Thursday, August 14, 2008

And the prosecution SLAM-dunks the Stevens' defense volley!

Ah, yes, the Great Alaskan Sporting Event: watching the Elected Officials vs. the Prosecuting Attorneys. The ADN's Alaska Politics blog has got some great info on the latest legal motions, courtesy Erika Bolstad and David Hulen. (What a time for Libby Casey to be in Washington!) First, Stevens and his lawyers claim the case against him should be dropped, dismissed, tossed out, because, well, this, that, and the other...but not because the charges might be false (of course, he did plead not guilty).

But the prosecution was ready for 'em: a hard fastball of motions and out comes the promise of MORE EVIDENCE! More unreported gifts: a Jeep Cherokee! a secret interest-free loan! an unpaid-for backup generator at the infamous Girdwood residence! this last at Stevens' request!!!

And then there's that job for one of Stevens' sons! with--wait for it--VECO! and as if that wasn't enough--for a grandson, too!

Good god almighty.

But there's more--Stevens' "Non-Legislative Acts" concerning the natural gas pipeline, the Sakhalin oil fields, and the Pakistani pipeline (also a few other things). From the indictment:
It was a part of the scheme that STEVENS, while at the same time concealing his continuing receipt of things of value from ALLEN and VECO from 1999 to 2006, received and accepted solicitations for multiple official actions from ALLEN and other VECO employees, and knowing that STEVENS could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period. These solicitations for official action, some of which were made directly to STEVENS, included the following topics: (a) funding requests and other assistance with certain international VECO projects and partnerships, including those in Pakistan and Russia; (b) requests for multiple federal grants and contracts to benefit VECO, its subsidiaries, and its business partners, including grants from the National Science Foundation to a VECO subsidiary; and (c) assistance on both federal and state issues in connection with the effort to construct a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope Region.
Basically, Stevens' claim is that his actions were legislative and innocent, and protected by what's known as the Speech or Debate Clause, intended to protect those activities that a member of Congress might undertake that are integral to his or her duties. The prosecution is claiming, on the other hand, that while the legislative activities might be protected, the concealment of the benefits he received for certain actions is definitely not, and
evidence will be offered at trial for the purpose of demonstrating Senator Stevens' intent and his motive to conceal the substantial benefits he received from VECO by, among other things, lying on his mandatory, financial disclosure forms.
Did you notice that? They wrote "among other things", implying that there is even more muck to rake.

And that muck is assuredly oily: undertaking, lessee, official actions on an international scale so that a particular company can get rich?

Ah, but the prosecution's not worrying about that sort of thing. It's the dishonesty they're hopped up about.

Boy, howdy, is this going to be an interesting couple of months.

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