“It is a subject that I think touches all of us, because Ted Stevens touched all of us, and what happened with that Department of Justice investigation was a travesty,” Murkowski said in the Feb. 23 session. “A prosecution is supposed to be about bringing about justice, not just bringing about conviction, and they failed in that. And our government failed, and it tipped the balance of power in the United States Senate, and Ted Stevens is no longer with us.”
Because of the investigation, Stevens was defeated by Democrat Mark Begich in the 2008 election. Democrats picked up eight seats that cycle.
Last Thursday, Murkowski pressed Attorney General Eric Holder in an Appropriations subcommittee hearing to answer questions about the DOJ’s conduct in the case and the reported $1.8 million in fees spent by the government to defend the prosecutors in the botched Stevens proceedings. She also asked Holder whether he supports the public airing of the independent investigation, given that one of the prosecutors involved is seeking an emergency order to block the document from being released.
Holder defended the department, saying prosecutors held different views of how the investigation was conducted and that it is not without precedent for the department to spend money defending its prosecutors against allegations.
“Given the issues that we found there, magnitude of the case and, frankly, the magnitude of the errors that led me to decide to dismiss the case, there is a legitimate public interest in knowing as much as we can about what happened, why it happened, what steps the Justice Department has taken in connection with these findings of misconduct,” Holder said.