Alaska’s once favorite son, Senator Ted Stevens, was charged with Federal ethics violations last July on the way to a election-day finish, and the defense of his long-held Senate seat. The debacle was known as the “Ted Stevens Scandal” and Democrats were gleeful. Now, the “Ted Stevens Scandal” indictment charges are dismissed, the conviction is overturned. See photos and a video below.

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Ted Stevens

Former Senator Ted Stevens was convicted by a jury last Fall on seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms. He was accused of concealing $250,000 in gifts from an oil company – specifically rennovations on a vacation home (see photo below). According to the WSJ, the DOJ never attempted to allege, or prove, that the oil pipeline company was doing the work as payback for a political favor from Stevens. The charge was solely Stevens’ failure to disclose financial information on Senate forms. The “guilty charge” was delivered two weeks before election day. The Ted Stevens Scandal commenced. Stevens appealed the case.

In documents filed with the court advising dismissal of Stevens’ conviction, The Department of Justice said:

[It] recently discovered” that prosecutors withheld from the defense notes about an interview last April with the state’s star witness, Bill Allen, that contradicted his subsequent testimony. Under the Brady Rule for evidence, Justice was obliged to share that with Steven’s lawyers.

It is interesting to note that “star witness” Bill Allen is the owner of the company alleged to do the work on Steven’s house. In December, a whistleblower told the prosecutors that Allen was having a sexual affair with the lead FBI investigator on the case. It is also alleged that gifts other than those of a sexual nature were exchanged between Allen and the FBI.

On appeal, Stevens’ attorneys charged that Bill Allen told prosecutors and federal agents that the fair market value for the rennovations done on Stevens’ home totaled $80,000. Stevens testified that he had paid all of the renovation bills received from Allen ‘s company, Vesco. Any rebutting of Stevens’ claims that he paid for the work and could prove it, is not being reported, at least that I can find. (See a photo of the house below). The bottom line is, Allen was deep in deception. Stevens’ attorneys were not told of Allen’s interview with the federal agents and prosecutors, not to mention that many thousands of dollars separate $250,000 and $80,000. According to the Blog of Legal Times, the FBI didn’t even document the Allen interview in writing.

Ted Stevens lost his Senate seat to a Democrat, but he lost it, just barely, (-1%). He is infamous for the “bridge to nowhere” and his “big spending ways.” However, anyone charged in any court, and particularly in a Federal court, should have the respect of that court, and expect to receive a fair trial. That means not messing with the evidence.

Eric Holder is now being lauded for throwing the whole thing out, but he stooped low and cited one of the reasons for his actions was Stevens’ advanced age (85). Let’s get real about this, he had to drop the charges. His department was in trouble and Stevens’ age had nothing to do with making things right for the Senator.
Now we need to see what happens to these despicable DOJ lawyers.

I am not defending Ted Stevens, but I am defending a high-profile politician’s right not to be railroaded on the eve of an election. In fact, by the DOJ’s own rules, they violated their own guidelines by “becoming political players” in the Senate race – and far worse, in the balance of the U.S. Senate.

Ted Stevens is free, but again, he lost the election due to the criminal actions of DOJ attorneys. Nothing can be done about that. The “Ted Stevens Scandal” is over for him, but I believe the Democrats will throw the “disreputable” and “corrupt” “Ted Stevens Scandal” into their rhetoric more than a few times.

4/7/09 Update: The prosecutors of the Ted Stevens case are now under criminal investigation. Read the lastest actions of the court here.

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Ted Stevens (Photos)

Ted Stevens (Video)