CNN reporting that Sen. Ted Stevens has been found guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms.
We’ll have more coming, so check back for updates.
Something to think about from the AP:
Stevens faces up to five years in prison on each count but, under federal sentencing guidelines, will likely receive much less prison time, if any.
More detail on the seven-term senator’s reaction to the news from Bloomberg:
Stevens’s lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, had his arm around the senator’s shoulders and shook his head as the verdict was being read. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan delayed setting a sentencing date at the defense’s request.
Late update . . . 4:21pm: Stevens’ sentencing will be January 26, 2009, AP is reporting.
Stevens was indicted July 29 for accepting $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from VECO and failing to report them on his Senate disclosure forms. Stevens pleaded not-guilty to all seven counts of false statements and requested a speedy trial in order to accommodate his re-election campaign. Stevens’ attorneys attempted to move the trial from D.C. to Alaska and submit evidence to smear one of the prosecutions key witnesses, Bill Allen, former VECO CEO and friend of Stevens.
Jury deliberations which began last Wednesday, October 22, were immediately plagued by setbacks. The jury attempted to remove one of the jurors who was prone to “violent outbursts” and another juror was excused to return home after her father died and was replaced this morning by an alternate.
Late update . . . 4:35pm: A full description from the AP of each count again Sen. Stevens and the jury’s related guilty verdict can be found here.
Late update . . . 4:49pm: Ted Stevens: obstinate and feisty even after conviction. . . also, repeats himself.
From the ADN:
As Stevens exited the courtroom, his wife, Catherine, kissed him on the cheek.
Moments earlier, he told her, “It’s not over yet.” She responded, “You got that right.”
And then he added, “Not over yet.”
Stevens and his lawyers, who rarely speak to the media, exited the courthouse without making a statement.
Late update . . . 4:50pm: Ted Stevens’ prosecutors hold a press conference cum “victory lap” outside the courthouse.
Late update. . .5:01pm: Bloomberg has more follow-up on what will happen to Ted Stevens, noting that the seven-term senator doesn’t need to relinquish his seat unless removed by a full Senate vote.
Stevens will remain free on personal recognizance until sentencing.
Late update. . . Putting It In Context Edition: It’s really worth taking a moment to reflect on how historic this decision is.
Sen. Stevens is a sitting senator, one of only five in all of history to be convicted of a crime, and the first since 1981, the Wall Street Journal notes.
Stevens is 84 years old — soon to be 85 on Nov. 15 — and is the longest-serving Republican with almost 40 years in the Senate representing Alaska.
Late update. . . 5:42pm: The AP expounds on Stevens’ reaction as the verdict was read:
Visibly shaken after the verdicts were read — the jury foreman declaring “guilty” seven times — Stevens tried to intertwine his fingers but quickly put his hands down to his side after noticing they were trembling.
Late update. . . Palin Comments edition: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has commented on Stevens’ conviction:
This is a sad day for Alaska and a sad day for Senator Stevens and his family. The verdict shines a light on the corrupting influence of the big oil service company up there in Alaska that was allowed to control too much of our state. And that control was part of the culture of corruption that I was elected to fight, and that fight must always move forward regardless of party affiliation or seniority or even past service. As Governor of the State of Alaska, I will carefully now monitor the situation and I’ll take any appropriate action as needed. In the meantime, I ask the people of Alaska to join me in respecting the workings of our judicial system and I’m confident that Senator Stevens from this point on will do the right thing for the people of Alaska
CNN also notes that Palin wouldn’t respond when asked if she would vote for Stevens in one week.
Late update . . .Stevens’ Statement Edition: Stevens was quick to release a statement following his conviction today, blaming prosecutorial misconduct and foreshadowing his appeals.
From the ADN:
I am obviously disappointed in the verdict but not surprised given the repeated instances of prosecutorial misconduct in this case. The prosecutors had to report themselves to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility during the trial for ethical violations. Exculpatory evidence was hidden from my lawyers. A witness was kept from us and then sent back to Alaska. The Government lawyers allowed evidence to be introduced that they knew was false. I will fight this unjust verdict with every ounce of energy I have.
I am innocent. This verdict is the result of the unconscionable manner in which the Justice Department lawyers conducted this trial. I ask that Alaskans and my Senate colleagues stand with me as I pursue my rights. I remain a candidate for the United States Senate.
Late update . . . FAQ Edition: Kathleen Hunter at CQ Politics has a handy little guide to the questions swirling around Stevens’ conviction.