The Washington Post reports that district cort judge Emmett Sullivanheld three DoJ lawyers in contempt for withholding information from Senator Stevens' defense attorneys.
Stevens and his lawyers complained during the trial about prosecutors withholding information. In December, they asked for his conviction to be tossed out. As part of their request, they asked for the documents related to Joy.
During yesterday's hearing, Sullivan repeatedly asked three Justice Department lawyers sitting at the prosecution's table whether they had some reason not to turn over the documents. They finally acknowledged they did not, and Sullivan exploded in anger.
"That was a court order," he bellowed. "That wasn't a request. I didn't ask for them out of the kindness of your hearts. . . . Isn't the Department of Justice taking court orders seriously these days?"
He said he did not want to get "sidetracked" by deciding a sanction immediately and would deal with their punishment later. But he ordered them to produce the material by the end of the day.
"That's outrageous for the Department of Justice — the largest law firm on the planet," he said. "That is not acceptable in this court."
Sullivan held all three lawyers at the table in contempt and demanded repeatedly to know who else was involved in withholding the information. Another government lawyer sitting in the back of the courtroom stood up and gave her name.
UPDATE: "Upon reflection" Judge Sullivan removed the contempt finding for one of the four DoJ attorneys. Details at BLT.
Related Posts (on one page):
- DoJ Removes Stevens' Prosecution Team:
- Sen. Stevens Prosecutors Held in Contempt: