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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/07/ted.stevens/art.ted.stevens.gi.jpg caption="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. KMP

    Palin now you are going to be his supporter? First you told him to step down now you want a special election to let him re-seek his job? I think you are quite the hypocrite you are the type of person who jumps onto the popular bus when that is the thing to do but you certainly won't hesitate to push that person off if you think it would affect you. Shame on you and you call yourself a Christian...

    April 7, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Failin Society

    The hypocrisy
    Sarah – You called for him to resign during the election, What now??

    April 7, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. sandy

    So anyone who holds a government seat who are put there by the
    people can steal, cheat, lie can be pardoned!!!!!! The prisons are
    full of people who have done the same things that Stevens has done
    but yet the judge lets Stevens walk free. Just shows what a sinful
    world we truly are living in!!!

    April 7, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Alan

    It took alot of integrity for Eric Holder to right this wrong perpetrated on a Republican (by a Republican Justice Department.)

    April 7, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Jim

    Palin's right that he can't just put this behind him. Because anyone that can think rationally realizes that he was found guilty and is getting off on a technicality. In the eyes of the law he is innocent. In the eyes of the people that may not be the case.

    April 7, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Martiniano

    Well Sarah, can you still Russia from your house?

    April 7, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. pat C.

    palin needs to keep her ignorant mouth shut on this one. the man is still guilty, the case was just dropped. i thnk he needs to be retried and if found innocent then he can start complaining. for now the world sees him asbeing found guilty. . he is still a crook and palin should clean up her own back taxes before she spouts unfairness from anyone's actions.

    April 7, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    I hope the 85 year old former senator takes Palin's job.

    April 7, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. gl, Pittsburgh

    Sara, Sara, you just can not believe you are not the VP. Everyday this week you have been in the news – could it be becasue the President of the US approving rate is over the top. Sara you are not prime time and you need to give it a rest. Everybody is really tired of seeing, hearing, and reading about you and your family. Please get a clue and disappear!

    April 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Minnesota

    It doesn't change the fact that Ted Stevens did this stuff illegally. Boy, when the GOP finds a crack in anything they exploit it to high heaven!

    April 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. gl, Pittsburgh

    He is 85 years old and need to retire any way. There are too many old sentor anyway with old ideas ESPECIALLY IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. It is sad, but what is done is done and he needs to retire and move on.

    April 7, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Tommy

    Yes, let's put it behind us and focus on prosecuting the real thief – the Governor of AK for stealing from the state treasury! Getting per diem for working out of her house?! Oh, please!

    April 7, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. arithmetic is liberal

    Hi Sarah!

    The University of Alaska, Southeast in Juneau (no need for airfare on the taxpayer dime!) is holding registration through April 20, 2009.

    Sign up for a course in political science.

    April 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Moderate Democrat

    by no means was the trial of Stevens 'fair' and 'unbiased'. By rights the prosecutors should now be prosecuted. It was an absolute horrid way to execute justice.

    However, the mistrial of Stevens and the less then moral way it was conducted, does not in any way, shape or form change the fact that he lied. As such, his impeachment, and being brought to trial for his actions WAS appropriate. The only issue at hand is why the prosecutors crossed so many immoral lines in dealing out justice.

    He's guilty, but horrid trial. As such, the charges must be stricken. But just like with OJ...he still did it!

    April 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Mike from Shelburne, VT

    Right, like this was a fair decision. Wonder how he bought his way out of it...

    April 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. FAYE, NV

    Well Sara you thought he was guilty and asked him to resign and now you are saying he can not put this behind him. No he can not with people like you.

    April 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Mari

    Why do we care what this woman thinks????

    April 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Irma in North Carolina

    Maybe Ted isnt like Sarah. She sure cant put it behind her that she lost the election. And she surely will never put it behind her when she looses the 2010 primary. I dont think the republicans will have a chance when the torture things comes out that the republicans did and that they are going try and blackmail the president. The president is way to sharp for the republicans he will never let that happen. I sure glad I no longer am a republican that I dont have to vote for a republican in the primarys.

    April 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. d1120

    There was too much going on there for him to not be guilty of some of the shenanigans.

    April 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Scott in Atlanta


    Quit standing so close to the microwave when you make popcorn. I don't think the radiation is good for you. You're starting to forget things... Things like... hmmm saaaaay... You're the one that asked him to step down!

    How did Alaska elect this lady to any kind of position???

    April 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Mike in Vancouver

    Uh, who the heck made Palin a spokesman for Stevens? Talk about wading into a subject she has no authority to speak on.

    April 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Bruce H

    Now would the DOJ under Bush/Gonzales ever let a democratic lawmaker off the hook? NO WAY! This is precisely why our country deserves a Justice Department free from politics

    April 7, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. hadelaide

    Could it be that Ms. Palin is already missing the numerous "porkulous earmarks" that Uncle Ted took back to Alaska? Or could it be that she fears a competition from him after she bashed him in November? She also said that "even if he wins, he should step aside". This is just another attempt to keep her name in the news cycle.

    April 7, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Perusing-through

    Republican U.S. Attorney Generals Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukassey over saw this case as Republican Justice Department lawyers trashed a Republican Senator Ted Stevens. Democratic Attorney General Eric Holder with only two months on the job had to clean it up the mess.

    April 7, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. David Newport, OR

    who cares? Everyone knows he is guilty...but he has been doing it for forever...not like they can get anyone to turn over on him. Palin called for his resignation when it was convenient...now she is hailing him a hero.

    April 7, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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