Is Eric Greitens the 2018 Version of Ted Stevens 2008? Another False Political Prosecution?

 

The day after Memorial Day, we learned that Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has stepped down “[a]fter months fighting a growing sex and corruption scandal, and his own party leaders calling for his resignation.” This news, and the reporting around it, should be treated with some skepticism. As a reminder, Senator Ted Stevens was falsely prosecuted and convicted, with Senator McCain and Governor Palin demanding his resignation, a week before the 2008 election.

Senator Stevens was prosecuted, by career prosecutors, during President George W. Bush’s administration. After the politically useful damage had been done, replacing a senior Republican Senator with a junior Democrat, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan not only overturned the conviction, but also took the extraordinary step of ordering the federal prosecutors, involved in the case, be investigated.

In an extraordinarily rare move, he ordered an inquiry into the prosecutors’ handling of the case. Judge Sullivan insisted that the misconduct allegations were “too serious and too numerous” to be left to an internal Justice Department investigation. He appointed Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III of Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler to investigate whether members of the trial team should be prosecuted for criminal contempt.

The investigation of the prosecutors took three years, resulting in a 500-page report that found:

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’s defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.

Naturally, no federal prosecutor faced prosecution. However, one of Stevens’ prosecutors committed suicide while under investigation.

Between the Stevens case, the Duke lacrosse case, and the Baltimore police prosecutions for the death of Freddie Gray, perhaps we should be cautious about public presentations of cases based on prosecutors’ claims. We can also be cynical about the moral status of Republican calls for resignations of beleaguered party members, remembering the Stevens case. As Politico reported in 2009,

Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said … “I never called for him to step down or resign or anything like that. I think those who did might regret it now. Obviously, he was treated unfairly in that the Justice Department made a big error.”

Asked Wednesday if he regretted calling for Stevens’ resignation, [Senator] McCain said: “I know he and his family are relieved.” Asked the question a second time, McCain said the same thing again: “I know that he and his family are relieved.”

Republicans, in the heat of the 2008 election, made political calculations. Republicans, in the heat of the 2018 election, are making political calculations. This is perfectly understandable, but not evidence for the guilt or innocence of the shunned politician. Perhaps Eric Greitens has committed one or more crimes, or perhaps this is another political prosecution. It is too soon to tell.

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  1. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    I’ve lost so much faith in the DOJ that I’m starting to think we should clear the decks there. Move all the top ranks out to the hinterlands and move only people from outside DC into their positions. Start lie detector testing of all prosecutors just like the FBI agents.

    • #1
  2. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    I’m sad about this. I liked Eric Greitens, at least what I knew of him from his books. 

    He definitely screwed up. And is paying for it, bigtime.

     

    • #2
  3. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Why quit? It’s not like the Republican party has standards. If you don’t resign they have to back you or a Democrat wins. 

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Clifford A. Brown: This is perfectly understandable, but not evidence for the guilt or innocence of the shunned politician. Perhaps Eric Greitens has committed one or more crimes, or perhaps this is another political prosecution. It is too soon to tell.

    Yep. 

    Sometimes I think the worst thing that can happen to a person is to become a celebrity of any kind. It’s very tempting for some people to go after anyone with fame or fortune or both. 

    • #4
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Why quit? It’s not like the Republican party has standards. If you don’t resign they have to back you or a Democrat wins.

    That is not what happened with Senator Stevens, as I laid out in the OP. Senate Republican leaders demanded his resignation and threatened an expulsion vote if the people of Alaska dared reelect him. The same crew then deflected or brazened out the complete reversal of the legal situation. The notable exceptions included Senator Kyl and President Bush, who said the legal process should fully play out before political judgments were made.

    • #5
  6. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: This is perfectly understandable, but not evidence for the guilt or innocence of the shunned politician. Perhaps Eric Greitens has committed one or more crimes, or perhaps this is another political prosecution. It is too soon to tell.

    Yep.

    Sometimes I think the worst thing that can happen to a person is to become a celebrity of any kind. It’s very tempting for some people to go after anyone with fame or fortune or both.

    Not really a general rule. If you pay homage to the left they will protect you. It certainly never hurt Obama and a huge number of outrageous leftists. Think about the gays supporting Obama even though he said he believed marriage was between a man in a woman. (Of course, they knew he was a doctrinaire Marxist and so they expected him to change when it was convenient. The big-time lefties knew he was lying. David Horowitz explains this best. The main thing is — they left him alone to get elected.)

    McCain learned to curry favor with the MSM (esp. the NY Times) after he got singled out for the Keating 5. There were 4 Dems and 1 Republican (McCain) — McCain was pestered until he started with his maverick schtick. 

    It’s said that Teddy Kennedy turned into the most liberal senator (before Obama) after Chappaquiddick. He came from a big anti-Commie family and wasn’t seen as a big leftie — until after his problem on the bridge. He ran into their arms for protection.

    • #6
  7. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Stevens was never accused of any kind of sexual misconduct.  That’s a kiss of death today.

    • #7
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: This is perfectly understandable, but not evidence for the guilt or innocence of the shunned politician. Perhaps Eric Greitens has committed one or more crimes, or perhaps this is another political prosecution. It is too soon to tell.

    Yep.

    Sometimes I think the worst thing that can happen to a person is to become a celebrity of any kind. It’s very tempting for some people to go after anyone with fame or fortune or both.

    The destruction of those who are celebrated is far more entertaining than whatever they were celebrated for. 

    • #8
  9. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Who knows.  There is no way to know what is real or not.

    • #9
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    President Trump announced his intent to pardon Dinesh D’Souza today.

    This points to another class of political prosecution not included in the OP.

    • #10
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    President Trump announced his intent to pardon Dinesh D’Souza today.

    This points to another class of political prosecution not included in the OP.

    Hmm. I like this, but it may mean war. 

    • #11
  12. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Why quit? It’s not like the Republican party has standards. If you don’t resign they have to back you or a Democrat wins.

    I have often wondered how and why you find yourself on a center right forum. 

    • #12
  13. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    All criminal charges against Greitens were dropped. After those charges were eliminated for no supportive evidence, a new charge was developed concerning the misuse of a charitable mailing list for political purposes. Sounds like failing to come to a full stop at a traffic sign. Nobody had Greitens’ back. His fellow Republicans who hold the majority in the Missouri Congress pulled out their knives, stabbed him in the back, and ran to hide under the first desk they could find.

    • #13
  14. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Why quit? It’s not like the Republican party has standards. If you don’t resign they have to back you or a Democrat wins.

    I have often wondered how and why you find yourself on a center right forum.

    What does that have to do with the Republican parties lack of scruples? Have you read what other people write about the Republican party here? Or are charges of being Deep State collaborators set to undermine the democratic will of the people just friendly banter? 

    I think having decide that character doesn’t matter in political leaders, which is the argument I have been hearing in every corner of the righty-sphere, the Republican party should fully embrace the low standards they have found so convenient to articulate. 

    I want them to be who they really are without shame or reservation. That is who their base wants them to be. It is the only way they can beat the Dems. It is what Saul Alinsky would want them to do.  

    • #14
  15. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Stevens was never accused of any kind of sexual misconduct. That’s a kiss of death today.

    Not if you’re a Democrat.

    Years ago a Republican and a Democrat were each found to be involved in some manner of moral turpitude about the same time – I don’t remember their names nor the details, but they amounted to the same thing.  The Republican was driven from office.  For the Democrat it became just another day in the office.  Another, high – ranking Democrat legislator, explaining this blatant inconsistency, made an incredible statement that amounted to this: “The trouble with you Republicans is that you have morals.”  Oh, really…

    And there’s a solid basis for this.  Conservativism has at its base a moral code that is external to Man.  While there can be debate about what it means in some particular circumstances, the code is immutable.  A fundamental precept is individual responsibility, and from this flows our concept of government and law.  Lex Rex.

    Socialism / liberalism on the other hand, places the job of rendering a moral code in the hands of Man – which inevitably ends up being the government.  The State bears responsibility of deciding what is right and wrong, and being a product of Man, is malleable.  Therefore, Rex Lex. 

    And please, nevertrumpers, can it.  I know exactly what you would say, and you stopped adding anything meaningful long ago.  

    • #15
  16. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Why quit? It’s not like the Republican party has standards. If you don’t resign they have to back you or a Democrat wins.

    I have often wondered how and why you find yourself on a center right forum.

    @goldwaterwoman, I note my 100% concurrence in your view about this particular member, who, along with at least two others seem to exist on this site exclusively for the purpose of “stirring the pot” and issuing views which are, to put it most charitably, contrarian in nature. Why anyone who quotes Saul Alinsky as authority would choose to pay good money to be on this site is way beyond me. 

    I should also note that I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading and studying over the past few days about the near-complete collapse of Freedom of Speech in England with the arrest, trial, conviction and imprisonment of Tommy Robinson — all of which took a total of about 5 hours. I would strongly advise our contrarian friends to stay very far away from England and enjoy living in what more and more is beginning to look like the last Nation on Earth where freedom of expression still lives.

    On second thought, those who look up to Saul Alinsky might feel right at home with the current thinking in Europe.

    Sincerely, Jim

     

    • #16
  17. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    @cliffordbrown, may I, in all modesty (a trait admittedly not ordinarily associated with Trial Lawyers, even ofthe old, used-up, Retired variety), refer you to my post of some time ago, entitled “Is Mueller’s Chief Assistant Pitbull “A Madman”  “, which goes into quite a bit of detail about the very quandary of which you wrote in this excellent post and also reviews some aspects of Sidney Powell’s fine book about prosecutorial misconduct, Licensed To Lie”. 

    Thank you for this fine piece of work.

    Sincerely, Jim.

     

    • #17
  18. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Jim George (View Comment):
    @goldwaterwoman, I note my 100% concurrence in your view about this particular member, who, along with at least two others seem to exist on this site exclusively for the purpose of “stirring the pot” and issuing views which are, to put it most charitably, contrarian in nature. Why anyone who quotes Saul Alinsky as authority would choose to pay good money to be on this site is way beyond me.

    Do I quote Saul Alinsky (am I spelling his name right)? I don’t think I have. But, I find your comment amusing considering that it is always the most ardent Trump supporters that dig up Alinsky and his works to explain the “strategy” needed to combat the left. Wasn’t it MAGA land who was telling all of us how Trump turns Alinsky’s own methods back on the hated Dems? Why indeed do these “conservative” disciples of Alinsky’s methodology pay to be on this site? 

    I pay money for Ricochet because I enjoy the conversation (especially the contrarian kind), and podcasts and think that is worth supporting. I like to have skin in the game. I appreciate your back handed ways of trying to narrow down the ricochet community to a more conformist lot. How delightfully Maoist of you. Let a thousand flowers bloom, but they all better be ones that agree with me. 

     

    • #18
  19. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    How delightfully Maoist of you. Let a thousand flowers bloom, but they all better be ones that agree with me. 

    @valiuth, in a career at the Bar extending over 55 years, during which time I was called many names, 99% of which were not, to put it mildly, complimentary, I was never referred to as “Maoist”– not even delightfully Maoist! As a phrase goes that I find myself using more and more as the years go by, “live long enough and there’s no telling what will happen!” I also don’t remember any of my adversaries, or Judges, for that matter, ever using any analogy employing flowers blooming to describe my trial strategies, but maybe I just missed them. 

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I appreciate your back handed ways of trying to narrow down the ricochet community to a more conformist lot.

    Now, that’s more like it, as I have definitely been called “back handed” and variations thereof, usually by those who lost. However, many of my professional colleagues, adversaries and friends alike, would find it downright hilarious that anyone would call me, in any way, shape or form, “conformist”!

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Do I quote Saul Alinsky (am I spelling his name right)? I don’t think I have.

    I stand corrected, as you did not, in fact, quote Alinsky, which leads to the next part of your statement that raised questions, with me at least, and due to that I would ask that you expand on the next passage and cite some authorities for same–you know, those pesky things called actual corroboration for one’s statements.

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    But, I find your comment amusing considering that it is always the most ardent Trump supporters that dig up Alinsky and his works to explain the “strategy” needed to combat the left. Wasn’t it MAGA land who was telling all of us how Trump turns Alinsky’s own methods back on the hated Dems? Why indeed do these “conservative” disciples of Alinsky’s methodology pay to be on this site? 

    First, please allow me to make it clear that I try hard to keep up with current events, so this next statement is made in the utmost of good faith: for the life of me, I cannot recall a single instance in which those of us who proudly hail from, as you call it, MAGA land, ever cited the pure Socialist, bordering on Marxist, Saul Alinsky, for anything except perhaps as one of the mentors of Hillary Rodham’s early life. That red flag alone should have been enough of a warning about her true beliefs, as if we didn’t have enough already. If you could enlighten me with some substantiation of this statement, I would be ever so grateful. 

    Sincerely, Jim (proud deplorable resident of MAGA land!) 

    • #19
  20. RoyNonaka Inactive
    RoyNonaka
    @RoyNonaka

    Now that Parson is MO Governor, who will be the new Lieutenant Governor? It’s a shame Dana Loesch moved out of St. Louis, because she would be amazing. Instant regret from those who hounded Grietens out of office.

    • #20
  21. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    Seriously, it is being alleged here that Greitens is a victim?  In the same way that Ted Stevens was a victim?  I don’t want these people anywhere near my side.  Teddy Kennedy was enough.

    All he had to do was keep his campaign finances clean and not screw around on his second wife the way he did on his first (hmm, victims take nude pictures of their mistresses while stepping out on pregnant wives; real “adult” and real adultery).  Indeed, he is a huge disappointment- too good to be true, it seemed, and he was.

    Save the crocodile tears for people who deserve support, like Fred Fleitz.

    • #21
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Jim George (View Comment):

    @cliffordbrown, may I, in all modesty (a trait admittedly not ordinarily associated with Trial Lawyers, even ofthe old, used-up, Retired variety), refer you to my post of some time ago, entitled “Is Mueller’s Chief Assistant Pitbull “A Madman” “, which goes into quite a bit of detail about the very quandary of which you wrote in this excellent post and also reviews some aspects of Sidney Powell’s fine book about prosecutorial misconduct, Licensed To Lie”.

    Thank you for this fine piece of work.

    Sincerely, Jim.

     

    @jimgeorge, thank you. I wish I had picked up on your post earlier–outstanding.

    • #22
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Duane Oyen (View Comment):

    Seriously, it is being alleged here that Greitens is a victim? In the same way that Ted Stevens was a victim? I don’t want these people anywhere near my side. Teddy Kennedy was enough.

    All he had to do was keep his campaign finances clean and not screw around on his second wife the way he did on his first (hmm, victims take nude pictures of their mistresses while stepping out on pregnant wives; real “adult” and real adultery). Indeed, he is a huge disappointment- too good to be true, it seemed, and he was.

    Save the crocodile tears for people who deserve support, like Fred Fleitz.

    Thank you for reinforcing my OP. Could you point me to any final judgment on any legal claim against Greiten? Who are “these people” and what do you mean by “crocodile tears?”

    • #23
  24. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Duane Oyen (View Comment):

    Seriously, it is being alleged here that Greitens is a victim? In the same way that Ted Stevens was a victim? I don’t want these people anywhere near my side. Teddy Kennedy was enough.

    All he had to do was keep his campaign finances clean and not screw around on his second wife the way he did on his first (hmm, victims take nude pictures of their mistresses while stepping out on pregnant wives; real “adult” and real adultery). Indeed, he is a huge disappointment- too good to be true, it seemed, and he was.

    Save the crocodile tears for people who deserve support, like Fred Fleitz.

    Thank you for reinforcing my OP. Could you point me to any final judgment on any legal claim against Greiten? Who are “these people” and what do you mean by “crocodile tears?”

    Yes Duane, where are these nude photos of which you speak? Some say they are in a woman’s imagination. No one is claiming Greitens to be an infallible angel. But the seedy allegations such as yours come with no physical proof. That is why the charges were dropped.

    • #24

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