This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.
The unfortunate legacy of the Justice Department under President George W. Bush will be one of politicization and incompetence. That is nowhere more evident than in the fall of the Public Integrity Section, once respected for its professionalism and nonpartisanship in pursuing corruption cases.
Here is a case in point. After much criticism of prosecutions of Democratic politicians, the section brought charges against the longest–serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Through serious misconduct, the section bungled the case, which ended in Stevens' conviction.
When he took office in February, Attorney General Eric Holder removed the Stevens prosecutors and appointed a new team. When that team discovered that the original prosecutors had withheld evidence from the court and the defense team, they asked the court to set aside the Stevens verdict.
Well, on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan set aside the conviction and began criminal contempt proceedings against the original Bush–appointed prosecutors for their "mishandling and misconduct" in this case.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.