Murkowski to AG Holder: “Is this Really Harsh Discipline?”

Senator Continues to Seek Answers and Accountability from Department of Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s questioning of FBI Director Comey last week on the punishment meted out to an agent who broke the law during the Ted Stevens investigation, she picked up this line of questioning again today with Attorney General Eric Holder.  In a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Murkowski asked Holder what disciplinary actions have been taken against the FBI agent or the Justice Department prosecutors involved in the “miserable prosecution that brought Senator Ted Stevens down.”

Quoting FBI Director Comey’s testimony to Attorney General Holder, Senator Lisa Murkowski raised the question of just what constitutes a “severely disciplined” agent, and asked Holder whether she can receive the internal paperwork from the investigation of the ethics breaches within the FBI.  “It is important that we know what happened.”


(Murkowski confronts Attorney General Holder about ethics breaches in DOJ – Click to watch.)

Holder responded to Murkowski that he will support the efforts to get the paperwork turned over to the Committee, and that the attorneys involved in the Ted Stevens investigation have been “sanctioned” for their actions during the case and have appealed that decision. 

Murkowski then asked for confirmation from Holder that this meant they still worked in the Justice Department to this day, and he acknowledged “yes.”  Murkowski’s concluding response, making reference back to Comey’s testimony, was “Well, I would question ‘Is this really ‘harsh discipline?”

BACKGROUND: In the years since the Attorney General threw the entire case and verdict out on April 1st, 2009, the investigation of Senator Ted Stevens has been found to have involved a laundry list of unethical behavior by federal agents and prosecutors who played “hide the ball” with crucial evidence and “prosecutorial and other law enforcement misconduct,” according to Judge Emmett Sullivan who presided over the case.