Every once in a while, going through my usual rounds online, I come across an unexpected jewel. This one came from TPM Muckraker in the form of a wonderfully organized and aesthetically pleasing Ted Stevens Corruption timeline!
It’s a true tale of descent from Last Frontier Icon, to really old semi-pathetic felon.
The chronology begins with the fateful line, “Sen. Ted Stevens mentions to his friend, VECO CEO Bill Allen, that his daughter could use a new car,” and it’s all down hill from there.
In reading through the chain of events, there were some details I had forgotten, like this marvelous quote from Stevens at the time of his indictment:
“This is an indictment for failure to disclose gifts that are controversial in terms of whether they were or were not gifts. It’s not bribery; it’s not some corruption; it’s not some extreme felony.”
I don’t know why I always get such a kick out of that quote. No, he didn’t commit murder, or knock over a bank, or kidnap someone for ransom. And that makes us glad. But by implication, we’re supposed to feel good that it’s just a garden variety felony, a minor felony, a felony hardly worth mentioning. Whew! Dodged a bullet, there. I was worried for a minute.
The timeline ends on November 20, 2008 when Stevens makes his last appearance on the Senate floor. I’m hoping the timeline will continue with updates, because Stevens may be out, but the cadaveric spasms of his long career in Alaska politics continue.
David Anderson, the witness who said he lied under oath regarding an immunity deal, has also stated that the prosecution showed him documents before the trial that he wasn’t legally supposed to see. Judge Emmett Sullivan, who undoubtedly had been hoping he’d seen the last of this trial has scheduled a hearing for Monday to determine whether Stevens’ attorneys can question Anderson, Allen’s nephew and a welder who worked on Stevens’ renovations….the one’s he ‘forgot’ to disclose on his financial disclosure forms.
The circumstances surrounding this sudden and startling confession of perjury from the penitent welder are still unclear. Kind of like when you question the “Magic 8 Ball” and it tells you, “Reply hazy….try again later.”
We’ll try again on Monday.