Hannity complained of DOJ bias in rapid Stevens prosecution, but Stevens reportedly requested speedy trial

››› ››› NATHAN TABAK

On his radio show, Sean Hannity complained of Sen. Ted Stevens' speedy trial on corruption charges, contrasting it with Rep. William Jefferson's case, saying that "justice moves at lightning speed" for Republicans like Stevens. Hannity added, "Not only do you get indicted, you get tried, you get convicted in record time, but the Justice Department moves so fast, it's like some kind of national emergency." But Hannity did not note that Stevens and his attorneys reportedly requested a speedy trial following his indictment so that Stevens could "clear his name" before Election Day.

During the December 8 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Fox News' Sean Hannity suggested that there was a double standard in the Justice Department's prosecutions of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), who was convicted in October for lying on financial disclosure forms, and Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA), who was indicted in 2007 on racketeering, bribery, and money laundering charges and lost his re-election bid in the 2008 elections. Referring to Jefferson, Hannity said: "I mean, the smoking-gun evidence emerged against this guy, what, three years ago? I mean, what's the innocent explanation for having $100,000 in cash socked away in your freezer? Which was just pretty much the tip of the iceberg against the guy." Hannity continued: "Now, if you're a Republican, like Ted Stevens, even though the case against you is a lot more murky, you know, justice moves at lightning speed. Not only do you get indicted, you get tried, you get convicted in record time, but the Justice Department moves so fast, it's like some kind of national emergency."

In fact, Stevens and his attorneys reportedly requested a speedy trial following his July 29 indictment on corruption charges so that Stevens could "clear his name" before Election Day. As The Washington Post reported on July 31:

At Stevens's arraignment in U.S. District Court, the senator's attorneys and prosecutors agreed they could start a trial by late September, just a month before the 84-year-old senator could face a tough battle in the November election. After a 30-minute recess to consider Stevens's request, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan set a Sept. 24 trial date.

Stevens's attorney, Brendan Sullivan, initially asked Sullivan to schedule the trial for October so that Stevens can "clear his name" before the general election on Nov. 4. Brendan Sullivan also asked to submit legal briefs urging the judge to transfer the trial to Alaska.

"This is not a complex case, and it should move quickly," Stevens's attorney said, adding that "this is the first time in my life I have asked for a speedy trial."

On October 27, as The Washington Post reported, Stevens was found "guilty on seven felony counts, each with a maximum penalty of five years in prison." Stevens subsequently lost his Senate re-election bid to his Democratic challenger Mark Begich.

From the December 8 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: That's the nature of politics. Liberals can get away with whatever they need to get away with for political expediency. You know, it's only conservatives that can do wrong things. You know, for example -- I'll give you one example. The -- it's all -- it's really an outrage.

We've talked at length about "Cold Cash" Jefferson -- William "Cold Cash" Jefferson. I mean, the smoking-gun evidence emerged against this guy, what, three years ago? I mean, what's the innocent explanation for having $100,000 in cash socked away in your freezer? Which was just pretty much the tip of the iceberg against the guy. Now, if you're a Republican, like Ted Stevens, even though the case against you is a lot more murky, you know, justice moves at lightning speed. Not only do you get indicted, you get tried, you get convicted in record time, but the Justice Department moves so fast, it's like some kind of national emergency.

And by the way, I'm not defending Ted Stevens. I'm not. The Stevens case broke well after the details of the Jefferson story was clear for everybody to see. Stevens has already been indicted, tried, convicted, voted out of office. "Cold Cash" Jefferson, whose case is much older, still doesn't even have a trial date, so I guess the voters of New Orleans just got tired of the Justice Department dragging their feet and they finally voted Jefferson out of office on Saturday. Barely, by the way.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
Network/Outlet
ABC Radio Networks
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
The Sean Hannity Show
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