The heart of the DOJ/FBI prosecution was the allegation that Stevens had failed to disclose over $250,000 worth of work on his Girdwood “chalet”. It was $250,000 of work ostensibly done by his friend Bill Allen’s company, VECO, in addition to the $180,000 which Stevens had paid for the so-called improvements.
Events would eventually make it obvious that Stevens overpaid by $80,000 or more and should have been suing to get some of his money back.
But the FBI/DOJ team had a different narrative they were selling.
On July 30, 2007 they hired a locksmith and invited news and TV crews to observe their “raid” on Sen. Stevens home.
The Anchorage Daily News, in the person of Rich Mauer, as well as reporters from Anchorage TV station Channel 2 and commentator-for-hire Shannon (Shannyn) Moore were there by invitation.
What this intrepid band of reporters failed somehow to notice was that there was no way that $180,000 much less the alleged additional $250,000 from VECO, had been spent on upgrading Ted’s rather modest chalet.
Nor did they see any incongruity in the FBI, normally religiously silent about ongoing investigations, inviting them to what became a show and tell.
Nor, it is worth noting, have any of these intrepid souls had the moral courage to set the record straight by admitting that they were duped by the investigators.
But why would Sen. Stevens’ friend Bill Allen testify to something which was patently untrue?
Undisclosed by the FBI/DOJ team were several salient facts:
Bill Allen was in the process of selling his company, VECO, to CH2MHill for net cash proceeds somewhere in the neighborhood of $432,000,000.
The majority of those proceeds were allowed to flow through to Allen family members and trusts as well as several minority owners. Only the $70,000,000, which was to go directly to Bill Allen, was impounded by the DOJ pending his cooperation in the prosecution of Sen. Stevens.
Also undisclosed was the fact that Allen, once named Alaskan of the Year, now drunken and brain-damaged from a motorcycle accident, was himself under investigation by the Anchorage Police Department for illicit sexual relations with a minor, and that the investigation was being quashed by the FBI/DOJ.
The carrot for Allen’s cooperation was the release of his $70,000,000; the stick was the frozen investigation of Allen’s own corrupt criminal acts.
Ultimately the illegal prosecution of Sen. Stevens was thrown out, first by Judge Emmett Sullivan, and then by Eric Holder.
But it cost Stevens his seat in the US Senate.
In July of 2008, just months before the elections, a DC jury convicted Stevens. Using the suborned false testimony of Bill Allen, hiding evidence of Stevens’ innocence, the FBI and DOJ had piled on charges and leaked so much false and damaging evidence to the “press” that the Washington DC jury returned a conviction.
But all this was only part of the story. In Florida, a minor league Democrat named Vic Vickers, packed up his household goods and headed to Alaska. He changed his registration to Republican, filed to run for US Senate and proceeded to spend a million dollars on “campaign” ads that said little, other than “Stevens is a crook.”
And, in Washington DC, the Democratic National Committee, then under Chuck Schumer’s leadership, was grooming Mark Begich to replace Stevens. In Alaska Begich was cautious in his criticism of Stevens because of Stevens’ popularity. In DC where his financial and political support was based he was vicious in attacking Ted.
In April of 2009 Judge Emmet G. Sullivan dismissed the ethics conviction of Ted Stevens. In a 14 minute diatribe he said that he had never seen “mishandling and misconduct like I have seen” in the Stevens trial. He then appointed a special counsel to determine if the prosecutors themselves should face criminal charges themselves.