NOVEMBER 04, 2008
Seeking reelection today, the veteran Alaska senator recently found guilty by a jury of multiple felony corruption charges insists that he has not been convicted of anything.
Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, actually looked into a camera during a recent debate with his Democratic opponent and said: “I have not been convicted of anything….I have not been convicted."
Could it be that the 84-year-old Harvard-trained lawyer and former U.S. Attorney is delusional? After all, it was just last week that a jury convicted him of seven felony counts for hiding tens of thousands of dollars in gifts—including a major home renovation—from an oil company seeking lucrative government contracts and favorable legislation.
The Washington D.C. trial took about a month and Stevens, who has served Alaska in the U.S. Senate since 1968, even testified on his own behalf. The jury deliberated for only five hours before convicting Stevens, who blamed prosecutorial misconduct for the unjust verdict.
Before the trial started two major oil company executives and a lobbyist—cooperating with federal investigators—had already pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy and federal corruption charges. The operators of the huge oil services company called VECO admitted paying nearly half a million dollars in bribes to various Alaska lawmakers.
Stevens assures that he will serve Alaskans effectively while he appeals his case, but he could still face expulsion by the Senate Ethics Committee if reelected today. After all, a jury has found him guilty of committing serious felonies.
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