Stevens Pleads Not Guilty

Posted: Jul 31, 2008 4:24 PM
Stevens Pleads Not Guilty

The longest serving Republican in the Senate pled “not guilty” to seven criminal charges of making false statements in federal court Thursday.

And, he wants to clear his name before his re-election race in November.

Sen. Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska) was charged for lying about the more than $250,000 in gifts and home renovations he received from an oil-services contractor on his Senate financial disclosure forms by federal officials Wednesday. Stevens, who faces his 8th Senate election race this fall, strongly denied any wrongdoing a statement released from his Senate office. “I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that,” Stevens said.

During his arraignment hearing Thursday, Stevens’ legal counsel asked U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to schedule the senator’s trial date for sometime before November 4, the date of Stevens’ reelection race. The judge scheduled the trial date for September 24.

Counsel also asked the judge to move the trial to the senator’s homes state of Alaska, rather than Washington. A final decision on where the trial will be held was not made Thursday.

During the hearing Stevens did not speak, but one observer noted he appeared calm and “even at one point he winked at people in the gallery.”