Sen. Ted Stevens prosecution poorly done, report states
Stevens' attorney Brendan Sullivan "was not aware when he gave his opening statement, and never learned during or after the trial, that the prosecutors possessed evidence that directly corroborated Sen. Stevens' defense," the report said.
"The prosecutors never disclosed" that the foreman for the renovation "had the same understanding and belief as Sen. Stevens and his wife."
The government's star witness, Bill Allen, the millionaire founder of an Alaska company that supported oil producers called VECO Corp., testified that he oversaw extensive renovations at Stevens' home and sent his employees to work on it.
Stevens' defense was that the senator and his wife understood that VECO's costs for its employees' work on the renovation were included in the bills the senator received.
"The statements by the foreman, Rocky Williams, corroborated a defense which the prosecutors had anticipated for over a year," said the report.
Yet none of the information provided to prosecutors in their interviews of Williams was written down. Instead, the only information that was written down was helpful to the prosecution and "gave a misimpression of the substance of what Mr. Williams had said during the interview," the report added.
The report by Schuelke prompted Stevens' lawyers to say Thursday that "the government hid critical witness statements that would have bolstered the testimony of both the senator and Catherine Stevens."
A few days before the trial began, and after Williams did poorly on a mock cross-examination conducted by one of the prosecutors, the prosecutors determined that Williams was in poor health and needed medical attention in Alaska, and they returned him to Alaska on Sept. 25, 2008, the day opening statements were given, the report said.
Two of the prosecutors never disclosed, and Stevens' legal team never learned, that Williams told prosecutors repeatedly that he had the same understanding as Stevens and his wife - that VECO's expenses were supposed to be included in the bills, said the report.
In their statement Thursday, Stevens' legal team said that the government "even sent the witness back to Alaska so that the witness providing these statements would not testify."
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.