Ted Stevens Indicted on Corruption Charges

Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for concealing payments from his financial disclosure forms.

The indictment accuses Stevens, former chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, of concealing payments of more than $250,000 in goods and services from an oil company. The items include home improvements, autos and household items.

The Alaska oil firm, Veco, and its onetime leader Bill Allen, asked for help in return, which Stevens allegedly provided. Allen and a former Veco lobbyist pleaded guilty in May 2007 in connection with their role in the scheme, Justice Department officials said.

The indictment charges Stevens with violating the Ethics in Government Act between 2001 and 2006 by hiding payments from Allen, Veco and two other people. The law requires elected officials to disclose gifts and debts that exceed $10,000 during any point in the year.

Link via Kevin Drum, who notes:

Apparently Republicans were right all along about the morally debilitating effects of relying for decades on a nonstop stream of federal welfare handouts.

Tough to argue with that. Stevens was a notorious pork coopersmith, and to my immediate recollection has not done much to commend himself in Congress. Time will tell, though, whether there’s enough evidence to warrant a conviction.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Politicians, ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    This further shows how the damn liberals are nothing but a bunch of corrupt bums. Stevens’ type of crookedness is typical of the Democrat-controlled Congress.

  2. Anthony says:

    His guilt or innocence can only be determined by a Coot Off.

  3. He will be gone soon. Good riddance. Now ask Mr. Drum about Representative Jefferson.

  4. Richard Gardner says:

    It looks like a day of Sen Stevens media coverage has been deflected by a moderate earthquake in the Los Angeles area. A significant Republican challenger announced his bid against Stevens yesterday, Vic Vickers, though some might call him a carpetbagger. The Primary is Aug 26. His ad sates, “I am Vic Vickers, and I’m running against Ted Stevens to stop corruption.”

    I see they are charging him for false official statements, rather than corruption. Regardless, his time is over.

  5. sam says:

    Now ask Mr. Drum about Representative Jefferson.

    Neener Neener

  6. sam says:

    More seriously:

    The Alaska oil firm, Veco, and its onetime leader Bill Allen, asked for help in return, which Stevens allegedly provided. Allen and a former Veco lobbyist pleaded guilty in May 2007 in connection with their role in the scheme, Justice Department officials said.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if, in return for shortened sentences, Allen and the other guy ratted Stevens out and provided the evidence on which the indictment was based. Allen and the lobbyist plead guilty to more serious charges:

    The charges Allen and Smith [the lobbyist] face include lengthy prison sentences, with a total of 20 years maximum, but the plea agreement calls for a range of between nine and 11 years.

    Prosecutors can ask for less, though, and a judge also can reduce the sentence.

    See this link for the details, if interested

  7. Bithead says:

    Now ask Mr. Drum about Representative Jefferson.

    Indeed.
    I have no problem whatever with this guy going down. But of course, it’s just an accident of timing that all this comes up again smack dab in the middle of the election as I suggested it would over a year ago.

    And it’s just an accident of timing, too, that Jeffrson’s case is still in limbo.

  8. anjin-san says:

    Now ask Mr. Drum about Representative Jefferson.

    As a Democrat, I find Jefferson to be an embarrassment. Why has the DOJ not taken action against him?

  9. Steve Plunk says:

    Corruption is the same whether Democrat or Republican. Pork is the same whether Democrat or Republican. It appears Sen. Stevens will get what’s coming to him regardless of party affiliation.

  10. Richard Gardner says:

    Anchorage Daily News published an overview in May of the events and players that extend well beyond Senator Stevens that I recommend scanning. For example Rep Young has spent over a million in lawyers’ fees.

    Being in Senator Stevens’ home state, the paper has the best coverage I’ve seen on the issue.

    The case against Rep Wm Jefferson (LA) is slowly winding its way through the courts, scheduled to begin Dec 2 in Northern VA. He is facing 5 challengers in the Sept 6 Dem Primary and is having fund raising issues.

  11. davod says:

    “Time will tell, though, whether there’s enough evidence to warrant a conviction.”

    The case will be heard in the DC courts. He is a gonner.

  12. Anderson says:

    Wow! No one saw this coming.

  13. DOJ took action and confiscated files from his office to prepare a case. Then the House, led by Dennis Hastert, forced DOJ to give them back claiming constitutional violations related to executive overreach. So, I guess we have to wait for Congress to police itself. Good luck with that.

  14. just me says:

    Good riddance.

  15. anjin-san says:

    Then the House, led by Dennis Hastert, forced DOJ to give them back claiming constitutional violations

    Well, that pretty much gives lie to the argument that Democrats are “protecting” him, now doesn’t it?

    With that avenue blocked, perhaps the DOJ could go down other ones to hold Jefferson accountable. But then I think we have all learned not to expect much from the Bush DOJ Office of Political Enforcement.

    It is clean that corruption is endemic on both sides of the aisle. Here in the heavily Democratic San Francisco Bay Area, it is mind boggling.

  16. […] — Outside The Beltway’s Alex Knapp in his direct response to Kevin Drum’s comment above (Right): “… Tough to argue with that. Stevens was a notorious pork coopersmith, and to […]

  17. Smaller government, please. It may be the only way to limit the corruption.

  18. peterh says:

    “But of course, it’s just an accident of timing that all this comes up again smack dab in the middle of the election as I suggested it would over a year ago.”

    Yeah bit….one has to wonder what the heck is going on over at the DOJ….I mean…really….one would think Mukasey could suppress the GOP hijinks and elevate the dem hijinks…..then again….one could say Monica just didn’t have enough time to complete her weeding project and Mukasey is in the unenviable position of herding cats…..yeah…that’s the ticket….***snark***

  19. anjin-san says:

    Well, given the level of competence we have come to expect from the modern GOP, I think that the concept of Hastert and Mukasey colluding to suppress the prosecution of a Democrat and hang a member of the GOP out to dry is a credible one…

  20. joe says:

    While it is sad that such a high ranking and seemingly well respected member of our nation’s government is breaking the law, it is reassuring to know that the law applies to all citizens. I hope that this investigation and trial doesn’t lead to simple sanctions, but a serious pursuit of justice.

  21. Bithead says:

    Well, given the level of competence we have come to expect from the modern GOP, I think that the concept of Hastert and Mukasey colluding to suppress the prosecution of a Democrat and hang a member of the GOP out to dry is a credible one…

    I tend to doubt the corner offices are involved here. But certainly, something’s out of kilter, given the timing of these issues. Career people, perhaps. When something comes out so perfectly wrong, it does seem to me to strecth the crediblity of the argument that this timing is all mere coincidence.

  22. Alex Knapp says:

    Bithead,

    It’s always an election year.

  23. graywolf says:

    The only way the Republicans get out from under this (as opposed to 2006 when they took the “deer in the headlights” approach) is to make this little porkbarrel martinet walk the gang plank.
    If he won’t resign, hang him out to dry as publicly as possible.
    Oops, I’m talking about gutless clueless Republicans here; no chance of doing anything coherent or intelligent.

  24. Bruce Moomaw says:

    It would be kind of nice if more of you guys had emulated Charles Austin and actually bothered to follow the lengthy string of articles on the progress of the case against William “Cold Cash” Jefferson. The number of REPUBLICAN Congressmen who raised screaming hell at the time about the FBI searching his office was quite amazing, and raises certain questions about the possible contents of their own offices.