UPDATE: (4/24 @ 12:42 p.m.) A lawyer involved in the case has informed us that Steptoe & Johnson's Brian Heberlig, not Reid Weingarten, is representing Edward Sullivan. I regret the error.
UPDATE:(4/23 @ 11:04 a.m.) DOJ spokeswoman Laura Sweeney tells us that the department will fund the defense of all six prosecutors -- up to $200/hr not to exceed 120 billable hours (or $24,000) per month.
Also, The BLT has heard from several lawyers that Steptoe & Johnson's Reid Weingarten is representing prosecutor Ed Sullivan. Weingarten adds plenty of ballast to the team. He's represented scores of public officials (e.g. he's currently defending former Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) against corruption charges) and he's a close personal friend of the attorney general.
UPDATE: (6:46 p.m.): A lingering question for the The BLT and others is whether the Justice Department will pay for the prosecutors' legal defense. We've been waiting on an answer from DOJ, but in the meantime, Patton Boggs' Robert Luskin has given us something to nibble on. His client, Nicholas Marsh, has asked the department for assistance, Luskin says. The DOJ's retention agreement (pdf.) stipulates that lawyers with five or more years of experience may be reimbursed up to $200 an hour -- not to exceed 120 billable hours a month. For some perspective, that's less than a first-year associate at a major D.C. firm bills.
The aftermath of the now-dismissed case of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens -- a court-ordered criminal contempt investigation of the six lawyers who handled the prosecution -- is drawing some of Washington’s heaviest hitters into the fray.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. dropped the case against Stevens earlier this month, and U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan appointed Henry Schuelke III to investigate Public Integrity Section chief William Welch II; his principal deputy, Brenda Morris; Public Integrity Prosecutors Nicholas Marsh and Edward Sullivan; and Alaska-based assistant U.S. attorneys Joseph Bottini and James Goeke.
Patton Boggs partner Robert Luskin, who guided former Bush adviser Karl Rove through grand jury proceedings in the case involving outed CIA officer Valerie Plame, is representing Marsh, Luskin tells The BLT. Luskin is known for his work supervising the ABSCAM investigation -- which resulted in the convictions of six members of Congress on corruption charges. More recently, he represented Massey Energy’s Aracoma Coal Co. subsidiary, which admitted to criminal safety violations that caused the deaths of two Logan County coal miners in a January 2006 fire.
Bottini has selected O’Melveny & Myers partner Kenneth Wainstein, a former U.S. attorney in the District, who most recently served as President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser. Wainstein was the first assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and he has close ties to Mary Patrice Brown, the new head of the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which is handling a parallel investigation into the prosecutors’ conduct.
According to several Washington lawyers following the case, Welch has paired up with Zuckerman Spaeder partner William Taylor III, who successfully defended the former president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee against federal bribery charges. He also led the late Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) through ethics proceedings stemming from the collapse of Lincoln Savings & Loan.
Morris, these lawyers say, has been in discussions with another former top prosecutor, Hogan & Hartson’s Chuck Rosenberg. Rosenberg, who resigned as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia last year, also served as chief of staff to then-Deputy Attorney Jim Comey, counselor to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, and counsel to FBI Director Robert Mueller III.
Sullivan and Goeke. (We've heard Goeke may be looking to New York for his counsel.)