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Justice lawyer commits suicide

Paul Duggan

A Justice Department lawyer under investigation for possible misconduct in the prosecution of former senator Ted Stevens of Alaska committed suicide over the weekend, the law firm representing him confirmed.

Nicholas A. Marsh, 37, was one of several Justice lawyers under investigation by a special prosecutor for possible legal improprieties that last year led a judge to vacate Stevens's conviction in a corruption case. A spokeswoman for Marsh's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed Monday that Marsh had killed himself, but offered no further details.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to Nick's family and friends on this sad day," Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said in a statement, without commenting on how Marsh died. "The Department of Justice is a community, and today our community is mourning the loss of this dedicated young attorney."

Marsh was among several lawyers on the Justice team that prosecuted Stevens, a Republican. Stevens was defeated in his reelection bid shortly after his 2008 conviction and died Aug. 9 in a plane crash in Alaska.

-- Paul Duggan

By Paul Duggan  | September 27, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Paul Duggan  
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Comments

I think he was murdered to shut him up...
he was going to talk about how the dems set Senator Stevens up for his seat...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The Stevens race is one of the clearest examples of prosecutorial misconduct. Stevens was defeated by only a few thousand votes after the DOJ prosecutors obtained a conviction on him. Their tactics though were clearly abusive and Stevens would easily have been re-elected without the extensive misconduct by the prosecutors.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 27, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to the Marsh family. May he rest in peace.

Commenters please remember that this young man had family and friends who loved him. Try to keep your comments respectful in case the family sees them.

Posted by: ajanders | September 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Ted Stevens was a likeable guy but there is no question he did not make sure he was paying the price any other person would have paid for the work that was done. The prosecutors may not have been as open as they should have but there is no question that the then Senator Stevens hands were not as clean as they should have been. Bill Allen may not have billed him for the full cost of the work but Stevens didn't question the amount. You don't have to be a construction expert to know that he didn't pay enough. I don't like speaking ill of him since he has passed, but the conviction was overturned based on what the prosecution didn't do and not that the judge declared Stevens was innocent. And the whole case was done in the Bush era when we know the Justice Department got rid of attorneys who weren't republican. That being said, my sympathies to the family of the attorney.

Posted by: alaskan2 | September 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

None of us know what evidence, if any, the DOJ investigators turned up implicating Mr. Marsh in wrongdoing. What we can be sure of is that this lengthy investigative process must have been extremely difficult and stressful for him, as well as the others being investigated. As an Alaskan supporter of Ted Stevens, I deplore the delays in getting to the bottom of this mess. As a parent, my condolences go out to the entire Marsh family.

Posted by: Kroosa | September 27, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

First, anyone taking their own life is a sad situation, especially for those left behind to grieve.

But, second, since the posts have already turned political (and conspiratorial), I really find it hard to believe that anyone is claiming that Sen. Stevens was innocent. The man clearly abused the system in a number of ways concerning special deals. Sen. Dodds misdeeds are not are clearly wrong, and he was driven from the Senate. So, let's get our history right.

That said, I am concerned that there was misconduct at some points. I do believe these should be investigated. I don't want politicians investigating their adversaries; a problem that goes both ways, I fear.

For the conspiratorial, please remember the Democratic Senators who died in plane crashes during their election bids. And, especially, one who the president at the time had said he wanted to get rid of him in any way they possibly could. (Bush said this of Wellstone.) Once you've proven that conspiracy, then go ahead and look at the Stevens plane crash.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | September 27, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

anyone remember foster who commited suicide at the clinton whitehouse...
seems he had something on his mind too...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 27, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

dodd walks out with a pension for life...
a pension paid for with the pensions lost because he protected fannie and freddie who caused the crisis...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 27, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse


"this lengthy investigative process must have been extremely difficult and stressful for him, as well as the others being investigated."

Funny that the prosecutors at DOJ do this all the time to people guilty and innocent and don't lose a wink of sleep about it. Yet when the tables are turned and their lives are placed in limbo by a investigator who has limitless resources, it results in a suicide. Will this change things? I doubt it.

As for Stevens, no one can say with any certainty that he was guilty or not... because the prosecutors acted so irresponsibly during the trial that the verdict was vacated.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 27, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

So,holy mackerel shades of Vince Foster and
Bill Clinton and Janet Reno all over again!
And so,this looks and smells fishy here,
and more like a Chicago Style Hit to keep
someone from talking and letting the cat out of the bag,by revealing all of Democrat
Chicago Thug Barack Hussein Obama and Wimpy
US Attorney General Eric Holder dirty little secrets and misdeeds. It's time for
an Outside Special Prosceutor Investigation
into this and all the other shady and dirty
crooked deals and corruption of the goons
calling themselves the Barack Hussein Obama
Administration. Can Impeachments and Criminal Indictments be very far behind?

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | September 27, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Kroosa, extremely well put. It is best not to jump to conclusions, but this definitely needs to be investigated and the truth needs to see the light of day.

Posted by: gvelanis | September 27, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Unspeakably tragic.
This shows you what will happen when, as a government attorney in the line of fire, things happen that can destroy your life and your reputation-the worst thing you can do in this situation is internalize it, this good young lawyer did, and he took his life as a result.

This should never have happened-he would have been exonerated, but he couldn't, as a young lawyer, take the hit to his reputation.

Men are much more apt in a situation like this to lose their grip than women.

Losing your career over someone else's incompetence and misconduct is not the worst thing in the world-it absolutely isn't.

I feel impossibly close to this situation-but for the grace of God and my own iron will-I could have done the same.

Posted by: Spring_Rain | September 27, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Stevens wasn't prosecuted under a Democratic administration. He was indicted under a Republican administration, one that politicized the DOJ.

Those here who blame "Democrats" for the suicide are projecting their own intellectual shortcomings outward.

Posted by: davewyman | September 27, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Hasn't anyone blamed it on the Clintons yet?

Posted by: thrh | September 27, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Um, Ralphinphnx? I know that conspiracy theories are fun, but Sen. Stevens was prosecuted by the Bush Dept. of Justice, and not Obama's, so chances are that this young man had absolutely nothing to say about anything at all mentioned in your silly post.

Posted by: fmjk | September 27, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to the Marsh family. May he rest in peace.

Commenters please remember that this young man had family and friends who loved him. Try to keep your comments respectful in case the family sees them.

Posted by: ajanders | September 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse
_______
Why? He was a crook who betrayed his oath to the Constitution.....may he rot...

Posted by: WildBill1 | September 27, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Who says there is no "justice" in our Justice system? It just doesn't take place in the court room.

Posted by: IQ168 | September 27, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

He did the honorable thing. As far as his family; he didn't show the family of Senator Stevens much respect, did he?

Posted by: nolib1 | September 27, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"Stevens wasn't prosecuted under a Democratic administration. He was indicted under a Republican administration, one that politicized the DOJ.
Those here who blame "Democrats" for the suicide are projecting their own intellectual shortcomings outward.
Posted by: davewyman | September 27, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse"

we all know the doj and other agencies were loaded up with dem operatives...
as for the suicides, the perferred method of getting rid of people that cause problems...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 27, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

wonder if he was going to talk about how he threw the case to save Stevens.

Posted by: newagent99 | September 27, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Some bloggers here seem committed to try to blame Obama for Steven's unjust prosecution and conviction. While several correctly pointed out that it was Bush's DOJ that indicted him, I would also point out that it was Bush's DOJ who tried the case leading to conviction. The trial that ended with conviction occurred in October of 2008 (see www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102589818). October of 2008 is obviously before the Nov 2008 election that Obama won. Moreover, I would point out that it was Obama's AG (Eric Holder) who quickly (April of 2009) moved to set aside that Bush conviction (see www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102589818) without any known pressure from his dem base or party (who hated Stevens). These bloggers who try to blame Obama are thus probably the same Republicans who are still trying to figure out a way to convincingly blame Obama for the country's financial collapse in 2008 as well as the bailouts of Wall Street, both of which occurred while Bush was nearing the end of 8 years of control of the white house and before Obama was even elected (see www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/business/21qanda.html). The only problem is that those darn things called "facts" keep getting in the way of their fantasies. How inconvenient.

Posted by: law1 | September 27, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse


Who cares? Ted's dead!


Posted by: mortified469 | September 27, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Let us not forget that it was a Republican Justice Department that prosecuted Stevens. Don't blame this one on Democrats.

Posted by: truth1 | September 27, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

While the Obama administration has been the victim of daily smears by talk radio pretty much since the first day, Rush 'I want him to fail' Limbaugh, it is worth noting that a democratic attorney general under a democratic president went to the courts to save the hide of republican Stevens from a prosecutor who acted unlawfully. That is the way it is supposed to work and the way it used to work until conservative maggots wrecked civil discourse in this country.

Posted by: lemondog | September 27, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Just because some crooked defense attorney screamed it - and an idiot judge believed it - does not make it true. Rest in peace, Nick.

Posted by: Duesberry | September 28, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh, no. Looks like Shakespeare was right.

Posted by: jackbrumbelow7 | September 29, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

WOW - there sure is a lot of evidence in the posts above that support my theory that the Reds' have a really stupid "base".

HINT: watching/listening to beck will lower your abyssmal I.Q.s even further.


KROOSA posted: "None of us know what evidence, if any, the DOJ investigators turned up implicating Mr. Marsh in wrongdoing"


Apparently you weren't paying a bit of attention honey because, yes, we do know quite a lot of the evidence and testimony brought forth in the case. If idiot DUHbya's pawyers hadn't flubbed the case (probably on purpose because Stevens is a Red) Stevens would have been in jail.


Posted by: lquarton | September 29, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

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