Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury for various corruption charges today, July 29th 2008. He is a long-serving GOP Senator who is 84 years old and has represented the state in Washington for 40 years since 1968. See the news report on video below.
Read more from Politico here. The indictment is relating to possible corruption concerning his home in Alaska. Veco Oil company is alleged to have renovated his home and they are not quite sure how Senator Stevens paid them. He was indicted on seven counts of failing to disclose gifts and lying about them to investigators. He is the first sitting Senator under indictment in 15 years.
Democrats and Republicans are already coming to the defense of the powerful Senator. Senator Daniel Inouye (Democrat-Hawaii) said today that he believes Stevens to be innocent, although he is not surprised by the charges given the years-long investigation by the FBI. Regardless of how they feel about Ted Stevens, the indictment will require him to step down from the Senate Appropriations Committee as the GOP’s powerful senior member.
The indictment of Ted Stevens will not have much to do with the presidential race, although liberal bloggers are speculating it helps McCain. However, it may cause the McCain camp to think twice about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who Right Pundits understands is under strong consideration for the Republican ticket. There is something in politics to close associations, if only by proximity.
Still, she along with John McCain are noted for fighting political corruption, so there might be some unforseen benefits to highlighting this part of McCain’s presidential resume.
Ted Stevens Indictment (Video)