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Sen. Stevens Harmed Himself in Trial by Testifying

Like every egocentric politician in this town, Sen. Ted Stevens may have given himself too much credit when testifying on his own behalf in a public corruption case.

Sen. Stevens During the Campaign/official photo

Sen. Stevens During the Campaign/official photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The jurors had spent the better part of two days battling one of their own, Juror No. 9, who had refused to participate in deliberations. Several feared that they were headed for a hung jury, an ignominious end to the month-long corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress.
But when the jurors reconvened a few days later, it took them just hours to find Stevens guilty on all seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide more than $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his Girdwood, Alaska, house.
The jurors said they went from near-disaster to a quick verdict after they put their bickering aside and realized that prosecutors had presented an overwhelming case. Stevens, they said, did himself no favors by taking the stand, where he destroyed the grandfatherly image his lawyers had carefully crafted.
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