A confident Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) told jurors this afternoon he believed his Senate financial disclosure forms were accurate and truthful. “Yes, sir,” Stevens responded to his lawyer’s question about the forms.
“Did you ever intentionally file false financial statements?” Williams & Connolly senior partner Brendan Sullivan Jr., lead defense counsel, asked Stevens. “No, I did not,” the Republican senator replied.
Stevens, 84, charged with filing false financial reports to conceal more than $250,000 in gifts and home renovations, testified for about 10 minutes today—primarily about his background—before the trial recessed for the evening. Stevens, who is up for re-election in November, will be back on the stand Friday morning. Stevens said in court it is a privilege and a duty to testify.
Stevens’s wife, Catherine Ann Stevens, a Mayer Brown partner in D.C., testified for most of Thursday. She told jurors that she—not her husband—was responsible for paying bills for renovation work at the Stevens home in Girdwood, Alaska. Catherine Stevens, who married Ted Stevens in 1980, said she paid every bill she received for the work.
The prosecutor, Brenda Morris, principal deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section, questioned why Catherine Stevens would venture into a massive—and expensive—renovation project without a contract. Stevens said she “engaged” the contractors and that there was no need for a contract.
A longtime Stevens family friend, Bob Persons, a restaurant owner in Alaska, told jurors about a $2,700 massage chair that was purchased as a gift for Stevens and not reported on financial disclosure forms. But that gift turned into a loan when Stevens reportedly said he could not accept it.
Morris pressed Catherine Stevens why the chair still remains in the Stevens home in D.C. Too heavy to send back to Alaska, Stevens’s wife said. The prosecutor also asked about the terms of the “loan.” There were none. Catherine Stevens called the chair “stupid” and said: “I am not happy about it.”