April 7th, 2009
11:57 AM ET
14 years ago

Stevens verdict set aside

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal judge ordered the conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens set aside Tuesday.

He also initiated criminal contempt proceedings against the government lawyers who prosecuted Stevens. He appointed an independent, non-government attorney to investigate the matter.

Filed under: Ted Stevens
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. PatC

    Need to check E-Mails, Bank Records and ties between prosecutors and Dem operatives. If any are found then the leader of the Dem Party must go to jail. If we say Rush Limbaugh is the Repub leader then who is the Dem leader O = Zero.

    April 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This should be interesting. I wonder what a non-governmental lawyer will find out that the U.S. attorneys didn't . Frankly, I don't care. I just want to Stevens run against Palin and beat her.

    April 7, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Ghost

    Uh oh. Does this mean Gonzalaes is gonna take an "l" on this? Would be interesting to see who he dimes out in his plea agreements.

    April 7, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |

    My question is why can't the DOJ and AG do the same (appoint a Special Prosecutor) to investigate all the war crimes and constitutional violations that the WH ambulance chasers in the Bush Administration did. Spain has...

    April 7, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. spacewriter

    And, the DOJ lawyers who screwed this up were Bush appointees???

    April 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    If you're a politician you can get away with practically anything, because of some technicality. A federal judge can set aside his conviction, but Senator Ted Stevens is still guilty anyway. Obviously ,corruption was the real winner in this case.

    April 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Michael W. Sachs

    Once again the corrupt politcal politicians get away with anything they do. Former Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty and now all of a sudden a judge sets aside his conviction. I am appalled at the jutice system. I'm not talking just about a republicans either. It doesn't matter what side of the political landscape you're on. If you have any type of power you go free, while middle-class Joe gets screwed everytime. I voted for Obama based on one word 'change' so far change don't seem to be acomin'

    April 7, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. KDR

    Are you KIDDING me? WHY? What possible reason is there to set aside a conviction for a person in this position if he were not an ultraconnected politician? I don't care what your political slant is; that's outrageous.

    April 7, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Simpliticus

    The Stevens's case is most curious. Here we have a US Senator who is convicted of accepting bribes from a state lobbyist. He was convicted by essentially his own party under the Bush administration. He apparently was provided with proper prosecutorial information by the government which provokes the curious outcome: Why would a Republican-led government want to convict its own on wanton charges which were obviously allowed in other noteworthy cases as well. Why not share information with the defense as it should have, knowing that by not doing so, all charges may be dropped! Why go through the motions for NOTHING ultimately! The guy was guilty from right to left and yet has his case thrown out! Why the charade?

    April 7, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Freed_From_W

    He'd already be in prison if he wasn't a crook and a liar. What things money can do....

    April 7, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. mario

    Well, it was the GOP that started the procedure to oust this guy, now it is the Libs that are going forth of clearing this guy after the fact, I hope some heads roll.

    April 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. mary dale

    Stevens should have his lawyers back off. If they keep this story going, he may be tried again and most likely he was guilty anyway. Otherwise i think that the US attorney in charge of his trial should be investigated thoroughly and see who gave the orders to do something that could make the charges invalid.

    April 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Greg

    PatC, these prosecutors where appointed by Bush an conservative not a Democrat. Secondly, Stevens is guilty as hell. This verdict says nothing to the contrary. They're throwing out the verdict because of prosecution mishandling of the case not guilt or innocence.

    April 7, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. justa thought

    Mr Stevens.....
    Your party placed you on the butcher block. I hope you remember that IF you are ever elected to another political office. How do you feel being the sacrificial lamb?

    April 7, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Terry

    I hate to see Stevens get away with the exploitation of his office for personal gain. A corrupt office holder is the worst kind of traitor. The AG apparently wanted to send a signal to federal attorneys that prosecutorial misconduct, which was apparently flagrant during this trial, would not be tolerated by the new Administration. I presume he chose to let Stevens off the hook because he is out of office, 85, and will not be committing any more crimes of this type. If he had let a pedaphile or a rapist get away, he would be criticized for being a liberal who is chummy with criminals. By letting a corrupt Conservative Republican walk, he is avoiding a lot of criticism from Conservative leaders. They can hardly criticize the AG for not putting another Republican in jail.

    April 7, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. AJ

    Even though the fact that Sen. Stevens had asked the contractor to submit the bill (a fact which the prosecuters bungled up by not providing it to the defense), I am not convinced that Sen. Stevens is not corrupt or guilty. Who in their right mind would keep quiet when they receive a bill for less than 50,000 $ when the remodelling work done on his Alaska vacation home was over 250,000$????

    April 7, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. AlaskaSteve

    That's right everyone. Our Uncle Teddy was railroaded. I honestly don't care what anybody has to say about the matter, he has done a lot of good for us here in Alaska. This was a witch-hunt from the start, and now that the proof is showing up everyone is trying to justify their sheep-ness. Well, it isn't going to work this time. If you stood against Teddy, then you backed the wrong horse. There is no getting around it.

    April 7, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. JJ

    He still a criminal .

    April 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Marie

    The judge just didn't "set aside" Stevens' conviction. He dismissed the entire case. The judge also lectured the federal prosecutors for over an hour, and will be filing charges against those same lawyers.

    This is a really big deal. Federal prosecutors have obviously done something wrong. A federal judge doesn't just throw out an entire case, then want to prosecute the prosecutors – for no reason.

    Regardless of what political party federal lawyers belong too, the timing is odd. Stevens was found guilty just before the elections, and lost his senate seat. Now that a Democrat has won that same seat – by only 4,000 votes, and helped seal Dem' majority in the senate – "justice" has been found.

    April 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. one day at a time

    he was found guilty for a reason, he was GUILTY.

    April 7, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. J S Ragman

    This doesn't mean that he isn't guilty, it just shows how inept the DOJ was under the Bush Administration. To all you Limbaugh lovers and haters of anything good and decent, remember one thing: It was a Democratic chosen DOJ that dropped all the charges due to the badly botched and evidence with-holding prosecutor.

    April 7, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Duck and Cover

    PatC April 7th, 2009 12:00 pm ET

    Need to check E-Mails, Bank Records and ties between prosecutors and Dem operatives. If any are found then the leader of the Dem Party must go to jail. If we say Rush Limbaugh is the Repub leader then who is the Dem leader O = Zero.

    Need to check FACTS. The prosecutors were appointed by REPUBLICANS. And this ruling says NOTHING about his innocence or guilt.

    April 7, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |