Three days after Mark Begich was declared the winner in Alaska’s Senate race of the century, and the day after Ted Stevens yielded the floor of the Senate for the last time, a chief witness for the prosecution in his recent trial came forward with some more than interesting statements.
David Anderson, a witness who testified against Ted Stevens has said in a letter to the Judge Emmett Sullivan that his claims on the stand that he never had an immunity deal with the prosecution were false. Not only that, Anderson said that the prosecutors coached him and “instructed me on how to sugar coat (the immunity deal) and get it swept under the rug during the trial.” He also claims that all members of his family and friends, including former State Senator Jerry Ward would be immune from federal investigation as a result of his agreement.
Ward appears to have been the beneficiary of an illegal campaign contribution by private prison advocate Bill Weimar, who was sentenced to six months in prison this week on a guilty plea to making the payment. Ward has not been charged. The recipient of Weimar’s illegal $20,000 payment was identified in charging documents only as “Candidate A,” but the description matched Ward.
Today, defense attorneys filed the letter from Anderson, a welder who worked on the extensive renovations on the Stevens home that totalled almost $250,000, and which Stevens did not disclose on his Senate Disclosure Forms, leading to seven felony convictions, and his defeat in the general election.
There are only so many times you can say, “You can’t make this stuff up” in one post, so I’m going to save it for the end. Because there’s more to come. Really.
In addition to the above, Anderson goes on to talk about being coached, and “groomed” for the trial, and being reminded of the events that happened. He was shown pictures of the home, paper records, and other materials that he states he had forgotten in the years since the work was done.
In the letter, he states:
Without the preparation from the prosecution and the reminders from them about my activities and the agreement I had with them about my family and myself I would not have given the same testimony. Without a shadow of doubt I believe this trial would have gone much differently.
Wow. A belated birthday present for Ted Stevens? But wait, there’s more.
Possibly the most bizarre allegation in Anderson’s letter is the claim that Bill Allen, (chairman of the oil services company Veco, who was responsible for the home renovations that Stevens was found guilty of not declaring) and his son Mark Allen had taken out a contract on Anderson to have him murdered. Anderson is Bill Allen’s nephew. Think I’m ready to say “You can’t make this stuff up?” yet? Nope.
Stevens’ attorneys demanded a hearing be held to look into the matter. In a court filing Friday, they said the Anderson letter, dated Nov. 15, was new evidence of government misconduct in the case. They’ve already said they planned to seek a new trial or to overturn Stevens’ conviction on Oct. 27 of lying on Senate disclosure forms.
Government prosecutors responded Friday that Anderson’s letter, “simply put,” is untrue. They said that defense lawyers had ample opportunity to question Anderson about the March affidavit when he was on the witness stand, but chose not to.
In the affidavit, the main subject of Anderson’s Nov. 15 letter, Anderson said he agreed to cooperate with the government on condition that prosecutor grant immunity to Ward and his wife Margaret, Ward’s three daughters and their husbands, Anderson’s mother and son, and several others who couldn’t be identified. Anderson lives with one of Ward’s daughters, Kirsten Deacon. She was once Bill Allen’s girlfriend and that fact is the cause of much of the friction between uncle and nephew, Anderson has said.
OK. Now I’m ready. You can’t make this stuff up.