No pardon for Ted Stevens, despite request from Senator Murkowski
Some last minute drama in the waning days of the Bush administration on the issue of pardons. Alaska's now senior Senator, Lisa Murkowski, wrote to then President Bush asking for a pardon for her colleague:
The Bush administration came to an end Tuesday, and with it went the chance of a pardon for Alaska's most powerful political figure since statehood, Ted Stevens.
Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator until his defeat in November, is now left to fight his conviction in the courts.
According to his friends, that's exactly how he wants it.
When Stevens was indicted July 29 on seven counts of lying on his financial disclosures statements, he demanded the earliest trial date possible, asserting he would be declared not guilty in time to face the voters for his seventh full term. That plan collapsed Oct. 27 when a District of Columbia jury convicted him on all counts.
"It's not over yet!" Stevens declared as he walked out of the courtroom. But his 40-year career representing Alaska in Washington, D.C., was doomed. Former Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat, defeated him a week later.
Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who has taken Stevens' place as the senior senator from Alaska, sought the pardon from Bush in a letter to the White House on Jan. 7. Whether others also petitioned the president on behalf of Stevens couldn't be determined.