While Sarah Palin gets ready for her spotlight moment tonight, here fellow Alaskan Republican Ted Stevens got a lift during his corruption trial today. The prosecutor, for the second time in the case, got caught withholding exculpatory evidence from Stevens and his counsel:
The information involved an interview by an FBI agent with Bill Allen, the prosecution's star witness. In the interview, Allen said he believed Stevens and his wife would have paid for the renovations to their home in Alaska if Allen had sent them a bill.The judge presiding over the case is not buying the "we're only human" defense from the Government:
Prosecutors had notified the defense about the information only late on Wednesday, after Allen had completed his second day of testimony.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan did not immediately rule on the request to throw out the case, but he clearly was angered by the mistake, calling it 'unbelievable' and 'very troubling.'Stevens surprised a lot of people by not dropping out of the Senate race in Alaska when he was indicted. Since he's the GOP nominee for that seat, a conviction would not only kill off his career but would make an easy Democratic pickup in November. But things are heading Stevens's way, it seems, so maybe it was a brilliant political move.
The judge sent the jurors home for the day, told both sides to file written briefs about the matter and to come back to court to discuss the matter later on Thursday.