It looks like I spoke too soon when I wrote this:
It looks like taxpayers will finally get some revenge for the bridge to nowhere. Even in Washington, it's sometimes possible to be too stupid or too greedy. Senator Stevens has apparently reached that boundary.
Apparently, There Is Such A Thing As Being Too Greedy
Today, TPM Muckraker reports:
The judge in the Ted Stevens case has granted the government's motion to drop the charges against the former Alaska senator -- but not before slamming the government prosecutors on the case.
"In nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said at a hearing on the government's motion, reports the Associated Press.
Dismissing Charges, Stevens Judge Slams Government Misconduct
Among other things, the prosecutors are accused of not providing potential exculpatory evidence to Stevens' defense. New Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to drop this case was, in light of the sort of criticism Judge Sullivan leveled at the prosecution, fully warranted.
Sadly, Stevens will go free, but at least he won't be talking nonsense in the Senate anymore.
UPDATE: Christy Hardin Smith reports at FireDogLake that Judge Sullivan has started legal proceedings against the prosecutors in the Stevens case:
An outside appointment of an independent prosecutor under these circumstances where conflict of interest is raised is not uncommon, but from what I've heard it was not announced prior to today's proceedings which is a little unusual. That says the Judge was pissed by whatever was in documents he ordered DOJ to turnover regarding further misconduct allegations that Holder found so objectionable when he issued his indictment dismissal.
Restoring Integrity To Justice
As Christy goes on to mention, the DoJ has had its reputation damaged considerably by the excesses of the last Administration. The rebuilding process will be long and will probably involve more actions like this.