Alaska Rep. Don Young Cleared Of Fundraising Charges

I have an idea how to stop Washington Politicians from abusing their positions. And I am not talking about term limits. Elected officials will never vote to limit their power until AFTER we are in the same condition as Greece – not financial condition, we are in that now, but street riot condition.

Let’s take the recent issues for Federal indictments against Alaska Republicans Rep. Don Young and the late Senator Ted Stevens.

Young was just cleared by the House Ethics Committee of breaking fundraising rules.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2011/dec/20/house-ethics-panel-clears-young/

The Feds may not charge Young, like they did Senator Stevens, in a phony case of accepting gifts from Alaskan oil man Bill Allen:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/dismissing_charges_stevens_judge_slams_government.php

The Federal Agents involved with setting up and destroying Senator Allen should have been charged individually but they are still working for Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division and gun walking, as far as I can tell.

Here is a quote from the Federal Judge who oversaw the 2008 railroading of Senator Stevens:

“In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case,” U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said at a hearing on the government’s motion, reports the Associated Press.

So here is how the Federal agents can convict almost any politician they choose:

The targets are indicted in Washington, DC before a grand jury – not in their home state!

Man is that an easy ride.

Check out this part of a TPM story about the conviction of a former Young aid:

A federal jury in Washington has convicted a former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) on corruption charges related to his acceptance of an all-expenses paid trip to Game One of the 2003 World Series, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The jury took just two days to convict 41-year-old Fraser Verrusio on one count of conspiring to accept an illegal gratuity, one count of accepting an illegal gratuity and one count of making a false statement in failing to report his receipt of gifts from a lobbyist and the lobbyist’s client on his 2003 financial disclosure statement, according to a press release.”

In the Senator Stevens conviction the Washington DC jury consisted, naturally, of residents of Washington, DC. See if this looks familiar:

The verdict came quickly for the jurors, who deliberated for less than two full days. As the jury foreman read out the first guilty count Monday afternoon, the senator slumped slightly but was silent. When the second count was read, his lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, reached over and put his arm around Stevens. Sullivan shook his head in disappointment as the verdict was read.

Senator Stevens was convicted weeks before he had to run for re-election. His attorney stated:

"I am obviously disappointed in the verdict but not surprised given the repeated instances of prosecutorial misconduct in this case," Stevens said. "I will fight this unjust verdict with every ounce of energy I have."

Turns out, Stevens’s attorney was correct about the Justice Department’s destruction of Senator Stevens.

Here is their story:

"This has been a long and hard-fought trial," Matthew Friedrich, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in a press conference outside the courthouse after the trial. "The department is proud of this team not only for this trial but for the investigation which led to it. This investigation continues, as does our commitment to holding elected officials accountable when they violate our laws."

Hat tip: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/10/27/54834/alaskas-ted-stevens-found-guilty.html

Here are the names of some Federal agents who were investigated for misconduct in the Stevens case: Lead prosecutor Brenda Morris, the No. 2 corruption official, Public Integrity prosecutors Nicholas Marsh (committed suicide in Sept. of 2010 during investigation at age 37) and Edward Sullivan, Alaska federal prosecutors Joseph Bottini and James Goeke; and William Welch, although he did not participate in the trial, Welch supervises the Public Integrity section and has overseen every major public corruption case in recent years.

And just how do Federal agents bag a trophy like Senator Stevens?

A Washington, DC jury, of course.

Imagine if a Democrat in Washington, DC had to appear before a jury from Texas, or South Carolina? Wouldn’t that be real justice?

Senator Stevens had a DC jury consisting of the type of person you would likely find in DC – liberal/progressive nuts like Juror #11 who had a blog about the trial:

http://juror11.blogspot.com/ It doesn’t get much weirder.

So let’s change the venue for guys like Chaz Rangel and hoist him, Pelosi, Reid, and anyone else you can rig a case against, on the jury petard of chance.

That should slow down the corruption a few percentage points.

Seriously, indicting and convicting a person out of office should not be tolerated and agents and prosecutors caught doing it should pay the price.