Jury Dismissed for the Day at Stevens Trial.

22 10 2008

The jury in the Senator Ted Stevens corruption trial has left for the day. (door closing noise)

They were supposed to leave at 4:45pm, but asked permission to leave early.

The jury returned to Sullivan’s court at 4:25 p.m. Sullivan said they had sent a note.

Paraphrasing, he said jurors wanted to leave early. “Kind of stressful right now – we need a minute of clarity right now.”

No problem, Sullivan said. “Of course I will let you go.”

What does this mean? I was expecting a request for more dry erase markers, or a question about an electrical invoice, or something else. But “Can we go early because we’re stressed out?” I didn’t see that one.

So, what do you think?

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The Stevens Indictment Welcomes – Dick Cheney?

23 08 2008

We knew that there would be jewels aplenty in those 67,000 pieces of paper, and hundreds of taped phone calls and videos that make up the body of evidence to be used against Ted Stevens in his upcoming trial.  Here’s the latest.

There’s a new player in our cast of unseemly characters…none other than Dick Cheney.  Apparently a two year old letter from Cheney to the Alaska Legislature has surfaced from the pile o’ steaming evidence.  The letter urged the Legislature to speed things up and get the gas pipeline project settled.  Remember that?  When Frank Murkowski was foaming at the mouth like a rabid animal telling us we had to do it NOW NOW NOW or the WORLD WILL END I TELL YOU!!!

According to a Justice motion, Stevens told Allen, “I’m gonna try to see if I can get some bigwigs from back here and say, ‘Look … you gotta get this done’.” Two days later, Cheney wrote a letter to the Alaska Legislature urging members to “promptly enact” a bill to build the pipeline. The letter was considered unusual because the White House rarely contacts state lawmakers about pending legislative matters. It also angered state Democrats, who accused Cheney of pushing oil-company interests. The former executive director of Cheney’s energy task force had gone to work as a lobbyist for British Petroleum, one of three firms slated to build the pipeline.

Stevens confirmed to NEWSWEEK last week that he asked Cheney to write the letter. “We wanted the federal government to tell the state to act quickly on it,” he said. (A spokesman for Alaska’s other senator, Lisa Murkowski, said her office also had contacts with Cheney’s office.) A Cheney spokeswoman said his office does not comment on pending legal matters.

Interesting.  So our web has added two new strands, and names have been spoken – Dick Cheney and Lisa Murkowski.  Apparently the prosecution is not all that eager to bring up the Cheney connection, as the letter has strangely not been cited by the Justice Department.  Following this trail to the end might land the executive branch somewhere they don’t want to be, like under a magnifying glass.

But, you never know.  Dick Cheney could end up on the witness stand.  Maybe the reason they’re avoiding this is to keep him from making the Bible spontaneously combust when he’s sworn in… That could be really embarrassing.





Stevens’ Trial to be Held in D.C.

20 08 2008

No surprise. Judge Emmett Sullivan today ruled that Ted Stevens will have to stand trial in D.C. where he allegedly committed the seven felonies for which he is accused.

Stevens’ lawyer Brendan Sullivan (another Sullivan) bloviated for over an hour, explaining how witnesses will be inconvenienced, and Stevens’ campaign time will be impinged, etc. It took Judge Sullivan all of about 5 minutes to say no dice.

Sullivan the judge stated several times that video testimony and cross-examination of witnesses will be allowed, and reminded Sullivan the attorney that the court had already bent over backwards to accommodate Stevens’ request for a speedy trial. In addition, the ‘work week’ of the trial may be cut to four days, allowing Stevens to fly home for long weekends of campaigning.

So, the good news for us (bad news for Stevens) is that Stevens may actually get a fair trial. The bad news for us, of course, is no big media extravaganza in Alaska. That’s OK. We should be willing to forgo the festivities for the sake of justice (even though it’s just no fun).





Stevens & Cowdery Join ‘Republican Offenders’

20 08 2008
Image from Republican Offenders

Image from Republican Offenders

For those of you who, like me, have anxiously been awaiting the latest update of Republican Offenders, wait no more.  So inundated they were with Republican indictments lately, it took longer than usual.  The site now reflects Alaska’s latest two contributions:  Senator Ted “I am innocent” Stevens, and John “I am innocent” Cowdery.  They join Pete “I am innocent” Kott, Vic “I am innocent” Kohring…etc.





More Preemptive Sleuthing – This Time By Stevens.

17 08 2008

The latest news nugget released by the FBI in the Ted Stevens case is rather interesting…

Apparently they’ve got a phone call recorded between Senator S and “Person A” that sounds a little suspicious. The court document reads:

By mid-May 2007, Stevens learned that Person A had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in D.C. On May 17, 2007, Stevens sent Person A two emails that discussed Person A’s upcoming grand jury testimony. In the first email, Stevens told Person A that “I hope we can work something out to make sure you aren’t led astray on this occasion.” 

In the second, Stevens was more explicit: “don’t answer questions you don’t KNOW the answers to.”

“Work something out?”  Hmmmm….  Maybe he’s just ‘pulling a Palin’, you know, a little pre-emptive sleuthing and groundwork, just to get the lay of the land before the trial.  That’s OK, right?  Because if you know what they’re going to find, you can prepare.  It’s only fair…

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if more stuff like this doesn’t come to light.  You can fit a LOT in 67,000 pieces of paper, plus audio and video.  And judges tend not to like that sort of thing.

Stevens’ attorneys after requesting a speedy trial, are already singing the blues because now they don’t have time to review all the evidence and prepare and adequate defense in time for the speedy trial they requested.  What’s that old saying?  Be careful what you wish for.





Ted’s Condo Revealed!

15 08 2008

 

Remember when Don Young falsely  claimed to have won the Hero of the Taxpayer Award from Taxpayers for Common Sense?

Well the actual Watchdog Group who would presumably never in a million years give any kind of award to the likes of Don Young, did some excellent digging on another member of Alaska’s congressional delegation.  Utilizing the wonders of Google Earth, we can now get a peek at the latest piece of controversial real estate in Ted Stevens’ closet. 

Not the chalet in Girdwood this time, but a luxury seaside condo on the Gold Coast of Florida. Prosecutors have now alleged that Stevens bought and flipped a $5000 investment in this condo for a cool $129,250 profit.

Federal prosecutors filed a new motion late yesterday that alleges that between 2001 and 2003, Sen. Stevens had been “intimately involved in a Florida real estate transaction” with an unknown individual who the prosecutors describe as a “personal friend.” After an initial investment of a mere $5,000, the prosecutors allege that  “Stevens’ friend sold his real estate interest only six months later, with an eventual gross profit to Stevens of more than $100,000.” Stevens’ own 2003 disclosure reports put the exact profit from the transaction at $129,250.  To assist in purchasing the property, Senator Stevens’ friend provided him with $31,000, interest-free for the initial downpayment on the garden apartment at Carroll Walk Condominiums in Bay Harbor, Florida.  Also despite the fact that he knowingly carried the debt for more than 10 months, Sen. Stevens did not report the loan as a liability on his Senate financial disclosure forms.

Sure pays to have ‘personal friends’.  Nice digs.  Hey….is that?…..look at the picture…yes…yes….I think…is that a little Viking barbeque  grill on the deck?

 





Stevens Shoots Self in Foot. ‘Keep it Up,’ Think Dems.

5 08 2008

There’s some major faulty logic going on in the Stevens campaign. Now back in the state, Ted Stevens did the whole dog & pony show at his campaign headquarters holding a rally, where he was reported by ADN to have been in the presence of a “large, supportive crowd”. He also had quite a spectacle when he was  he was escorted by a parade of bikers. At least Ted didn’t volunteer his wife Catherine to participate in a topless biker beauty contest like McCain did with Cindy.  (There are no words.)

And…Stevens wants his trial to be moved from D.C. to Alaska because sure…we’re impartial here, right? Don’t pay any attention to the screaming crowd at the airport named for him, Justice Department. Nothing to see here…

It’s not like he’s got anything to worry about in the primary. The most recent post-indictment poll indicated there’s really no competition. So why the effort to gather the troops and get that front page story and photos on the Anchorage Daily News? Seems to me like the more balloons and confetti, the less the chances of Stevens getting his way with the trial relocation.

Not that I’m complaining. Just felt a need to state the obvious.