BREAKING: U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens Indicted in Federal Court

From Reuters:

Sen. Ted Stevens from Alaska, the longest serving U.S. Republican senator ever, was indicted on seven counts related to his holding of public office, a federal law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Late update: It’s worth noting that this comes a few days before the one year anniversary of the date federal agents raided Stevens’ Girdwood home.

Ted Stevens, 84, has been a frequent character on TPMmuckraker. For a good profile on the indicted Senator, see here.

No one answered at Stevens’ Senate Office in D.C. and the answering machine recording said that the office was closed. In a call to his Anchorage campaign office, the staffer who answered responded, “What?” when asked for a comment on the indictment, followed by a long silence. The staffer would not give further comment on whether or not the office knew that the indictment was handed up today.

Late late update: From McClatchy:
The Justice Department will be making a statement at 1:20 to announce the indictment.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the indictment comes from a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.

Late late late update: The AP is reporting the indictments are seven counts of false statements.

Our calls to Brendan Sullivan, Steven’s attorney, were not immediately returned.

We have a copy of the Stevens indictment titled, United States of America v. Theodore F. Stevens, it can be viewed here.

The seven counts of false statements appear to be referencing seven years of false statements made on his financial disclosure forms relating to gifts he received from former VECO CEO Bill Allen for the renovations on his home in Girdwood, Alaska, among others.

Allen pleaded guilty to giving more than $400,000 worth of “illegal benefits” to politicians and their families in late 2007.

The DOJ Presser just started.

“As a member of the US Senate, Sen. Ted Stevens was required to file financial disclosure forms. . . to monitor or deter conflicts of interest within the US Senate and its membership.”

Between 1999-2006 he accepted gifts from VECO, include substantial amounts of material and labor in his private residence. These allegations include addition of new first floor, new bedrooms and bathrooms.

The total amount of gifts is valued at over $250,000.

In a Q&A, it was revealed that Stevens will be turning himself in and will not be arrested. Stevens’ attorney received a call earlier today informing him of his client’s indictments.

Filing false financial disclosure statement can result in civil and criminal penalties, including up to 5 years in prison.

The DOJ is not alleging bribery or any kind of quid pro quo, and mentioned that the investigation is continuing.

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