence and make their own assessments. State prosecutors who have adopted this approach say they have experienced few, if any, problems.

    Justice Department officials worry that any changes could force the turnover of information that could endanger witnesses or victims or disseminate embarrassing but legally irrelevant information. They note that since the dismissal of the Stevens case, the department has ramped up training to ensure that all relevant material is turned over and has designated a top career prosecutor to coordinate these efforts full time. And the breach of existing rules — while abhorrent — is rare, they say: Of the roughly 800,000 cases prosecuted over the last decade, a mere 0.03 percent have resulted in discovery complaints against the department.

    Then again, that number is likely not a true reflection of the problem. What are the chances that a defendant, without the resources of a U.S. senator, would ever become aware of such improprieties?

    • DXer said

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/opinion/justice-after-senator-stevens.html
      Editorial

      Justice After Senator Stevens

      Published: March 18, 2012

      The Department of Justice has acknowledged pervasive prosecutorial misconduct in the corruption trial of the late Senator Ted Stevens. It needs to take an even closer look at the powers and responsibilities of its prosecutors, after a scathing new report on the case by a court-appointed investigator.

      The obligation of prosecutors to disclose evidence favorable to their adversaries is a cornerstone of justice. Yet in the conviction of Senator Stevens in 2008, vital evidence was concealed that would have “seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness,” according to the finding of Henry Schuelke, who conducted a two-and-a-half-year investigation.

      Mr. Stevens was found guilty of making false statements to hide gifts relating to a home renovation project, just days before he narrowly lost a re-election bid for a seventh term. The verdict was set aside five months later, after the new attorney general, Eric Holder, was alerted to evidence of pervasive prosecutorial misconduct. Mr. Stevens died the following year in a plane crash.

      The report found the prosecuting team went unsupervised, withheld documents and never conducted a review for exculpatory evidence. Their “complete, simultaneous and long-term memory failure” concerning a crucial witness with information backing the senator’s claim of innocence was “astonishing,” said Mr. Schuelke. But he concluded that contempt charges against team members — not all were found at fault — were not feasible because they did not receive an explicit reminder from a judge of their obligation to disclose evidence helpful to the defense.

      The Justice Department has intensified training of prosecutors on exculpatory policy. They are still allowed to decide what is “material” — a glaring temptation for concealment. The department should set a national standard by joining state and local governments that have adopted open-file requirements for prosecutors to be far more forthcoming about evidence favoring the defense. That is the only fitting postscript to the Stevens debacle.

      • DXer said

        http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/2012/03/19/senator-lisa-murkowski-is-on-the-right-track-but-her-idea-needs-work/

        Senator Lisa Murkowski is on the right track but her idea needs work

        by Greta Van Susteren Posted in: Senator Lisa Murkowski

        Mar 19 2012

        This has to do with FEDERAL prosecutions.

        I assume you all remember that Alaska’s US Senator Ted Stevens (who died in a plane crash) was convicted of serious crimes BECAUSE the Justice Department lawyers cheated — they were unethical. The outrageous behavior was so bad that Attorney General Holder moved to have the convictions dismissed. This never never never happens. Not only is it rare that an Attorney General would step in when there is misconduct by his prosecutors, but no defendant (except Senator Ted Stevens) has the money to hire a very, very, very aggressive defense attorney to expose the misconduct by the prosecutors.

        What DOES happen often (I have seen it happen with my own eyes) is that prosecutors withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense – evidence that materially casts doubt on the guilt of the accused – and that a defendant does not get the benefit (the fairness) of telling jury that is considering his or her guilt or not. That is horrible. It is unfair.

        Prosecutors are required to automatically turn exculpatory evidence over to the defense but that does not always happen — either because the prosecutors don’t see it as exculpatory (blinders and because some think just because you are arrested by the police you are guilty) or because they are crooked (Sen Stevens prosecution.) You know that is not right.

        Senator Lisa Murkowski (R/Alaska) wants to broaden the Federal exculpatory evidence rule – which is a start – but her idea needs work. She wants to change the current disclosure standard to mandate release of exculpatory evidence from ‘material’ to ‘reasonably appear to be favorable to the defendant.’ The problem? You still leave it up to the discretion of the prosecutor…the one who could have blinders or the one who could be unethical. I am not so sure what is so different from “material” to “reasonably appear” either.

        Second, once a prosecutor decided he was obligated to turn over the exculpatory evidence, he could still deny the defendant the evidence. Under the Murkowski proposal, the prosecutors could go to a judge and seek permission from the judge NOT to be required to release certain exculpatory evidence from the defense. How could that be fair? Hold back evidence which tends to show someone not guilty?

        Plus, let’s face it, not all judges (many who are ex prosecutors themselves) are perfect nor free of blinders….and they should not be unnecessarily added to the prosecution team (which this can have the effect of doing.)

        What should be done is to change the Federal prosecution system into a open discovery system like many states already have. It works there.

        PS – This post is not to take away from the thousands and thousands of good and decent prosecutors (or judges) who work hard every day to protect us or dispense justice. This post is designed to be practical and lead us to a solution that works and is fair – but to be fair, it must be fair to both sides.

  13. DXer said

    Department of Injustice

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577283371409080312.html

    The Justice lawyers were not all equally culpable—some withheld evidence; others failed to ensure that their subordinates honored the defendant’s basic rights. And while prosecutors acknowledge the violation of Stevens’s rights, they generally blame them on communication problems and other process errors rather than any intent to mislead the judge and jury.

    Comment: In Amerithrax, I would give everyone causing production of documents, however belated, to get a free pass. But in light of the anthrax threat the country faces, provable continued withholding of the 302s, emails etc. is unacceptable.

    • DXer said

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/03/sen-ted-stevens-prosecutors-hid-evidence-report-concludes/

      During the trial Stevens defense lawyers argued that Stevens paid $160,000 for the home renovations and did nothing wrong. The report highlights that the lead FBI case agent, Mary Beth Kepner, did not write reports following interviews with Bill Allen, who had asserted that the work only cost $80,000.
      “The value of VECO’s work on the Girdwood residence was $80,000, constituted significant …information. However, that information was not recorded in any [FBI reports] and was not disclosed to Williams & Connolly until 2009, after the trial, when the new team of prosecutors took over,” the report found.
      “The government introduced false business records to boost the value of renovations on the Senator’s Alaska home. It also hid from the defense the evidence needed to show that the value was much less than the government claimed, including evidence that its key witness disagreed with the government about the value of the renovations,” Stevens defense lawyers Brendan Sullivan and Robert Cary said in a statement.

      Comment: Here, someone hid the centrally relevant and exculpatory evidence that Dr. Ivins time in the lab was due to his work with the rabbits.
      No name at all is on the Amerithrax Investigative Summary.

      http://www.justice.gov/amerithrax/docs/amx-investigative-summary.pdf

      Kenneth Wainstein, where is the government accountability when low-level prosecutors are hung out to dry and “the buck stops here” is just a slogan used before Congress?

      • DXer said

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577283300224390684.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

        Matthew Menchel, a lawyer for Mr. Goeke, said the report’s assertions against his client were “against the weight of the evidence.” He said Mr. Goeke pushed higher-level prosecutors to turn over information to the defense, but “those superiors made the decision not to make those disclosures.”

        Comment: In Amerithrax, was AUSA Lieber forbidden to visit Al-TImimi because a deal had been cut with him, but then to her great credit did she go anyway?

      • DXer said

        Who would have more informed insights into the botching of Amerithrax than Ken Wainstein?

        Wainstein worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as General Counsel and as Chief of Staff to the FBI Director.[1] He was United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.[1]

        On September 26, 2006, he was sworn in as the Department of Justice’s Assistant Attorney General responsible for National Security.[2]

        Wainstein was appointed Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush on March 30, 2008. He was also Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council.

  14. DXer said

    “‘Astonishing’ Lapses in Ted Stevens Case, Long-Awaited Report Concludes,” March 15, 2012
    http://www.mainjustice.com/2012/03/15/astonishing-lapses-in-ted-stevens-case-long-awaited-report-concludes/

    “Last month, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who presided over the trial of then-senator in U.S. District Court in Washington, denounced the DOJ’s attempts to keep Schuelke’s findings from the public. Sullivan had commissioned the report in 2009, declaring that he didn’t trust the Justice Department to investigate itself.

    ” became apparent that prosecutors had withheld crucial evidence from defense lawyers, a cardinal sin in the world of criminal laws. Nor could the transgressions be explained away as honest mistakes, or as not really consequential. They were serious enough that Holder moved to have the charges against Stevens dismissed in 2009.”

    Comment:

    If GAO would obtain from John Peterson’s in-box the emails from the DOJ and FBI officials instructing on what emails should be pulled from the FOIA production, lady justice would collapse weeping at thought that the evidence supporting the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” was selectively managed and spun.

  15. DXer said

    In Post-Mortem Trial on Stevens Trial, Prosecutors Point Fingers At Senior At Criminal Division Leaders
    http://www.mainjustice.com/2012/03/15/in-post-mortem-on-stevens-trial-prosecutors-point-fingers-at-criminal-division-leaders/

    The lawyer for a key prosecutor, Ken Wainstain, was formerly in charge of Amerithrax as he served various key positions at the DOJ, US Attorney’s Office and White House. What are his insights on any parallels with Amerithrax?

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