Explaining that he doesn't want to interfere with an ongoing investigation, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) told reporters in Alaska yesterday that he would not answer
any questions about the federal criminal probe into his dealings with Veco Corp. and others.
"I know you're interested in the items that have been in the media recently. I wish I could discuss those in detail. But to avoid any suggestion that I as a senator am attempting to influence an investigation by the Department of Justice, I simply cannot talk about it," he said at the start of his speech before The Anchorage Rotary Club at the Anchorage Hilton. He talked for more than 30 minutes, counting time for questions.
Stevens also spoke about earmarks during his 30-minute speech in Anchorage. Saying he dislikes the term, he vigorously defended the practice, saying that if he didn't earmark money for Alaska that taxes would not be lower but that the money would just go to other states.
"I'm proud of the job I've been able to do ... working for you and with you every day, regardless of the slings and arrows I face attacking what I've tried to do for Alaska and Alaskans."
The standing ovation went on for half a minute.