April 1st, 2009
05:52 PM ET

Lawyer says prosecutors' request has 'cleared' Stevens

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/01/stevens.case.dropped/art.stevens.gi.jpg]

Former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska has been "cleared" by the Justice Department's request to dismiss his federal corruption convictions and drop all charges against him, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, 85, of Alaska lost his re-election bid in November.

Prosecutors accused Stevens of failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of "freebies" from an oilfield services company on Senate ethics forms. But in December, an unnamed FBI whistle-blower accused prosecutors of withholding evidence from the defense, and the Justice Department asked a judge to dismiss the charges against Stevens on Wednesday.

"His name is cleared," Stevens' lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, told reporters. "He is innocent of the charges, as if they'd never been brought."

Stevens, 85, lost his bid for a seventh full term in November after his conviction on seven counts of lying on Senate ethics forms. Sullivan said the Justice Department was forced to request the dismissal because of "extraordinary evidence of government corruption."

"Not only did the government fail to provide evidence to the defense that the law requires them to provide, but they created false testimony that they gave us and actually presented false testimony in the courtroom," he said.

And one of Stevens' longtime friends, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, said Wednesday that Stevens was "screwed by our own Justice Department."

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, Stevens thanked the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder for requesting that the charges be dropped.

"I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed," Stevens said. "That day has finally come."


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Raw Politics • Ted Stevens
soundoff (One Response)
  1. toadman

    Stevens is by no means innocent, but Holder is right, it's time to let this go, and move on. We've got bigger problems than chasing down the wrongdoings of ONE former senator, who won't be alive much longer anyway. Let him drift away into history in peace.

    April 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm |