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Notable and Quotable From Stevens Trial

POSTED: 07:30 AM ET, 10/21/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) leaves court after the defense rested its case Monday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Testimony in the corruption trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has wrapped up, and closing statements and jury deliberation are scheduled for the next two days.

The three-week trial featured a number of star witnesses, including wealthy oil executive Bill Allen, Stevens's one-time friend; several character witnesses, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Sens. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah); Stevens's wife, Catherine Stevens; and, of course, Stevens himself.

Here's a collection of the most memorable and notable quotes from the trial:


"I'm not going to get into a numbers game -- you tell me what year you're asking about."

— Stevens, after lead government prosecutor Brenda K. Morris asked him when he found out Allen had provided a new deck for his Alaska "chalet"

"That's just an absolute lie."

— Stevens, in response to testimony from Allen that Stevens was asking about construction invoices to protect himself

"My bottom wasn't bare."

— Stevens, after he was asked if the e-mails he sent regarding bills from contractors were really just "covering your bottom"

"He bought that chair as a gift, but I refused it as a gift. He put it there and said it was my chair. I told him I would not accept it as a gift. We have lots of things in our house that don't belong to us."

— Stevens, answering questions about a chair he received from Allen

"VECO is not Bill Allen to me. Bill Allen is not VECO. You're the one bringing VECO in here. Bill Allen is my friend."

— Stevens, answering questions about furniture he received from Allen

"The worst that can happen to us is we run up a bunch of legal fees, and might lose and we might have to pay a fine, might have to serve some time in jail. I hope to Christ it never gets to that...I don't think we have done anything wrong."

— Stevens, speaking to Allen in a secretly-recorded phone call in October 2006 that was played for jurors


"No. That's crazy."

— Stevens's friend, Bob Persons, in response to whether he told Allen that home renovation bills for Stevens were just a "cover"

"If he gives you his word, he'll keep it. He's totally honest."

— Hatch, referring to Stevens

"He was someone whose word you could rely on. As we say in the infantry, this is a guy you take on a long patrol."

— Powell, referring to Stevens

"I can assure you his word is good enough to take to the bank."

— Inouye, referring to Stevens


"The evidence will demonstrate that you are dealing here with a man who is honest and would not have intentionally violated the law."

— Stevens's lead attorney, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., in his opening statement

"This is a criminal case with a career on the line here. The government has responsibilities. Time and time again, they have not lived up to them. Enough is enough."

— one of Stevens's defense attorneys, Robert Carey, referring to allegations that government prosecutors purposely withheld evidence that was favorable to Stevens. The judge denied several attempts to dismiss the case in light of the withheld evidence.

"When it comes to things around the tepee, the wife controls."

— Stevens's attorney, Sullivan, referring to Catherine Stevens and how she handled the home renovations


"I was shocked. I knew I was in a bind because I knew I couldn't really do anything."

— contractor Augie Paone, referring to an alleged conversation with Allen, in which he told Paone to "eat" Stevens's bill

"I was concerned that the senator wasn't getting billed for some of that stuff, and I was concerned something like this might happen."

— Paone, referring to the senator's corruption trial

"We really liked each other. Ted loved Alaska, and I loved Alaska. We liked to go fishing."

— Allen


"You were the lion of the Senate, and yet you didn't know how to stop a man from putting big-ticket items in your home?"

— Morris, speaking to Stevens

"We reach for the Yellow Pages. He reached for Veco."

— Morris, referring to Stevens's frequent calls to Allen for home repairs and fix-ups.

"This is a case about a public official who took hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of free financial benefits and then took away the public's right to know the information."

— Morris, referring to Stevens


"Something smells here."

— U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, referring to two pieces of evidence that he said were tainted by prosecutors' bungling

"He's fortunate he went out that door and not the back door with the marshals."

— Sullivan, referring to Allen's lawyer, Robert Bundy, who was accused of making "secret signals" to his client on the stand

By Derek Kravitz |  October 21, 2008; 7:30 AM ET Stevens Trial
Previous: Scandal-Plagued Oil Agency Revamping Itself | Next: Federal Bailout, IMF Scandal, Special Counsel Resigns


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Let Ted Stevens live out what little remains of his natural life in prison, beneath a large tattooed man.

Posted by: Ted Stevens | October 21, 2008 8:19 AM

It looks like Senator Stevens likes to remodel for free. Please paint his cell white, we’ll pay the bill.

Posted by: natan | October 21, 2008 8:25 AM

This is a joke. If anything Stevens was a "bonehead" for having Allen as a friend. Obama admitted he was a "bonehead" for getting a $300,000 discount on his house through his friendship with Rezko and he gets a free ride!!!

Posted by: MyView49 | October 21, 2008 8:29 AM

It's interesting to me that the "friends" chosen to defend Stevens are all a part of the Washington culture. Would any of them really counter the fact that back door deals are made all the time in Washington? To bring down one long time political figure opens the door to questioning many others and I don't think that anyone would want to be the face associated with opening that can of worms. This is just a chip in the glacier of an entirely corrupt Washington establishment and obviously Stevens knows of the ways to C his A.

Posted by: Dave N | October 21, 2008 8:30 AM

"The evidence will demonstrate that you are dealing here with a man who is honest and would not have intentionally violated the law."

As if it matters whether he knew he was violating the law?

Posted by: TimC | October 21, 2008 8:49 AM

This 'trial?' is an absolute farce. The guy in Louisiana (Jefferson) has $90,000 in his freezer - Sen Chris Dodd 'makes' millions on his mortgages as a 'friend' - Obama buys a house and 'makes' $300,000 and these, but three of many are somehow legal.

Stevens gets $250,000 worth of remodeling, has receipts for $180,000 and the prosecuters are after him for $70,000 and a chair?

How stupid can our government oversight contingent be? 75% of the legislators in Washington would be locked up immediately if the above were the standards for malfeasance and/or fiduciary responsibility.

I don't believe that even God could save us from these dumb people, yet we keep sending them back to Washington and allowing them to further expand the stupidity of govenment.

Posted by: dharper | October 21, 2008 8:50 AM

Show me that he (Stevens) returned the favor politically. If not, I really don't care. It's not right, but there are more important things to worry about. Everybody wants a freebe. Looks like he got one. Move on!

Posted by: db | October 21, 2008 8:51 AM

I hope he is acquitted

Posted by: Ray | October 21, 2008 9:03 AM

Beware the jury. Despite what sounds like a one-sided trial to you and me, juries are sometimes very perverse.

And in fairness to the jury, don't forget that they hear *ALL* the evidence whereas you and I only hear selected juicy bits.

Just think what Stevens' office will claim if he gets a hung jury or a not guilty.

Posted by: DickM | October 21, 2008 9:05 AM

Much ado about nothing when you consider the other crap going on in Washington.

Posted by: roncee | October 21, 2008 9:18 AM

As the most junior Senator in the Senate, Obama has racked in more then four times as much cash from lobbyists then any of them. Most of that cash came from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack, and now the dude that retired from Freddie Mack with 90 million dollars works for Obama. He actually does pal around with Terrorists, Racists, and slum lords, People worship at his feet as if he is the second coming of Christ. Jefferson in Louisiana gets nailed with 90,000$ in cash in his freezer and walks Scot free. Barny Frank runs a male prostitution service out of home and gets re-elected. The only crime Stevens has commited is being white, Republican, and from Alaska.

Posted by: Ray | October 21, 2008 9:20 AM

Bill Allen is the criminal here. Ted Stevens relied on the wrong person to fix up his cabin. Stevens should be acquitted.

Posted by: Armyvet | October 21, 2008 9:28 AM

This tired old man, just like another tired old man name of McLame, are symtomatic of the cancers which have been allowed to'grow and prosper' under the complete incompetence of the mentally deficient, totally inept and competely immoral bush regime..."You're doin' a heck of a job, Stevie".

Posted by: Ed Hogan | October 21, 2008 9:43 AM

We need to make any crime or corruption by an elected public official a capital crime.

Furthermore, once convicted they have 48 hours for appeals before the sentence is carried out. That's right if a politician breaks the public trust in any way we execute them. This includes taking or giving "favors", lying, insider deals...

It is harsh I will admit, but this only way I see to clean up the system.

Talk about a deterrent effect once the first sentence is carried out, you will see hundreds if not thousands of resignation as the rats abandon ship for safer professions like the law, used car sales and telemarketing.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 9:48 AM

To those who are down on Ted Stevens, why didn't you complain when Bill and Hillary Clinton were taking items from the white house until they were caught. They claimed the items were also gifts, even the ones donated during other president's terms to include Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black! But that's just what most of us have come to expect from Liberals.

Posted by: Leonard Bynum | October 21, 2008 9:52 AM

Good bye Ted.
Guilty as charged.

Now let's move on to the others that have not been charged.

Posted by: M. Tobias | October 21, 2008 10:22 AM

Corruption in Alaska? say it aint so Sarah:

Related and relevant.

Nice house Todd and his "Contractor" buddies built for you Sarah!

Any other skeletons in those new closets?

It will be interesting to see how all that washes out after November 4.


Posted by: D. Grant | October 21, 2008 10:24 AM

"Now let's move on to the others that have not been charged."

Agreed. Let's start with B. Hussein Obama and his $ 300,000.00 kick back from his pal Rezko.

Posted by: Dannis Robinson | October 21, 2008 10:33 AM

Ted: The biggest update to my house was new gutters and fascia for about $3,000. And for even that minor bit of work there was a detailed contract.

You expect us and the jury to believe you had 100 times that much work done with no paperwork on who was paying whom how much?

Hard to swallow.

Posted by: Goofy Gus | October 21, 2008 10:40 AM

If Stevens was too cheap to spend a few hundred grand to renovate his home, why did he form a partnership investing in racehorses with Allen. Throughbred racehorses are far more expensive than remodeling, and yet Stevens is a partner in his and Allen's Double Eagle' horse investment, (named to honor Stevens WW2 flying days)...And Stevens paid not a penny.

Stevens, you deserve to be convicted. You were foolish to testify. You are an arrogant and NOT above the law.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 11:19 AM

awwww, those poor little blind GOP, really boo-hoo. you mean Senator Obama got some icing on his cake too?!

these corrupt white fake free-marketeers have been robbing the country for decades and now that it's obvious we're going to have a black President, they all start their pre-loss whining. i'm white too, but please shut up, boo-hoo. jesus what cry-babies!

Posted by: mike | October 21, 2008 11:31 AM

None of you people even listen to the facts. Stevens paid 160$ for the renovations which actually totalled 250$, making a whopping total of 90$ in difference. If they were so willing to pay the 160$, why would a man of such a historic reputation throw it away for 90$ and a stupid chair? From being a pilot in WWII, to a Harvard graduate, to the longest serving Republican in the history of America, he is not THAT STUPID.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 11:38 AM

It is not just in Washington that the two main parties have lost there way or our faith and trust. God help us as we follow the Romans into history.

Posted by: Edward | October 21, 2008 11:50 AM

"This is a joke. If anything Stevens was a "bonehead" for having Allen as a friend. Obama admitted he was a "bonehead" for getting a $300,000 discount on his house through his friendship with Rezko and he gets a free ride!!!"

At least Obama didn't lie on his taxes and say that he did pay the $300,000. Stevens lied.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 12:10 PM

Dannis gayfag robinson,

I used your middle name because I know that it is your fault your parents named you "gayfag."

As for you other comment, Rezko has the right to sell his land for any amount he wants, Stevens does not have the right to receive $300,000 in kick backs so that he does what the lobbyists want.

Posted by: TIM | October 21, 2008 12:15 PM

I sincerely hope that the prosecutors in this case get their heads handed to them in their hands.

The government has now expended far more than $250,000 just trying this case and for what, a net of a 'possible payoff' of $70,000? There isn't a legislator in Washington who hasn't taken that much or more in any given year. You just have to find it.

And should the government prosecutors really wish to unravel a criminal act then they should immediately go after all members of Congress who allowed Fannie and Freddie to exceed all bounds of good judgement. Then they should move on to all of the executives of the various banks and venture capital funds who made millions peddling worthless paper back and forth to each other and are now sitting pretty with the $700 billion dollar bailout with much more to come.

I have not heard one word from Washington for any person in Congress who wants to go after these 'economic experts' and demand that they give up any of their millions. In fact, we are putting the same mental midgets who got us into this mess attempting to resolve it.

Now that is utter stupidity. Who ever said anyone in Washington or in the New York financial center was intelligent. They are simply thieves dressed in Brooks Brothers suits (and I apologize to Brooks Brothers).

Posted by: dharper | October 21, 2008 12:47 PM

"At least Obama didn't lie on his taxes and say that he did pay the $300,000. Stevens lied."

But Obama wrote a letter for Rezko so he could get $14million in gov't contracts!! And are you sure he reported it on his taxes??

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 12:58 PM

I hope when Stevens goes down for the third time, he grabs Dubya's leg with one hand and Dickie's leg with the other and drags them both down along with him.

He should abandon Alaska and move to Arizona -- so he can have some time to get used to the eternal climate he'll be enduring before much longer.

Posted by: laboo | October 21, 2008 1:19 PM

This is such a simple case. Did he receive gifts over $250 and not report them on his financial disclosure form? Yes he failed to disclose for 7 years. After 40 yrs. in D.C., he surely understood the financial disclosure forms and I am sure he knew of wonderful ways to hide the receipt of gifts.

Posted by: Bummer1 | October 22, 2008 12:17 AM

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