According to the New York Times:
...the 500-page report by the investigator, Henry F. Schuelke, recommends that none of the Justice Department officials involved in the case be prosecuted for criminal contempt of court because the judge who presided over the trial, Emmet G. Sullivan, of Federal District Court in Washington, did not issue an order specifically instructing prosecutors to obey the law by turning over any exculpatory evidence. (emphasis mine)The report admitted the prosecution was “permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated his defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.” In other words, the Brady violations -- and these clearly fell into the Brady category -- were deliberate. Prosecutors wanted a conviction and were willing to lie to get it.
All of the prosecutors are regularly briefed during mandatory training about Brady requirements of turning over all exculpatory evidence and sharing files. As law school graduates, they also had Brady instruction in classes on criminal law. To put it another way, they did NOT have to be instructed in the requirements of Brady; they already knew, but chose NOT to obey.
This is breathtaking, but maybe I should not be surprised that Official Washington is so contemptuous of everyone else but themselves. The courts have ruled that you and I (if we are not government lawyers or judges) are required to know by heart every jot and tittle of the law, for the courts have declared, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
In this situation, however, they are not even saying that prosecutors were ignorant of the law. Instead, the judge who wrote the report is saying that because prosecutors were not reminded of what they already were supposed to know, they should not face criminal contempt charges.
What about the rest of us. Well, the courts have ruled that under federal law, the mens rea doctrine -- the people charged with crimes intended to break the law -- can be ignored, which means that you can I can go to prison for breaking laws we did not know existed AND even though we did not intend to break the law and might have thought we were obeying it.
Yet, prosecutors who knowingly lied and hid evidence, prosecutors who are regularly briefed and trained in the law, do not have to obey it, or at least do not have to worry about being charged with lawbreaking as long as a judge does not remind them of what they already know. This is the very definition of tyranny.