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This morning the long awaited Stevens report was released in unredacted, unabridged form, after several government prosecutors were unsuccessful in keeping it under seal with the Court.

No wonder they wanted to keep this report away from the public.

Just a cursory read of the report reveals a devastating pattern of persistent prosecutorial misconduct - and a rogue team led by William Welch, hell bent on destroying the life of a sitting Senator.

Reading this report brought back the nightmare of my own case, a case also led by William Welch, the disgraced former head of the Office of Public Integrity at the Justice Department.

This report details what I can only describe as deliberate and pervasive misconduct by Welch's team in the failed corruption case against the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

According to the Stevens report written by Henry Schuelke,

The investigation and prosecution of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens were permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence, which would have independently corroborated Senator Stevens' defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.
This is precisely what happened in my case, where under the leadership of Welch significant exculpatory evidence was kept and concealed for many months during the pendency of my trial. Welch even claimed that key exculpatory whistleblower evidence I had provided to the DoD IG as a material witness was supposedly destroyed.

How convenient!

In fact, reading the account by Schuelke reveals just how far the Welch-led and supervised team went beyond due process with unconstrained zeal to simply get their man, even when it meant violating the rights afforded his defense and the withholding of critical exculpatory evidence that would have exonerated Stevens, while also falsifying and manipulating evidence in their own favor.

This report clearly exposes the very tactics employed by Welch as the playbook he freely used as the lead prosecutor in the government's own criminal case against me.

So why is Welch still practicing his brand of "whatever I can get away with injustice" from the Stevens case that was tossed out in the end, continued with his failed prosecution of my case and his failing case against Risen and Sterling?

Is this the kind of prosecutor we want the Justice Department to keep?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why hasn't he been reported to the Bar? (24+ / 0-)

    I am the only DOJ lawyer in the torture scandal who is still under the cloud of a Bar investigation--and I urged AGAINST torture.

    So how come Jay Bybee, John Yoo, and William Welch, if referred at all, have not  been investigated and disbarred?

    Just read through the 500-page report and it's replete with ethics violations.

    My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

    by Jesselyn Radack on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 10:49:48 AM PDT

  •  Thanks For This Diary (6+ / 0-)

    I don't  know much about the intricacies of prosecutorial misconduct, so this diary is helpful.

    As to why he still has his job; perhaps he knows some things etc., as in areas of interest the DOJ would best like to kept secret, just my sense, fwiw.

    Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.~~~ Susan Sontag

    by frandor55 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 11:31:55 AM PDT

  •  Does anyone know why they went after (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, gerrilea, happenstance

    Sen. Stevens like that? What to be gained?

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 11:33:14 AM PDT

  •  Who in Obama administration would kick him out? (5+ / 0-)

    One would think that someone at this level would not be on the radar screen of Obama.

    But there must be adults in the DOJ who would go after Welch.

    In any case, Obama is indirectly connected with this injustice in the justice department.

  •  Wait, Tom. You didn't make it clear... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leevank, thestructureguy

    Does the report specifically implicate Welch?  The one quote you gave does not do so.

    Judge Sullivan suggested that some of the attorneys would be "well served" by having the report made public.  So I for one would appreciate it if you could clarify which attorneys are specifically accused of misconduct.

    We don't want Welch smeared by implication.  If the report nails him, give us a citation and quote so that we can be sure our outrage is proper.

    •  It appears to find him NOT personally responsible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I haven't read the entire thing, but the paragraph at the bottom of page 506 and the top of page 507 appears to indicate that Mr. Welch was NOT personally responsible for the failures to disclose, because he was not the day-to-day supervisor of the Stevens case, and was largely occupied by other cases.  It specifically notes,

      "To his credit, on each occasion that Brady/Giglio disclosure issues were brought to him for decision, he directed that disclosure be made.
      If the original diarist thinks Mr. Welch deserves to be fired, or to have bar disciplinary action taken against him, I think it would be only fair to point out where the report says that, rather than painting with such an extremely broad brush.

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 12:58:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems the diarist (understandably) has a (0+ / 0-)

        personal agenda.  He was the subject of a prosecution in which DOJ withheld exculpatory evidence.

        But, the diary is very misleading.  It leads folks to believe that Welch was criticized by the report, when apparently he was not.

        Hate Welch if you want, but don't make misleading character attacks.  There is a reason Judge Sullivan suggested some of the attorneys should want the report released.

        Welch is entitled to his exculpatory evidence, too, Tom.

    •  Welch was head of the Public Integrity Section (4+ / 0-)

      Point taken.

      Important to note that this was a MAJOR case for DoJ and Welch and the prosecution team under his leadership.

      Welch was a constituent part of the team. They had targeted Stevens, a senior sitting Senator, and wanted to take him down.

      So here are a few references from the entire 500+ page report that reveal a pattern of obfuscation, and letting other prosecutors run with the clear and compelling misconduct with such a high visibility, highly political and highly publicized case, while still remaining very much in the loop.

      The climate was set by Welch and the Judge in the case also found him in contempt.

      On page 33:

      On April 8, 2008, Williams & Connolly produced the Torricelli notes and other documents to the prosecutors, who immediately recognized their significance. They made an appointment that same day to meet with Mr. Allen on April 15, 2008, to discuss them. Agent Kepner told her supervisor the same day that the notes might be fatal to the case: “Bill Welch did not seem to be too upset about the notes that were found related to Stevens asking Bill for invoices. I got ahold of Bundy and Bill Allen. We will debrief Bill on Tuesday regarding the new documents received from Stevens. Too early to tell if this issue will be fatal or not. I’m worried that this may give DOJ an out if they were looking for one.” Email from Agent Kepner, dated April 8, 2008, to FBI SAC C. Seale.
      And then on page 38 comes this bombshell:
      Defendant Stevens was not informed prior to or during trial of the statements by Bill Allen on April 15, 2008. This information could have been used by the defendant to cross-examine Bill Allen and in arguments to the jury. The Government also acknowledges that the Government's
      Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a New Trial provided an account of the Government's interviews of Bill Allen that is inaccurate. See Opposition at 42-43 (Dkt. No. 269).

      Given the facts of this particular case, the Government believes that granting a new trial is in the interest of justice. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(a). The Government has further determined that, based on the totality of circumstances and in the interest of justice, it will not seek a new trial. Accordingly, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 48(a), the Government moves to set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment with prejudice.

      And then on page 43:
      DOJ assigned a new team of prosecutors after District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan held William Welch, the Chief of the Public Integrity Section, Brenda Morris, his Principal Deputy Chief, and another senior DOJ attorney, in contempt on February 13, 2009, for failing to comply with the Court’s order to provide certain information to Senator Stevens’s attorneys, Williams & Connolly, and to the Court regarding a complaint filed by FBI Agent Chad Joy in December 2008 which “raised serious allegations of prosecutorial and governmental misconduct in the investigation and trial of Senator Stevens.”
      This is one of the key pieces of exculpatory evidence in the case.

      Then on page 50:

      Ms. Morris, the Principal Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section, supervised the investigation intermittently in 2006 and 2007. Deposition of B. Morris, Jan. 15, 2010, at 34-35. In 2007 and 2008, she and Mr. Welch, who became the Chief of the Public Integrity Section in March, 2007, shared supervisory responsibility for Polar Pen. Id. at 35; see also Deposition of N. Marsh, Feb. 2, 2010, at 36 (“[during the investigation] we would go to [Ms. Morris and Mr. Welch] interchangeably or collectively, depending on who was around or what was going on at the time.”). Ms. Morris became lead trial prosecutor in Stevens when the indictment was filed on July 29, 2008. Deposition of B. Morris, Jan. 15, 2010, at 35-36.
      And then on page 464 this interesting nugget shows up from testimony given by Welch!
      Deposition of W. Welch, Jan. 13, 2010, at 47-50.

      Mr. Welch testified that he did not learn of the April 15, 2008-interview of Mr. Allen, the related emails, and Mr. Sullivan’s and Mr. Goeke’s notes of that interview, until March 31, 2009, the day before the government moved to set aside the conviction and to dismiss the indictment with prejudice.

      How convenient.

      This contradicts the early testimony that Welch did not seem that upset by the notes from that interview!

      So how did Welch suddenly unlearn the existence of the notes when other testimony states that he was informed about them almost a year earlier?

      Bottomline from page 508:

      1. Favorable Evidence was Concealed From Senator Stevens which would have Directly Corroborated His Defense and Significantly Impeached the Credibility of the Government’s Key Witness
      And on page 517 we have this gem.
      Paradoxically, however, the role of the "front office" in the management of the prosecution contributed to the failures of effective supervision of the trial team by the leadership of the Public Integrity Section.
      That leadership was led by William Welch.

      On page 518 the report does say that

      Mr. Welch perceived himself effectively to have been eliminated from the "chain of command." Moreover, since his principal deputy was now fully otherwise occupied, the supervision of the balance of the Public Integrity Section's docket fell to him. The net result was that Mr. Welch directly supervised the conduct of the prosecution only when discrete matters were brought to his attention after controversies arose. To his credit, on each occasion that Brady/Giglio disclosure issues were brought to him for decision, he directed that disclosure be made.
      In reading through the whole of the report, it seems quite clear that there were any number of "controversies" that occupied Welch's time on the Stevens case as head of Public Integrity.
  •  The sad part is that Stevens probably WAS guilty (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, happenstance, shaharazade

    But there is no reason to shred the Constitution like what happened here, even if the defendant is manifestly guilty.

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