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Federal prosecutors have some ‘soul-searching’ to do | READER COMMENTARY

Attorney Joshua Treem, left, was found not guilty of obstruction charges as he leaves the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He is with Daniel Goldstein, Robert Trout and Noah Cherry as he makes a statement to reporters. (Justin Fenton/Baltimore Sun).

As both a former federal defense attorney and a former federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland, it was with great relief that I saw today that attorney Joshua Treem and investigator Sean Gordon were acquitted of all charges by a federal jury. I know both Mr. Treem and Mr. Gordon, and I couldn’t be happier for them (”Feds criticized after acquittals in Ken Ravenell conspiracy trial; jury convicts on one count of money laundering,” Dec. 28).

Many of us have watched in horror and disgust as the federal prosecutorial function has been severely undermined in recent years by the likes of Jeff Sessions, William Barr and, alas, even Rod Rosenstein. The prosecution of Mr. Treem and Mr. Gordon was not political, but it was no less pernicious. This prosecution was seen by many federal criminal defense lawyers in Maryland as an assault on the adversary system as enshrined in the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. And it cannot be written off as the work of two overzealous and tone deaf local prosecutors. Cases such as these have to receive approval at the highest levels in the U.S. Department of Justice.

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I saw that one of Mr. Treem’s attorneys was quoted as saying that anyone who was responsible for the decision leading to the prosecution of these two men, should do some “serious soul-searching.” I couldn’t agree more.

Joseph L. Evans, Timonium

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