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Stevens Corruption Trial Underway

POSTED: 05:04 PM ET, 09/23/2008 by Derek Kravitz


Sen. Ted Stevens arrives at his federal trial in Washington Monday. (AP)

The public corruption trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) is underway, with jury selection scheduled for the rest of the day and opening arguments set for tomorrow.

Stevens, 84, is charged with seven counts of lying on Senate financial disclosure forms to hide more than $250,000 in home renovations and gifts from a now-shuttered Alaska oil services firm. Stevens, who has been in Congress for 40 years, is facing trial at the same time he is running for a seventh Senate term against a strong Democratic challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

The case promises to be highly charged, with as many as 200 witnesses, including several lawmakers, and testimony from a star government witness, Bill Allen, the former oil company chief executive who has testified at two earlier public corruption trials.

This morning, the GOP lawmaker asked U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to allow him to miss some parts of his trial this week so he could attend hearings on the federal government's multi-billion-dollar plan to bail out Wall Street.

"There's only one thing more important in his life than this trial, and that's doing his duty as a senator, particularly in this time of national crisis," said his defense attorney, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr.

The judge agreed, but warned Stevens, "I think it's possible that some jurors may think someone is too busy."

Jury selection continued today, with several jurors dismissed, including a home-based business lobbyist with Republican ties who said he believed he had met Stevens before, a Christian Scientist who had religious objections to sitting in judgment and a juror with family ties to lawyers at Stevens' law firms.

By Derek Kravitz |  September 23, 2008; 5:04 PM ET Stevens Trial
Previous: China's Tainted Milk Scandal Grows | Next: Bailout Debate, McCain's Freddie Mac Ties, CVS Donor Access

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Washington Post is my preferred news source, and I'm thankful for the online edition. Having little useful vision, I access the paper through screen-reading software: Utilizing the Print option from the "Menu" (email, print, save, etc.) found at the top of each story, results in a 'clean' page the screen-reader can navigate without confusion. Lately, however, this feature hasn't been available (perhaps I just can't find it?) for many articles, and I was forced to move to another paper. I hope the 'Print article' option isn't being phased out. Since it may not be widely known that the link can also serve this secondary function, would you please keep blind and visually-impaired readers in mind if planning to delete the "Print" selection.
Thanks for your time and superior news reporting.

Posted by: vbljc1@yahoo.com | September 23, 2008 9:09 PM

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