WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors aren't turning over materials U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens needs to defend himself at his quickly approaching corruption trial, including possible criminal investigations and the medical records of the prosecution's star witness, the senator's lawyers complained Tuesday.
Stevens, the Senate's longest-serving Republican, is scheduled to stand trial later this month on charges of lying on Senate records about hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations he received from VECO Corp.
Stevens' lawyers want the Justice Department to find for them any information about an Alaska state investigation of its star witness, VECO founder Bill Allen.
State authorities are looking into whether Allen had sex with an underage girl in the mid-1990s, the Anchorage Daily News reported in February.
Federal prosecutors have provided no information about this to Stevens other than to say they know it's going on, defense lawyers said. "His cooperation with the government, and the nature of his testimony, may well be driven by the belief, whether justified or not, that his assistance to the government would guarantee him immunity or leniency in the state investigation," Stevens' lawyers said.
Stevens' lawyers also want the court to order Allen and his doctors to turn over all of his medical records regarding a 2001 motorcycle accident. Stevens' lawyers seem ready to challenge Allen on his memory and how much that motorcycle accident affected him.
Alaska State Troopers said Allen was driving a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he attempted to stop behind a group of cars waiting for a vehicle turning left. He lost control of the motorcycle and tipped it over, officials said. Allen, who was not wearing his helmet, was thrown from the motorcycle and hit his head on the pavement.
"It hit me right where your speech in the brain ... is right here," Allen said in court testimony last year. "And about ... my brain was ... died about a ... about a quarter."
Government lawyers have said in earlier trials that the accident affects Allen's speech, but not his memory. Defense lawyers seem ready to challenge that.
"The defense is certainly entitled to test the accuracy of Allen's account and determine whether Allen's memory or ability to perceive were impacted when 'about a quarter' of Allen's brain 'died' in the accident," defense lawyers said.
The Justice Department also has yet to allow them to examine all of its grand jury exhibits, subpoenas and statements; FBI interview notes; drug and alcohol abuse information on its witnesses; and any possible plea agreements with VECO employees David Anderson and Robert "Rocky" Williams; defense lawyers said.
"With a trial a mere three weeks away, Senator Stevens is left with no choice but to seek assistance from this court to ensure that the government's dilatory tactics neither jeopardize the trial date nor compromise Senator Stevens' rights," they said.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan plans a hearing today.