Election 2008

ted stevens, ted stevens charges, stevens charged with hiding gifts
Seanna O'Sullivan/AP
Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, addresses
questions from Alaskan legislators (AP)

Sen. Ted Stevens Pleads Not Guilty, Gets Early Trial Date

August 01, 2008 12:46 PM
by Cara McDonough
The 84-year-old Republican senator from Alaska is accused of lying about $250,000 in gifts and home renovations he may have received from an oil company.

30-Second Summary

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Stevens pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in Washington, D.C., Thursday, and also made it clear that he does not want his indictment to get in the way of his re-election campaign this fall, the Associated Press reports.

Corruption cases tend to take years, but prosecutors and the judge said they had no problem with moving the case along quickly. “I understand why the senator would like to have this matter commenced and concluded before the elections, and by all indications, that is possible,” said Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who set a tentative September 24 trial date.

A 28-page indictment says Stevens, who is the longest-serving Republican senator in history, “provided false information in financial disclosure forms filed with the Senate that required him to report items of value he had received.”

He is accused of receiving substantial improvements to property that he owns in Alaska, new vehicles in exchange for older ones and household goods from 2001 to 2006. The indictment says the Senator received gifts from oil services company VECO corporation and its top executive.

The charges may improve Democrats’ hopes of increasing their Senate majority, now at 51-49, and opens up the race for other Republican contenders in the election this fall. Stevens is running for his seventh term in November, but the charges mean his prospects for winning just “went up in smoke,” said Anchorage pollster Marc Hellenthal.

Headline Link: ‘Stevens Pleads Not Guilty in Corruption Case’

Background: Stevens charged with making false statements; the election ahead; 2007 home raid

Opinions & Analysis: Alaskans ‘want and deserve real answers’

Related Topic: Stevens biggest pork spender last year

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