Well, the jury of 8 women and 4 men has deliberated and has come back to find Senator Stevens (R-AK) guilty on all 7 counts of making false statements (lying on U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms for 1999-2006).
Before entering the courtroom, Stevens told reporters, “Put this down. I am not stepping down. I’m going to run through, and I’m going to win this election.” After hearing the verdict, he allegedly told his wife, Catherine, “It’s not over yet.”
Patti Higgins, the chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party released a statement, saying, “He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway and lied to Alaskans about it. Alaskans deserve better from their public officials. It’s time for us to elect an ethical and honest senator who will move this state forward.”
Judge Emmet Sullivan has not yet set a date for sentencing, but said that it would be after February. He will then face up to 5 years in prison for each charge; however, it is not expected that he will receive that harsh of a sentence. Senator Stevens is expected to appeal the verdict, and I honestly think he’ll win his appeal. I’m surprised that the prosecution was able to pull off a comeback after making numerous mistakes, including a typo in their indictment where their evidence clearly contradicted their accusation.
President Bush could also pardon Senator Stevens.
Although I think he’ll (unfortunately) win his court battle, I think he has lost his chances at retaining his Senate seat. Say hello to Senator Mark Begich. Now, if by some weird chance he does win, and then is removed, or the Senate expels him before the election, or he resigns (right – like that’ll happen), Governor Palin would replace him (if he left before Inauguration Day. If she won the VP seat and he left after that, the new Governor would appoint the next Senator).
I’m sad to see Senator Stevens go like this, but he was a crook, and he got caught, and it’s time for him to go now.
Tags: 2008 Election, Alaska, Alaska Democratic Party, Catherine Stevens, crime, Criminal, Democrat, Dishonesty, Election, Emmet Sullivan, False Statements, Felons, felony, George Bush, George W. Bush, Governor, Grand Jury, Indictment, Judge, jury, Mark Begich, Pardon, Patti Higgins, Politics, Republican, Sarah Palin, Senate, Senator, Sentence, Ted Stevens, Vice President