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Longtime Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens Faces Criminal Charges

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving GOP member of the Senate, was indicted Tuesday on charges of making false statements about gifts he received. Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig discusses the investigation that led to Stevens' seven-count indictment.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    The Ted Stevens case. With us to explain the charges and the background is Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post.

    Carol, welcome.

  • CAROL LEONNIG, The Washington Post:

    Thank you.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    First, exactly what is it that Senator Stevens allegedly did?

  • CAROL LEONNIG:

    The allegations in the indictment say that for nine years Sen. Ted Stevens, one of the most powerful senators in Congress, concealed from the public and from his colleagues that he was receiving tens of thousands of dollars from an oil services company in Alaska, $250,000, and that he did not report it on his disclosure forms.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    What kind of gifts? Give us a feel for what they were.

  • CAROL LEONNIG:

    VECO is the name of the company. And the CEO, Bill Allen, and Ted Stevens are very close friends and have been for a long time.

    The allegations are that Bill Allen, and his vice president, and several of his company officials basically helped renovate Ted Stevens' chalet in a resort area in Alaska called Girdwood and near Mount Alyeska, a skiing resort.

    They helped renovate it. They put a deck on it and that, in fact, there were other smaller things, such as when Ted Stevens mentioned that his daughter would like a new vehicle, Bill Allen traded the senator a '64 Ford Mustang that the senator had for a brand-new Range Rover.

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