Ted Stevens' Son on Investigation: "We're Big Fish"
Ben Stevens, the son of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) created one of the stranger twists in a smoldering Alaska public corruption investigation, Friday, calling into a local radio show to accuse federal prosecutors of a "public stoning" of the Stevens family.
The younger Stevens, a former state senator who has been accused of taking $240,000 in no-show consulting payments while performing legislative favors for an energy company, called into a show hosted by local political chat show personality Dan Fagan. Click here to listen to the entire exchange on the Anchorage Daily News web site. It is quite long, so Capitol Briefing will give a quick summary of the highlights.
Stevens told Fagan that he called because he heard Fagan "bashing my dad about how I was conceived." Fagan denied making the comment that Stevens said was "over the line."
Ben Stevens declined to address any specifics about his own case involving Bill Allen, the former CEO of VECO Inc. who pleaded guilty in May to bribing Stevens and several other state legislators. [His lawyer was never heard on the call so presumably was not present while the radio interview occurred.]
Allen testified last month in the trial of one of those legislators, who was convicted last week, that Ben Stevens took $4,000 a month in consulting fees which were really bribes for his help on legislation from 2002 through 2006. Allen -- who is now a cooperating witness for the Justice Department -- also testified he personally oversaw the massive reconstruction of Ted Stevens' home in Girdwood just outside Anchorage.
"All I'm gonna say is Bill Allen's unpredictable," Ben Stevens said, suggesting that Allen was not telling the full truth.
Ben Stevens did not give up any new details in the case but repeatedly vented his anger at the federal investigation, which is being run by a pair of seasoned prosecutors from the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section. Here are some highlights:
â€¢ On his father: "He's been investigated numerous times. ... He's going to do what needs to be done. ... He's not going to do anything they want him to do, and I'm not going to do anything they want me to do." [This would appear to be a reference to possible plea deals.]
â€¢ On whether he anticipates being indicted: "I don't anticipate, anything like that, big man. You just live day to day. I didn't do anything wrong. ... This is like a public stoning of people."
â€¢ On his relationship with his father: "It's fine, I talk to him all the time. I got an e-mail from him this morning."
â€¢ On the motivations for investigating the two Stevens: "There's no question they're targeting us. We're big fish in their mind. He's a big, big fish, big man. I'm just a little, you know, guppy."
â€¢ On his accusations of prosecutorial ambitions and inappropriate leaks from the Public Integrity prosecutors in Washington: "We all know the innate characteristics of prosecutors; let's just put it that way. They're not from Alaska. When's somebody going to take a question and say, what are these guys, these prosecutors from out of the state, coming up here and doing this? Why is it that information is leaked out of Washington, D.C., and then comes back to Alaska?"
October 1, 2007; 6:15 PM ET
Categories: Ethics and Rules
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