AG to Murkowski: I Will Appeal Stevens Prosecutors “Given a Pass”

Murkowski: Alaskans Wonder if There’s Any Justice at the Department of Justice

WASHINGTON, DC — Over a year after a team of Department of Justice prosecutors was found to have hidden evidence and other  professional misconduct in the trial of Senator Ted Stevens and months after the punishment meted out to them was overturned, Senator Lisa Murkowski questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the matter and asked if he planned to allow this dubious decision to stand, because she said it seems to Alaskans that while some inside the DoJ were found accountable, many higher-ups “were given a pass.”  This exchange occurred earlier today at a 2014 DOJ budget hearing held by Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Effectively, the Department threw out the punishment that was imposed on the two assistant attorneys and that was extraordinarily troubling to us Alaskans,” began Murkowski.  “The question to you, Mr. Attorney General is do you think the decision to throw out the discipline that was imposed on these prosecutors was fair? Are you going to be appealing this? Where are we with this? Alaskans are left dangling out there wondering if there is any justice out there – and they think not.”

(Senator Murkowski: Were Department of Justice attorneys “given a pass?” – CLICK to watch)

Holder informed Murkowski that he strongly disagreed with the decision to overturn the punishment on the DoJ team, saying “While I have respect for the people who made that decision, I disagree with it and my expectation is that we will be appealing it.”

Later in the same exchange, Holder was more emphatic.  “We have a disciplinary system in place that works and is adequate, but I disagree with the way we conducted the disciplinary system.  We followed the rules and came up with a disciplinary sanction that was appropriate given the misconduct that was found and we will be appealing the board’s determination.”