Judge Emmet Sullivan today dismissed the indictment against former Alaskan Sen. Ted Stevens with prejudice -- but the case is hardly over for the Justice Department.
Dissatisfied with the pace of DOJ's internal investigation into the bungled prosecution, Sullivan said today that he would commence criminal contempt proceedings against the original trial team and their supervisor, and appoint a non-government lawyer to prosecute the case.
The contempt proceedings will implicate William Welch II, chief of the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section; Brenda Morris, his principal deputy and former lead prosecutor in the case; public integrity prosecutors Edward Sullivan and Nick Marsh; and Alaska-based assistant U.S. attorneys James Goeke and Joseph Bottini.
The judge said that "the interest of justice" he would appoint Henry Schuelke III, name partner at Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler, to investigate and prosecute team for violating court orders and potentially obstructing justice.
Schuelke served for seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, including three years as the office's executive assistant before entering private practice in 1979.
Sullivan said he looked forward to the results of the Justice Department investigation, but said the "events and allegations are too serious and too numerous." The court has an obligation to ensure that any misconduct is investigated and addressed independently, he said.