April 7th, 2009
03:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Stevens can't 'put this behind him,' says Palin

Stevens and his wife, Catherine, arrive Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Washington.
Stevens and his wife, Catherine, arrive Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Washington.

(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Tuesday is weighing in on the news a federal judge has dismissed the conviction of former Sen. Ted Stevens, saying there is "no way he can just 'put this behind him.'"

"I know the agony the senator has felt, and nothing can change what he has gone through or the loss of his Senate seat, which meant the world to him and virtually as much to Alaska," she said in a statement Tuesday. "There's no way he can just 'put this behind him' as some have suggested he should. Senator Stevens is a resilient man and I hope that he will continue to make a contribution to Alaska and the nation."

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan set aside Stevens' federal conviction for failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of "freebies" from an oilfield services company on Senate ethics forms.

The judge also initiated criminal contempt proceedings against the government lawyers who prosecuted the 85-year-old Alaska Republican.

Stevens maintained his innocence throughout a government probe. Palin, then the GOP vice presidential candidate, called on Stevens to resign his post last fall after he was found guilty.

Soon after the convictions, Stevens lost his bid for re-election to Democratic challenger Mark Begich, then mayor of Anchorage.


Filed under: Sarah Palin • Ted Stevens
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. JCA - NYC

    Let us not forget that Palin was the first one in the fall that said Stevens should resign after he was convicted during his trial. Now she is trumpeting how wonderful he is??? I guess just another way that Republicans flip flop all over issues but think the American people will forget about it.

    Also just b/c the prosecution bungled the case and you are set free, does not mean that you were innocent of the crimes you committed. OJ anyone? Maybe Stevens can play golf with OJ now and laugh about how they got away thanks to some inept prosecutors.

    April 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Laverne

    I don't know if it is just me, but when Sarah Palin speak it's like she has ZERO creditability, no relevance whatsoever. She certainly did not speak to his character months ago. She presents herself as such an political opportunist who just can't seem to fool anybody.

    April 7, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Heidi Shumaker

    I think Sarah is using a Freudian Slip when she says Stevens "can't just put it behind him." I think SHE is the one that can't put the fact that she LOST THE ELECTION behind HER.

    April 7, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Can any of you read? The man is innocent. Shame on all of you for still implying that he did anything wrong. There should be a new election.

    April 7, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. S.M

    The only reason why Palin would like for Steven's to challenge his seat is because she would like to have his backing when she plans to run in 2012, otherwise she wouldn't care.

    Perhaps she and the Republican Justice Dept. conspired these trumpt up charges just to get Stevens out of the way, then she could have run in his place against the Democrat.

    Many Americans felt that he was guilty because most of us believe in our Justice system, but now we see that if they'll hold Kangaroo court for a Senator, just think what they'll do to regular people.

    Yes, Regular people have been wrongly convicted because the prosecution didn't follow the rules.

    April 7, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. DNA

    Does this dismissal of conviction change the fact that Ted Stevens failed "to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of "freebies" from an oilfield services company on Senate ethics forms?" No it doesn't. He is still one of those old-school, pay-to-play politicians. He deserves to be in jail.

    April 7, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. M Hogan

    I think Sarah is trying to block out the damaging statements made by her daughter's ex-boyfriend. She is trying to sound intelligent - I said TRYING.

    April 7, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. chelle

    Yeah she jumped right back on that bandwagon! At least Orrin Hatch defended him right to the end. Sarah just gave up on him..... Now she loves and respects him again – isn't that just peachy.

    April 7, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. rita

    This man is well past retirement age, he has made plenty of money and gotten plenty of perks, he has lived his life, he should be happy and satisfied with all of this. This is the price you pay when you opt for a career in politics. One small slip can affect your career. I do not feel sorry for him one bit.

    April 7, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Politically Incorrect

    I've tired of these elected people who think it is their personal fiefdoom to stay in office forever.

    Stevens is 87 years old. It is WAY past time for him to retire from the Senate. Give someone else a chance for goodness sake. He'll be able to support himself. Stevens won't suffer financially.

    The citizens of the United States are better served by fresh blood in the Senate.

    There, I said it

    April 7, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Larry

    The man is guilty of taking bribes regardless of the improper handling of the case

    Pardon me if I shed no tears for Stevens discomfort ...

    He's guilty ... period

    April 7, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Perusing-through

    What a hypocrite! Sarah Palin called for Ted Stevens to step down, in hopes of running for his Senate seat. Now she is kissing up to him. YOU HYPOCRITE!!!

    April 7, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Circus Circus

    Let's let this be about the hypocrisy of the freaking government prosecution who WRONGFULLY accused a United States Senator, lied, convicted him, and made all of Alaska reconsider their faith in the man. And where was the media during all of this? Aren't they supposed to uncover these types of things? No. Just call them part of the prosecution... if it's a right wing senator, who cares whether he's guilty or whether it's justice?

    April 7, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. LIP

    Nor should he put it behind him. The seat was stolen by the Democrats with political timing that begs for answers. It doesn't matter that Republicans supposedly initiated the investgation, what matters is that all of it was thrown out and now the prosecutors are under investigation.
    The people of Alaska should demand a new election. Stevens would win hands down.

    April 7, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Kevin

    One has to wonder if this huge of a prosecutorial blunder, involving a republican senator and a republican justice department, wasn't the "plan" all along. The facts still speak for themselves regardless of whether he was "convicted" or not.

    April 7, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. No More Incumbents

    One less incumbent....... it's a start.

    April 7, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. ë

    Stevens gets off on the thinnest of technicalities and, suddenly, the woman who couldn't distance herself enough from him during the campaign is concerned for his well being? How predictably transparent.
    I so hope she wins the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination. Then perhaps she could name Glenn Beck as her running mate. Obama has enough to worry about without having to face a serious chalenge for his second term.

    April 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Barbara, FL

    Gawd, he was such a curmudgeon, I'm sure the Senate is glad to be rid of him (remember his tantrum over that stupid bridge earmark?)

    April 7, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    WOW...she really likes her red herrings eh? He didn't lose the election because he was convicted, HE LOST THE ELECTION BECAUSE OF THE FACTS THAT SUPPORTED THE CONVICTION. Only the GOP's "base" warriors up there still voted for him because they didn't care how corrupt he was or appeared to be...the rest of the people didn't want anything to do with even the appearance of corruption. NOTHING the court has done here changes ANY of the FACTS.

    April 7, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. doro

    The man was not exonerated. The Bush Justice Department blew it. Guilty people walk every day when the legal system fails to meet its obligations; like any common street thug whose arresting officer failed to read him his rights, Stevens is benefiting from the fundamental integrity of the system. No-one should be surprised, in any case, that the Bush Justice Department lacked a basic understanding of the law or a basic willingness to enforce it appropriately.

    April 7, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. PatC

    She may not run for Governor next time allowing Stevens to run.

    April 7, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Just another American

    well, I guess what needs to happen is for him to be retried and have the conviction become legal and then he can go to jail. He was found guilt once and he will be found guilt again because the evidence will be the same. Why don't folks let this go so he won't have to spend the rest of his years in court.... or jail

    April 7, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. SouthernMan

    Give me a freaking break!!! The man obviously did something wrong. Plus, he should have gone back to private employment long ago. Hopefully the good people of Alaska will see the benefit of having him out of the Senate.

    April 7, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Shadysider

    Didn't she endorse him before she condemned him, which is of course just before her current support of him. Her political morals are like reeds in the wind.

    April 7, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. robinmarie

    Of course he cannot put it behind him....she was throwing him under the bus.

    April 7, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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