Alaska Sen. Stevens Found Guilty Of Accepting Illegal Gifts

Update (TChris): Will President Bush pardon Senator Stevens? Will that decision depend upon whether Stevens is reelected?

Mr. Stevens is certain to appeal the conviction, and his supporters are also likely to explore the possibility of obtaining a pardon from a fellow Republican, President George W. Bush, before Mr. Bush leaves office in January.

original post:

Ted Stevens guilty:

Sen. Ted Stevens was found guilty on all counts at his corruption trial Monday. Stevens was charged with lying on Senate financial forms about $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts he received from an oil contractor.

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    Well well (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Steve M on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:17:39 PM EST
    This result surprises me.  Certainly couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    It will (none / 0) (#6)
    by cal1942 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:24:19 PM EST
    be an interesting sideshow of this election to see if Begich actually defeats Stevens now that the verdict is in.

    We probably won't know until sometime Wednesday but it will be interesting.

    The last two polls I saw was Begich up by 1 and 2.


    I should add (none / 0) (#13)
    by cal1942 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:30:26 PM EST
    that we've all probably seen convicted candidates win handily.

    A couple of decades ago there was a state senator in Michigan who was re-elected time and again in spite of several convictions over the years for a variety of crimes.


    I cannot recall (none / 0) (#23)
    by Steve M on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:44:45 PM EST
    any example of a convicted felon being seated in Congress.  I would be surprised if it came to that.

    Harrison Williams in 1981, part of the Abscam (none / 0) (#29)
    by Angel on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:09:14 PM EST
    scandal.  Saw it in the Washington Post.

    Actually (none / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:18:33 PM EST
    Williams is a counterexample.  He resigned following his conviction.

    From WP: (none / 0) (#37)
    by Angel on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:32:07 PM EST
    Harrison Williams (D-N.J.), the last senator found guilty of a felony while in office, was convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of bribery May 1, 1981, part of the FBI's Abscam scandal. Williams remained in the Senate for almost 10 months before resigning on March 11, 1982, after the ethics committee had recommended to the full chamber that he be expelled.

    This (none / 0) (#41)
    by cal1942 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:52:34 PM EST
    was a state senator.  The convictions were not felonies they were misdemeanors.

    My point was that an incumbent is not an automatic loser because of a conviction.

    Further, my point concerned the electorate not whether the legislative body was accept them.

    That's why I said that the Alaskan Senatorial race would be an interesting show.


    With this though... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Thanin on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 06:35:43 PM EST
    the election is 8 days away.  So I think a guilty verdict could have far more weight, especially with the polls basically at a tie.

    I sure (none / 0) (#50)
    by cal1942 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 11:27:24 PM EST
    hope that will be the case.

    You've made a good point concerning the proximity of the election.


    How to screw up a case and (none / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:54:42 PM EST
    still win....

    guess the powell bounce didn't help him (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:22:41 PM EST

    Color me "surprised" (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:27:35 PM EST
    I thought DoJ had botched the case so badly they couldn't get a conviction.

    Color me also "on the way to 60".

    59 looks good (none / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:29:42 PM EST
    And that includes Lieberman....

    Maybe Georgia.  Ky and Miss. might be close but Republicans are probably still ahead....


    He must have been guilty (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by magster on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:29:02 PM EST
    because the prosecutors sure worked hard to have him acquitted with their misconduct and incompetence.

    Prosecutorial misconduct tempers my joy (none / 0) (#49)
    by wincolo08 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 11:07:00 PM EST
    at his conviction.  It just goes to show that the trend in prosecution, whether at the federal or state level, is toward an "end justifies the means" philosophy.  The ABA Standards make clear that a prosecutor's function is supposed to be to "seek justice, not merely convictions."  This is roundly sneered and guffawed at by prosecutors at all levels.  While I am pleased to see this bastard's career (hopefully) come to an ignominious end, another part of me wants to see the conviction overturned (AFTER Stevens loses his reelection bid) based on the prosecutorial misconduct.  It just might happen; if I'm not mistaken, his lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, represented Ollie North (another Worst Person In the World candidate), and Sullivan set up the record for appeal perfectly--resulting in a reversal on appeal and a reported case that was moderately useful for the defense.

    cool (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by connecticut yankee on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:37:51 PM EST
    Don't they need to look into how Palin got her house built now?  I thought I read that the "friends" were actually contractors who worked on the sports center she had built.

    Excellent! (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:22:06 PM EST
    Hope he gets an adjoining cell to Cold Cash Jefferson some time in the near future.

    if we go by odds.. (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by coigue on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 10:39:36 PM EST
    the criminal he shares a cell with will be a Republecan

    Not re-elected (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:24:09 PM EST
    Is great, but I doubt he'll spend a day in prison.  Bush will give him a nice going away present of a "get out of jail free" card.

    I'd rather have nonviolent offenders (none / 0) (#8)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:26:56 PM EST
    do community service....It is cheaper for the state...

    Tedddy Tubes should do some janitor work around town....pick up litter in an Orange vest....work in a soup kitchen....for an hour at a time (he is on the old side.)


    In a vacuum yes (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:34:02 PM EST
    But far too often, non-violent civilian offenders do hard time, and non-violent "important" people do no time.  Honestly, Stevens has probably done more harm to the country than most other non-violent offenders in prison - although granted not necessarily the stuff he was convicted for.

    I salute your intellectual honesty, but I must admit I am not that good, and have a bit of a desire to "stick it to the man"


    If he actually does time, (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:50:12 PM EST
    I won't be too upset....

    Pardon during (none / 0) (#17)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:32:51 PM EST
    pending appeals?

    Ask Scooter your question (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by magster on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:37:37 PM EST
    He might have an answer for you.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#24)
    by Steve M on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:45:54 PM EST
    I will take the "no" side of that particular proposition.

    Which side is no? (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:48:46 PM EST
    I got confused reading my own post.  No he won't go to jail?  Or no he won't get pardoned?

    I do not believe (none / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:54:13 PM EST
    that Bush will pardon him, although it's just a guess.

    I can't imagine that even Alaska (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:26:28 PM EST
    will reelect him after this.

    I think the closeness in the polls (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:28:19 PM EST
    reflected a belief in a possible not-guilty verdict....That will change....

    This happened too quickly after the (none / 0) (#14)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:31:08 PM EST
    juror was replaced with the alternate.  They were supposed to start deliberations anew. Way too quick.

    I agree with B-Fudd (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:06:56 PM EST
    Stevens may have a good appeal here, with the way the judge handled the jury deliberations problems.  And the way the judge answered the jury's question this morning about a discrepancy in the allegations of one of the counts.

    I didn't like the prosection's mistakes. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:31:57 PM EST
    But OMG, Stevens had the lamest set of excuses I have ever heard!

    I think I can sum it up as

    "It's not what it looks like - I can explain!".

    Having Teddy Tubes testify-- (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MKS on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:52:09 PM EST
    terrible train wreck, no?

    Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (none / 0) (#16)
    by Erehwon on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:32:05 PM EST
    So how long will it take Alaskans to rename the airport? Sarah Palin International Airport, anyone?

    How long will it be before folks stop naming things after living people? :-(

    Don't hold your breath (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:35:43 PM EST
    We still have "Columbus Day" in this country.

    I didn't know... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:29:50 PM EST
    Columbus is still alive? That sucker must be getting up there in age.

    Oops (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CST on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:31:49 PM EST
    I missed the last line in the post.

    I thought it was "how long until we stop naming things after people who did stupid stuff" or something.

    Now I feel stupid.


    We'll call this "CST Day" (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:40:25 PM EST
    Fair Enough (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by CST on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 05:29:48 PM EST
    As long as I get the day off :)

    It will only take (none / 0) (#22)
    by mg7505 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:39:14 PM EST
    until we break our addiction to pork (barrel spending).

    No problem.... (none / 0) (#43)
    by independent thinker on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 05:04:57 PM EST
    just rename it the "Ted Stevens, Convicted Felon, Airport"  ;-)

    Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?


    Palin (none / 0) (#26)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:53:48 PM EST
    Well, if Stevens is re-elected, just watch, he'll resign and then Palin can name his replacement...God, I hope Begich wins!

    Isn't his name still.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by landjjames on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:17:23 PM EST
    on the ballot?  Is it possible that the good people of Alaska could still vote for him?  That would leave it open to have the position filled by the Governor.  It differs from state to state.  Does anyone know the procedure for appointing someone in Alaska?

    We looked at this last week (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 04:23:31 PM EST
    If Stevens were to for some reason win and not take his seat, the Governor would have to call a special election under most circumstances.

    surprising (none / 0) (#44)
    by txpublicdefender on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 05:25:40 PM EST
    I'm surprised, not just by the verdict, but by the speed with which it was reached.  They were supposed to start deliberations all over again today with the new juror, and yet, they reached a verdict before end of business.  With all the stuff about the judge instructing the jury that the government had knowingly presented false evidence, this is definitely a bit surprising.

    There are certainly plenty of issues to keep the appellate lawyers busy, though.  I don't know if I'd give more than even odds that the conviction holds up on appeal.

    Exactly my point above (none / 0) (#46)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 06:01:28 PM EST
    I don't see how they reviewed the evidence anew with the new juror.