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Stevens, Top GOP Defense Appropriator, Found Guilty!


UPDATED: Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) calls Tuesday for Stevens to resign from Senate.

In a court case that will probably help change the defense appropriations landscape, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was found guilty of all seven charges of lying about gifts he received from a friend.

Stevens has, with his longtime friend Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), long dominated the Senate side of defense spending. Even if he is reelected, which now seems less likely, it is hard to believe the GOP would stand behind a convicted felon overseeing defense spending, especially one found guilty of violating some of the very rules supposed to protect the system from abuse.

"It is clear that Senator Stevens has broken his trust with the people and that he should now step down," McCain said Tuesday in a statement. "I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will be spurred by these events to redouble their efforts to end this kind of corruption once and for all."

Should Stevens win reelection to the Senate, he would technically be able to maintain his seat. According to the Associated Press, "Despite being a convicted felon, he is not required to drop out of the race or resign from the Senate. If he wins re-election, he can continue to hold his seat because there is no rule barring felons from serving in Congress. The Senate could vote to expel Stevens on a two-thirds vote."

I've put in calls to see if Stevens would be allowed to remain as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee but have not heard back yet. Most staff are travelling now to help get their bosses reelected.

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