Grand Slam: Sen. Ted Stevens Found Guilty on All Seven Counts

In a major victory against congressional corruption, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal trial. Despite numerous blunders by the prosecution, the evidence proved too strong for Senator No who has been an infamous figure for congressional ethics advocates for years.

Obviously, the jury and prosecution problems will give Stevens some interesting appellate issues, but he should be finished politically. For those of us who have complained for years about the corruption of the Stevens family, it is a long-overdue moment.

Stevens was captured on tape telling his close friend “we might have to spend a little time in jail.” It may now be more than a little with a clean sweep by the government.

Clearly the jury did not buy Stevens bizarre claim that gifts like an expensive massage chair were not really gifts if he just used it for years, kept it in his house, and never really accepted it in his mind as a gift. This mind over matter approach to congressional ethics was something of a signature for Stevens.

The longest serving GOP senator is now certain to serve time. He could receive five years for each count, but that is not likely under sentencing guidelines. It would be extremely unusual for Judge Sullivan to sentence Stevens to probation with no jail time. This is particularly the case when a defendant is on tape dismissing the prospects of “a little jail time.”

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12 thoughts on “Grand Slam: Sen. Ted Stevens Found Guilty on All Seven Counts”

  1. In all honesty, the idea of pardoning this weasel would get me in a lather . . . normally. But in this instance, I don’t really care. Stevens attempt to come in under the pardon line is trumped by the raw damage he did to the GOP so close to election. Even more so since the moron ISN’T dropping out of his Senate race. Talk about the poster child for out of touch hubris. I think letting him skate on his time in a Federal country club is a small price to pay in furtherance of a Democratic majority in the Senate. The Senate Republicans have long been a part of the problem and Bush’s protectors/enablers. Anything to get rid of those clowns short of letting the Neocons and PNAC go free is fine with me.

  2. Update at 9:51 a.m. ET: Here’s the statement that McCain just issued through his campaign:

    Yesterday, Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty of corruption. It is a sign of the health of our democracy that the people continue to hold their representatives to account for improper or illegal conduct, but this verdict is also a sign of the corruption and insider-dealing that has become so pervasive in our nation’s capital.

    I didn’t realize McCain was such a master of irony.

  3. Mike Spindell:

    I read the jury reacted to the parade of tradesmen all working for VECO that spent weeks at the Stevens house and for whose services the good Senator was never billed.

  4. Mike S. said: “I think that in any event Bush will pardon him after the elections.”

    As I mentioned before, I think that is why Stevens wanted a speedy trial. The verdict was rendered soon enough for Mr. Bush’s signature on a pardon.

    Mr. Stevens was hedging his bets and he will “win” one way or the other. I simply want justice served on a very corrupt politician.

  5. It couldn’t happen to a nastier, more corrupt person. I have to echo Mespo’s comments about the jury finding their own way to the truth, consiering the poor prosectution team.

  6. 177K – bargain at twice the price, BIL…!

    What do you suppose the appeal will run?

  7. Legal Fees




    Convicted eight days out from the election.


  8. Mespo,
    My guess is that Stevens testimony was so fantastical and probably so full of haughtiness that he succeeded in alienating the jury and convinced them of his guilt despite muddled prosecution. Is it cynical of me to think that the prosecutorial ineptness was somewhat intentional, given DOJ revelations? I think that in any event Bush will pardon him after the elections.

  9. An amazing result given the ineptness of the prosecution team. Sometimes juries do what we tell them not to do and reach the natural justice of the case, the flaws in evidence be damned. Maybe that’s what happened here. As a lawyer, I hope not. As a citizen, I hope so.

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