POLITICS

Ted Stevens Indictment

Ted Stevens has given his first public comment since he was indicted today on seven felony charges.

Note that he says he never "knowingly" submitted false statements, leaving some wiggle room.

This was just posted on his Web site:

"I have proudly served this nation and Alaska for over 50 years. My public service began when I served in World War II. It saddens me to learn that these charges have been brought against me. I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. Senator.

JULY 29 2008: DOJ Press Conference On Stevens' Indictment

JULY 29 2008: Ted Stevens Indicted

United States Senator Theodore F. Stevens of Alaska was charged today in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia with seven counts of making false statements related to Stevens' financial disclosure forms, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced.

The seven-count indictment charges Sen. Stevens, the former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, with engaging in a nearly eight-year scheme to conceal his receipt of more than $250,000 in things of value from VECO Corporation, formerly a multi-national oil services company based in Alaska, and Bill J. Allen, the Chief Executive Officer of VECO at the time.

"I don't see any reason why we should have had this massive press interest in what's going on," Stevens said. "It's just an investigation of a federal agency. They go on all the time. No one else talks about them the way they talk about the one involving me." ...

Stevens made vague threats to the people who have suggested that he and his son, former state Senate President Ben Stevens, might be guilty of some sort of wrongdoing.

Bill Allen, former chief executive of oil services company VECO, testified that he spent more than $400,000 to bribe state legislators and for work at Stevens' house in the ski resort town of Girdwood. He said VECO also paid at least two contractors, a plumber and a carpenter, for work on the house. The project in 2000 more than doubled the size of the four-bedroom structure.

The former head of an oil field service company admitted Thursday in court that he bribed three Alaska legislators, including the son of a U.S. senator who is the target of a federal investigation.

Federal law enforcement agents raided U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' Alaska home in Girdwood on Monday, hauling off undisclosed items from inside and taking extensive pictures and video. Officials wouldn't say what they were looking for or what they found.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, disclosed in an interview that the FBI asked him to preserve records as part of a widening investigation into Alaskan political corruption that has touched his son and ensnared one of his closest political confidants and financial backers.

Stevens, 84, has had what has been described as an "iron grip" on Alaskan politics for decades, since he was appointed to the Senate in 1968, won a special election two years later and was re-elected six times. The largest airport in Alaska is named for him -- the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.

Sure, Stevens is in the news now -- but there is one news program that has been on him for ages, tipped off by his notorious temper and propensity for saying whatever the hell he wants.