Sen. Stevens Told to Keep Records for Graft Probe
By Paul Kane
The Washington Post
Thursday 07 June 2007
Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, disclosed in an interview that the FBI asked him to preserve records as part of a widening investigation into Alaskan political corruption that has touched his son and ensnared one of his closest political confidants and financial backers.
Stevens, who is famous for bringing home federal earmarks for Alaska when he was Appropriations Committee chairman, was not previously known to be linked to the Justice Department's probe, which has uncovered evidence that more than $400,000 worth of bribes were given to state lawmakers in exchange for favorable energy legislation.
Investigators have used secret recording equipment, seized documents and cooperating witnesses to secure the indictments of four current and former state lawmakers, including the former state House speaker, shaking the core of Alaska's Republican Party.
Two executives of a prominent energy company have pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges and are cooperating with the inquiry, which is being run by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section and includes two federal prosecutors and FBI agents based in Anchorage.
"They put me on notice to preserve some records," Stevens said in a brief interview about his legal team's discussions with the FBI. He declined to say what kinds of records were involved but confirmed that he had hired lawyers and that his son, former state Senate president Ben Stevens, "is also under investigation."The FBI issued subpoenas last year to contractors who had performed work on Ted Stevens's Anchorage residence, seeking information about the alleged involvement of energy company executive Bill J. Allen, a key figure in the state bribery probe, in overseeing the renovations.(Click the link under the headline for more)
Of course, Ted's as innocent as a new-born lamb.