Federal prosecutors offered a glimpse of previously unseen evidence against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens in new court filings Thursday, including allegations that Stevens used insider help to turn a secret $5,000 investment in a Florida condo development into more than $100,000 in quick profits.
The government also dismissed assertions by Stevens that his conduct was shielded by the constitution as a member of Congress, citing nine examples of Stevens' "errands" and requests involving Veco that had nothing to do with protected lawmaking.
Among them: an intercepted telephone call in which Stevens discusses how his son Ben, then the state Senate President, planned to push a bill favored by the oil industry as a prelude to gas development.
The new filings go substantially further than the indictment handed up against Stevens last month charging him with seven counts of failing to disclose gifts from 1999 through 2006. Most of the alleged gifts were from the former Alaska-based oil field service company Veco and its politically active chairman, Bill Allen. Allen and Veco vice president Rick Smith have pleaded guilty to bribing elected officials and are working with government prosecutors and are expected to testify at Stevens' trial, tentatively scheduled to start with jury selection Sept. 22.
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