WASHINGTON — Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens allegedly made false statements to cover up gifts given to him by an oil contractor seeking his help on Capitol Hill, according to a seven-count federal indictment unveiled Tuesday.

Stevens, 84, is the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate and has been under investigation for more than a year, with a heavy focus on work done to his Girdwood, Alaska, ski-community house.

“We are at the very beginning of the criminal process,” said Matthew Friedrich, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department Criminal Division. “Like any other criminal defendant, Senator Stevens is presumed innocent.”

But of course since he’s a Republican his case will be run to the front of the line, during an election year, and William “Cash in his freezer” Jefferson’s case won’t come up until well AFTER the election.

Look, I’ve no problems with the investigation per se, (Frankly, I’d have been happier if the guy were have resigned a long time ago…) but given how long the Jefferson case, for example, is taking by comparison, I have to wonder if there isn’t a little political gamesmanship going on here. Just coincidental, you understand, that this comes up in a Presdiential election year.



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