Stevens Mistrial?!

2 10 2008

Is it possible that the VP debate won’t be the biggest story in Alaska politics today?

The case against Sen. Ted Stevens threatened to collapse today when his attorney demanded a mistrial or dismissal of charges over the failure of the government to turn over evidence favorable to Stevens.

The chief prosecutor in the case apologized and called the error a mistake – though she asserted Stevens’ rights weren’t violated.

But for the second time in a week, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan reprimanded the government, this time accusing it of directly violating his orders. He sent the jury home for the day and ordered both sides to submit briefs on whether he should send jurors home for good.

A hearing is set for 4:30 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m. Alaska time) to determine whether to drop the case, declare a mistrial or continue on. A mistrial would allow the government to try Stevens again.

Man. That panda tie may have been lucky after all…. I’ll post more as I know.

UPDATE:  Trial Continues!

WASHINGTON – Prosecutors have seriously bungled evidence and witnesses, but Sen. Ted Stevens’ corruption trial will proceed as planned, a federal judge ruled this afternoon.

The case against the Alaska Republican had threatened to collapse earlier in the day when his attorney demanded a mistrial or dismissal of charges over the government’s failure to turn over evidence favorable to the senator.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan was angered at prosecutors for their handling of evidence that might help Stevens’ case but was “not persuaded” the violations were serious enough to declare a mistrial. The trial will resume Monday.

Judge Sullivan asked whether the defense attorneys wanted a few extra days before continuing with the trial and suggested they could make a new opening statement to jurors.

“Thank you for asking, but we believe there should be a dismissal,” said Stevens’ chief lawyer, Brendan Sullivan. “If not a dismissal, then a mistrial.”

The chief prosecutor in the case apologized and called her team’s oversight a mistake, though she asserted that Stevens’ rights weren’t violated. The defense team was looking for weaknesses and found one, said Brenda Morris, the lead prosecutor on the Justice Department team.


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37 responses

2 10 2008
PDX MB

Gee, I get to be first. What to say about Stevens? Seems like a waste of taxpayer $$ to throw the guy in jail. Pretty pathetic all the way around.

2 10 2008
dunkelberg

You don’t think the Bush justice department would throw a trial do you? Or, do you?
Hmmmm.

2 10 2008
eyes wide open

Are the prosecutors as qualified for their jobs as Sarah is for VP (or even, dare we say it? Yes! for Governor?) Sounds like it.

2 10 2008
SMR

The primary reason that I hope Stevens gets off: So that he can get to work tearing scarah down! Since she’s abandoned him in his hour of need I think he should return the favor!

2 10 2008
Cronopio

SMR do you really think he’d go after Palin? I don’t, but then, I’m not Alaskan. I’d love to hear Mudflats’ take on this!

2 10 2008
NoCalGal

AKM you never cease to amaze me (though you do delight me!) with your instant information…. I feel so informed whenever I pop in here, and you always have the news first…

Thanks!

2 10 2008
cal al

Stevens with a panda tie….why not polar bears?

I almost hopes he gets off as well…her hasn’t done that much more then any other greedy politician and I also want him to have something left so that he can go after Silly-scarey Sara

Some pre-debate humor…beware there is A LOT of swearing involved…

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-biden-ought-to-say-rude-version-if.html

2 10 2008
Engine Nighthawk Palin

Bot revealing that evidence was poor form. I think the trial is over.

2 10 2008
Susie in Jersey

The United States Department of Justice has lost many decisions of late. It appears that either they just are not prepared or are so overconfident that they believe jurors will accept their evidence and find for the prosecution.

To my way of thinking, it’s a trickle down effect from GWB and his Attorneys General – how many has he had now? We can do no wrong.

2 10 2008
Sue

It is not just the oil companies who do. not. care. It is McCain, Cheney, Bush, and all the corporate executives they have been enriching with their last 8 years of legislation. These people are cold-hearted, me-first, greedy, vengelful, scumbags; they have been running our country for 8 years. How ANYONE could still vote for them is beyond me.

Oh yeah–I forgot to mention that our illustrious Senate added more tax cuts for these cold-hearted scumbags in order to get that wonderful bail-out passed. : (

2 10 2008
Peggno in SoCal aka Seagull Junker Palin

When I wrote to the Alaska legislators about releasing the Branchflower investigation results, I pointed out that the prosecution in the Stevens case was possibly going to be held to blame for a mistrial because they withheld evidence. I suggested that the Alaska legislators should not follow suit and withhold information from the American voters. Whether it exonerates or implicates Governor Palin (I was polite and formal in my e-mail!), only an informed citizenry can vote with intelligence. Democracy demands no less.
Wonder if they’ll get it?

2 10 2008
bPoint

Today’s Troopergate hearing has ended, with the judge taking the case under advisement.

Lawyers in the case said they expect state Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski to rule today, or Friday at the latest.

The state attorney general has asked Michalski to issue a temporary restraining order to block subpoenas in the legislative investigation of whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in trying to get state trooper Mike Wooten, her ex-brother-in-law, fired. Also before Michalski is a petition by five Republican state legislators to stop the Legislature’s investigation.

2 10 2008
mvngfwd

Good Afternoon Mudpals! I greet you this afternoon with great news from Florida….

A little background is needed for this story. My husband has a friend whose family is very conservative, very rich ($200 mill+), and against every cause I believe in basically. Over the years they have enjoyed engaging me in heated debate (I usually win since I do my homework;) and we have agreed to disagree on many occasions.

Well, this morning my husband got a call from this friend and he said he was at the local Democratic office to change his voter registration. When my husband asked why he said “I’ve had it…I just can’t vote for that crazy B%^*@h and I think McCain has lost it. We are willing to pay 5% more in taxes if it means keeping that lunatic out of the White House. I’m not saying I am voting FOR Obama but our votes will be going to him”. This means 8 formerly Rep Florida votes will be moving to the Obama side. I also know that this guy has a big mouth and will probably tell everyone he knows about it too. Then, still basking in that ray of sunshine, I get another call from a friend in Aventura (Jewish stronghold here) and he tells me that his friend Sy (whom I have also been “educating”) said he just can’t vote for McCain so he might not vote at all. He mentioned that he and his set (Jewish seniors) are afraid of Palin too. I still have 30 days to help him decide on Obama but at least I know McCain will not be getting his vote.

I realize that the election is still 30+ days away but I see a trend here in Florida and I LIKE IT! I’ll have said it before and I will say it again “Keep the light shining Mudpuppies because it is working”.

ps- love the baby panda!

2 10 2008
Sparky

McCain giving up on Michigan
Repubican officials say candidate is shifting resources away from the state

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26995047/

woohooooooo!

As Barack Obama speaks at a rally at Calder Plaza with a crowd estimated at nearly 16,000 people in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Thursday.

2 10 2008
MassWhole

This is bogus. What is supposedly exculpatory evidence actually undermines the defense argument that Cat Stevens was in charge of the finances and billing for the renovation. The handwritten note from Allen proves that Teddy Tubes and not Cat was responsible for the project since he asked for a bill. Now, he may have included a CYA note just in case, but if so, why didn’t he pay the money to Allen/Vecco.

2 10 2008
Sparky

McCain giving up on Michigan
Repubican officials say candidate is shifting resources away from the state

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a rally at Calder Plaza with a crowd estimated at nearly 16,000 people in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Thursday.

wooohoooo!

2 10 2008
Sparky

oops, sorry, here is the link

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26995047/

Go Obama/Biden

2 10 2008
Sue

@mvngfwd Thank you for such uplifting news! It is wonderful to see people start using their brains when they vote! : )

2 10 2008
karen marie

palin can’t get a break!

Initial Findings Released:
Alaska’s National Guard Has Reached a Crisis Point, Veterans for America Finds

VFA’s National Guard Program just completed a week in the state reviewing the needs of Alaska’s citizen-Soldiers and the resources in place to meet them. The needs of Alaska’s Guard members and their families far outstrip the available help.

Many of the Alaska’s Guard members have been deployed, and redeployed, despite the shortage of care and treatment available upon their return. With more than one-quarter of Alaska’s Guard members living 60 miles or more from a Veterans Affairs facility, many rarely if ever get treatment they need. Travel to Anchorage alone can cost more than $1,500 for each Guard member – an upfront cost too burdensome for many to shoulder, even if they are eventually reimbursed. With the economy worsening, the costs to Guard families for their own healthcare will mount and even fewer will receive treatment.

We owe our citizen-Soldiers better than this.

go here for the whole article: http://www.veteransforamerica.org/2008/10/01/initial-findings-releasedalaska%E2%80%99s-national-guard-has-reached-a-crisis-point-veterans-for-america-finds/

and thanks to crooks & liars for frontpaging this. http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/10/02/alaskan-national-guard-reaches-a-crisis-point/

2 10 2008
PDX MB

mvngfwd (12:40:29) :

Good Afternoon Mudpals! I greet you this afternoon with great news from Florida….
*********

Thanks for sharing. I’ve been in an increasingly heated debate w/my repub cousin in S. Illinois. Per advice on earlier AKM posts, I’ve kept to the issues and facts. I’ve respectfully read the links she sends, and followed up on the stuff that she is so fearful of (mostly Obama’s Chicago machine connections and his community organizing links to Bill Ayers, ACORN, Saul Alinsky). Thanks to her, I’m much better educated. I asked her, bottom line what she is so fearful of, and she returned the question. I responded w/as much fact as I could, but had to mix in my core values along w/my fact-based opinions about McCain and Palin, all as respectfully as I could manage to be.

OMG, I got an earful. As is her pattern she ignores my rebuttals and jumps onto the next pissy little thing she’s picked up from faux news. Then she sent me an email about Obama’s supposed econ advisors. Just for drill, I went to snopes and factcheck, who both debunked the email (snopes had the verbatim email). I sent her the link. Her response: “Thanks for the site. But you can probably guess while that info is important to know, I still am not convinced he’s my man or party for that matter.”

Okay, so she’s not exactly switching parties, but I can tell I’m wearing her down. She thinks Bill O is fair and balanced… What can I say, we take whatever we can get…

Soldier on, fellow mudpuppies! You keep me going, altho I’m getting absolutely NO work done…

2 10 2008
SMR

Do I really think that he will tear Scarah down? Once she is back in AK after Nov 4th, I do think he will do so. What he will say in the interim is anyone’s guess. I would guess that he is pretty ticked off about her antics up here & as mclame’s partner in crime. His popularity has stemmed, in large part, from his ability to get AK more than its fair share of earmark dollars. Now scarah has blown the lid off of that, and there are lots of comments on sites wondering why Alaskans get so many tax dollars. That is a completely legit concern, and I have long wished that we could have a personal income tax or at least no PFD here so that this state would not be so overrun with end-of-the-roaders. So, she has undermined his strength as our senator, and has further refused to come out in support of him during this mess and has done everything but call him one of the “good ole boys” that she’s set herself up as being against (but not really against when it comes down to it). That’s my take on the situation as an Alaskan, and I do look forward to watching the fireworks here in AK post-Nov 4th.

But what I really came here to post was this little tidbit from Yahoo (add the http that I’ve stripped to get this through the filter): ://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/14220

The new plan is to attack Biden? Quelle surprise! That’s supposed to be a new plan? Hasn’t she been hateful and vitriolic and attacking everyone since Day 1 speech at RNC??? Of course by now Biden has had ample time to do some research on the issues that she has lied about so he can return the favor. Is this debate going to be wild, or what?

2 10 2008
cal al

This is link offered by a Palin supporter.

Is there any truth in it? and if so can she really be playing dumb in order to lower expectations?

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13979

2 10 2008
Sue

@cal al All this article shows me is that its author is better qualified to run for VP than Palin is. Does Palin know any of the information in the article? I’m betting not. She has been consistent in her lack of knowledge about EVERYTHING, not just about foreign policy. She doesn’t even seem to know her own running-mate’s policies. Even if she does a medicore job tonight, thereby looking wonderful to her followers, she still does not have the intelligence or the temperment to be our VP.

2 10 2008
Sue

mediocre? I am proposing 2 rules:

#1 All spelling errors are typos.
#2 Typos don’t count.

Any objections? : )

2 10 2008
Tonya_Okla

A little off topic…..The Obama’s 16th Anniversary

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/02/obama-reveals-
anniversary_n_131305.html

I noticed in the comments people are sending $16 to his campaign. Sounds like a great idea to me!!

2 10 2008
akbearable

mvngfwd: “I realize that the election is still 30+ days away but I see a trend here in Florida and I LIKE IT! I’ll have said it before and I will say it again “Keep the light shining Mudpuppies because it is working”.

Great news mvngfwd. In the more recent elections I believe there was a reverse trend to what we are seeing today. In other words, before we would see the Dem president candidate with a 20 point lead evaporate by the time of the general election due in large part to dirty pool by Rove and the others.. It would appear the reverse is going on, the more people see McCain trying in vain to act like the big shot, being reckless and taking huge risks and barely containing his anger, which seems to be giving voters on both sides the jitters. Including me! I hope this is finally the year we send the message to the Republicans that we are tired of the BS, the Contract with America, and other failed policies that benefit the rich at the cost of everyone else.

2 10 2008
cal al

Tonya_Okla (13:22:22)

You got there ahead of me!

I was just reading and article from the PBS site in which they stat the fact that Roosevelt did indeed appear on TV…embracing the new media just as he embraced radio during the great depression.
There is something so smart about that and it is exactly what the Obama Campaign has done.

The Obama camp has used the Internet very well. In fact, I believe that the strategy has diminished the effect of right wing radio.

2 10 2008
BullwinkleCringing

WOW Rude Pundit could have been listening to my multiple rants LOL

2 10 2008
VP, Flat Earth Society

cal al – how could you expect anything else from a rag such as the American Spectator – an ultra-uber-right publication. Here’s the table of contents for their current issue. I like the one that intimates that Obama will encourage 125,000 more abortions. Rabid dogs still writing their childish scare-mongering articles. A page right out of the Nazi propoganda manual.

Obama’s Fishy $200 Million
Washington Prowler
Who will investigate before Election Day? Also: Barney and Fannie.
The Prowler, 10/2/2008 12:08:46 AM

Maddening for Madisonians
Streetcar Line
Threats to the civic order, including the Senate’s effort to play mob boss.
Quin Hillyer, 10/2/2008 12:08:30 AM

Alaskan Foreign Policy
Another Perspective
Something to remember tonight: Sarah Palin, like any Alaska governor, is certainly more cosmopolitan in world outlook than her insular colleagues in the lower 48.
James P. Lucier, 10/2/2008 12:08:25 AM

Championing Obama
The Current Crisis
The rookie has no experience, but his wacky fans think he’s been MVP for more than a decade.
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., 10/2/2008 12:08:11 AM

Obama’s Gift to America
Special Report
125,000 new abortions each year.
Matt Bowman, 10/2/2008 12:08:06 AM

The Bible vs. the Bailout
The Nation’s Pulse
What part of “Thou shalt not steal” don’t they understand?
Robert Stacy McCain, 10/2/2008 12:07:58 AM

Opportunity Knocks
Reader Mail
If only McCain knew. Democrat readers cry foul. Will common sense ever come back? Mother Nature lives cute in Quito. Keeping up with Diane. Plus more.
10/2/2008 12:01:53 AM

RightWingStuff.com – Conservative T-Shirts Republican Tees

2 10 2008
cal al

VP, Flat Earth Society (13:40:32)

I guess that the fact is that I had not linked to that site before..I apologise for my ignorance. Still they did seem to make a couple of good points about Alaska’s global position.

Here is another off topic issue which you can actually look up in the army times

WHY IS AN ‘URBAN COMBAT’ ARMY UNIT DEPLOYING WITHIN THE U.S.?

What about the Posse Comitatus Act? Why is a U.S. Army unit skilled in Iraqi urban combat deploying in the U.S. on Oct. 1st, the first ever domestic deployment of an active army unit stateside?

Why has the mainstream media failed to explore this deployment, and the status of the Posse Comitatus Act?

Army Times says this unit will be assigned to assist in quelling domestic disturbances, using “non-lethal weapons.” Are these radiation-emitting, silent “directed energy weapons”? Is this the vanguard of a coming police state?

2 10 2008
Hick Town in W PA

For some real humor about Palin read Dana Milbanks humor discussion. What a hoot! ..http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/09/29/DI2008092901997.html?hpid=discussions

2 10 2008
VP, Flat Earth Society

cal al – i read that not too long ago. it’s quite telling i think. Especially the part that they may be used for ‘crowd control’ and ‘protestors’. October surprise, do you think?

2 10 2008
Woods Corp P. (Woodie)

AKM,

Thank you for the Trial update…YeeeHaw!

You are perhaps the most competent and one-the-spot blogger I have ever read!.

Your prose and other forms of writing are superb. Many people have commented about excellent writing abilities.

Let that praise go straight to your head and deservedly gloat while you write your next allegorical Alaskan gem.

2 10 2008
cal al

Where is the press on this the issue of and “urban combat” army?

I have only gotten this information from other bloggers and on the armytimes site itself.

And aren’t there more units needed in Afghanistan?

Here is the entire posting:

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

“Right now, the response force requirement will be an enduring mission. How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not they continue to assign them to NorthCom, that could change in the future,” said Army Col. Louis Vogler, chief of NorthCom future operations. “Now, the plan is to assign a force every year.”

The command is at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the soldiers with 1st BCT, who returned in April after 15 months in Iraq, will operate out of their home post at Fort Stewart, Ga., where they’ll be able to go to school, spend time with their families and train for their new homeland mission as well as the counterinsurgency mission in the war zones.

Stop-loss will not be in effect, so soldiers will be able to leave the Army or move to new assignments during the mission, and the operational tempo will be variable.

Don’t look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

The 1st of the 3rd is still scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan in early 2010, which means the soldiers will have been home a minimum of 20 months by the time they ship out.

In the meantime, they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.

“I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds … it put me on my knees in seconds.”

The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home … and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”

While soldiers’ combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances don’t apply.

“If we go in, we’re going in to help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris, restore normalcy and support whatever local agencies need us to do, so it’s kind of a different role,” said Cloutier, who, as the division operations officer on the last rotation, learned of the homeland mission a few months ago while they were still in Iraq.

Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time they’ll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment training. That’s because the unit will continue to train and reset for the next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example, all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the extent of the need and the specialties involved.

Other branches included
The active Army’s new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD response package.

Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the interservice event.

In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C.

There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

One of the things Vogler said they’ll be looking at is communications capabilities between the services.

“It is a concern, and we’re trying to check that and one of the ways we do that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make sure we have interoperability,” he said.

“I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they’re called,” Cloutier said. “It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home.”

2 10 2008
strangelet (Wesson Scalper Palin)

@cal al (12:30:00) :

>>Stevens with a panda tie….why not polar bears?

He’s afraid Sarah would endanger him.

2 10 2008
sauerkraut aka Road Apple Palin

What was the nature of the supposedly exculpatory evidence supposedly withheld by the prosecution? As to the prosecutor, is he a political appointee or a career prosecutor? The appointee would be much more susceptible to political considerations and manipulation from Washington.

People are still surprised that our veterans returning from Iraq can poor quality health care?? Where have you folks been?

3 10 2008
Engine Nighthawk Palin

@cal al: this stateside rotation is giving soldiers the opportunity to finish their enlistments and to discharge. This is a GOOD thing: the Stop Loss program will not apply to this unit. It is one CBT, and has a specific mission for emergency response duty.

Also, on topic of the thread, I saw last night that the judge has ruled that the Stevens trial will continue.




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