FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Sen. Ted Stevens is asking the Justice Department to investigate the conduct of federal prosecutors who participated in the trial that led to his conviction for lying about home renovations and gifts he received from a wealthy businessman.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Tuesday that Stevens attorney Brendan Sullivan requested an investigation into "numerous, serious constitutional violations" by government prosecutors.
In the letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Sullivan asked that immediate steps be taken to preserve all Justice Department information related to its investigation and prosecution of Stevens. He also asked Mukasey to pull the prosecution team from any further involvement with the case.
"We believe that an impartial investigator looking at this case with an eye toward the administration of justice would be shocked at the conduct of this prosecution team," the letter says.
The attorney alleges in the request that prosecutors knowingly presented false evidence to the jury in Washington, which found Stevens guilty Monday of seven felony counts.
"Senator Stevens' trial was irretrievably tainted by the prosecution team's zeal to convict a high-profile but innocent defendant," the letter says.
The letter was delivered to the attorney general Tuesday morning. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the department would have no comment. Sullivan's office did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
Stevens, 84, has steadfastly maintained his innocence after a federal grand jury indicted him in July on charges that he lied on financial disclosure forms.
Stevens, the Senate's longest-serving Republican, demanded a speedy trial, hoping for exoneration in time for him to fight a serious threat to his seat by Mark Begich, a Democrat and the mayor of Anchorage.
Sullivan's letter notes that several times during the trial, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan criticized the federal Office of Public Integrity and "specifically found that the government had engaged in intentional misconduct."
The letter also alleges that prosecutors must have known testimony by Bill Allen, former VECO head, was fabricated, but used it anyway.
Allen is the former head of oilfield services company VECO. The financial disclosure reports Stevens lied on concerned home remodeling work and gifts from VECO.