Last month, soon-to-be retired Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) delivered his farewell speech on the floor of the Senate, many of colleagues from both sides of the aisle gave speech after speech lavishing praise on the recently convicted felon. Now, some of those same senators are saying that President Bush should pardon Stevens:
“He has served this country for over 50 years,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), a widely respected member of the Judiciary Committee. “I think most anybody would probably say, ‘Yeah, he should be [pardoned].’ I think most anybody would say it’s fair to say that.” [...]
With the door for a pardon cracked back open, some of his Republican colleagues are hoping they can push one through.
For Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the case for a pardon for Stevens has already been laid out. It’s all right there in a letter that Stevens’ lawyers sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey — one in which they laid out their allegations of prosecutorial misconduct before and during his trial.
Stevens’ longtime friend, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), noted to Politico that it would be contradictory for Stevens to be pardoned because “he maintains his innocence.” “If you pardon someone, you’re assuming he’s guilty,” said Inouye.