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Stevens Defends Himself, Blames Others

Posted on Oct 17, 2008
Ted Stevens

Stevens is accused of receiving more than $250,000 in gifts and housing renovations from an oil company that supported his campaign.

Alaska’s Sen. Ted Stevens (the Internet as a “series of tubes” guy) testified in his own defense at his corruption trial Friday, blaming the fact that he received $250,000 in free house renovations and gifts first on his wife, then family friends, and ultimately on the many responsibilities of a U.S. senator.

The Associated Press:

Sen. Ted Stevens told jurors on Friday that he and his wife tried to plan and oversee their home renovation project as best they could. But he suggested that some details may have gotten lost amid the busy life of a senator working thousands of miles away.

The Alaska Republican appeared as his own star witness, trying to convince jurors that he paid every bill he received and didn’t know he received any freebies during the renovations.

The 2000 remodeling project is at the heart of Stevens’ corruption trial. The Senate’s longest-serving Republican is charged with lying on Senate financial disclosure documents about more than $250,000 in renovations and other gifts he received from his friend, oil services contractor Bill Allen.

Stevens told jurors that he and his wife, Catherine, relied on their friends to oversee the project and arranged a loan to pay for it. He described making it clear that he intended to pay for everything.

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By Louise, October 18, 2008 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, I’m no attorney either.

Congratulations by the way! smile

But I’ve covered enough criminal trials to know, when the accused defends himself with “it’s their fault” he/she is usually guilty. That’s the interesting thing about criminals. Their inability to accept personal responsibility for their situation is often the thing that leads them to getting caught up in a crime in the first place! Come to think of it, isn’t that what leads some folks to a career in politics?

Stevens fits the profile, but I’ll let the jury determine his guilt or innocence. Maybe in the final analysis he’ll just be found guilty of being really, really stupid. I mean the guy should have known long ago, just having his name linked with Bill Allen would lead to an investigation!

Poor Alaska ...

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By Blackspeare, October 18, 2008 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

If Stevens is convicted there are prisons and there are prisons.  Convicted politicians along with white collar criminals are not assigned to ordinary every day prisons basically for their own protection.  While being locked-up and losing freedom can be wrenching, the prisons they go to, while not country clubs, are quite bearable.  They are house with their own ilk and have many amenities not found in hard core incarceration.  The problem is they know this and thus are willing to take a chance to make a few bucks.  Perhaps if such miscreants were assigned to normal prisons we would see much less occurrence of such illegalities.  I happen to know someone who was assigned to Allenwood Prison in Pennsylvania——he did quite nicely there and make some valuable friends.  Today, he lives quite well on the money he stole, which was invested and hidden from the authorities.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 18, 2008 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Stevens’ anger and insisting it’s all lies and plots by his enemies reminds me of another nasty, crazy, venal old man.

Give him an African accent and a Black complexion and you have…..ROBERT MUGABE!  It all sounds the same.

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By cyrena, October 17, 2008 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

By Big B, October 17 at 9:30 am #

I am no attorney. But I do know that you never put the defendant on the stand, unless you are really desperate!


I am. Depends on the defendant and the lawyer. And, ANYBODY on trial is desperate, even when they’re being tried for something they didn’t do. In fact, that’s when they’re the MOST desperate, and oftentimes, only hearing from the defendant him or herself will do.

Now that’s NOT what I think the case is here, (Stevens is desperately guilty, and belongs in jail for the rest of his life) but that’s just to say that there’s not a hard fast rule there, and most folks who do the arm chair stuff don’t really understand that.

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By AgathaX, October 17, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The media is alway quite credulous in covering trials.  They report what a defendant is saying, much the way they report what others say, as if we have some sort of obligation to take the witness at his word. 

Juries however, tend to be less gullible. 

Though does anyone doubt that there is a presidential pardon coming his way?

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By jcbrap, October 17, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Just another corrupt politician trying to whine and cry his way out of justice.  Ignorance of the law (or what you are or are not doing) is NO EXCUSE Senator!  At least that’s what they keep telling us regular Americans…Methinks he doth protest too much!

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By Spiritgirl, October 17, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Yet another politician of hubris, screaming at the little man that it’s everyone else’s fault!  That is the way they go!  My only hope is that they put him under the jail!

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By irishtornado, October 17, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

This isn’t anything new. I don’t know why this shocks anyone. Corruption runs deep in Washington. How does everyone think we got into a $600 million bailout? This corruption isn’t republican or democrat it’s Washington as a hole. That’s what Washington is, A Big Asshole and each politician falls out one at a time. America grunt a little harder maybe we can flush a few more.

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By xyzaffair, October 17, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I lived in Alaska in 1994.  I remember one of Stevens’s campaign commercials where he said he wanted to put on his hip boots when he watched his opponents’ commercials.  I hope the jurors at his trial had theirs.

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By Big B, October 17, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

I am no attorney. But I do know that you never put the defendant on the stand, unless you are really desperate!

They used to tar and feather crooked public officials. Is it time to look back to those good old days?

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