Wainstein Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee on Stevens Report

As reported in The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, NAFUSA member Kenneth Wainstein, testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on April 19, 2012. Wainstein represents Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Bottini, who was criticized by the report of court appointed independent investigator Henry Schuelke regarding alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the Ted Stevens case.

The BLT post, written by Mike Scarcella quotes from Wainstein’s prepared statement to the Committee:

“Considering the length of the report–all 500-plus pages of it–one would assume that that conclusion must be well-founded,”Wainstein, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, said in a prepared statement. “That assumption would be wrong.”

Wainstein said “this is a case that proves up the old adage that quantity does not lead to quality.” Prosecutors, Wainstein said, are human and make mistakes.

“Like every prosecutor–myself included–he has made his share of mistakes, especially in the hectic and unpredictable environment of criminal trials,” Wainstein said. “He acknowledges that he made mistakes–serious mistakes–in the Senator Stevens case, and he will always regret the effect they had on the integrity of that prosecution and on the public perception of the Justice Department.”

One of Wainstein’s chief criticisms of the report is its lack of analysis of prosecutorial intent. He said there is a single paragraph about the alleged intent behind Bottini¹s conduct. Wainstein called reading the Schuelke report “a little disconcerting.”

“It’s like reading a novel that goes straight from the introduction to the happy ending or a judicial opinion that states the issue and the court’s ruling but omits the analysis that leads to the ruling,” he said.