Thursday, August 30, 2007

Don't Ask Alaska Senator If He's a Target of a Federal Investigation

When the FBI executed a search warrant at the home of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, that was a pretty strong indication he was a target of a corruption investigation.  But "target" is very much a term of art, meaning that the person is viewed by prosecutors as likely to be charged with a crime -- a position no one wants to be in.  The Department of Justice is not obligated to tell someone whether he or she is a target, so it can be good PR to say one is not officially a "target of the investigation" despite appearances otherwise.  In answering questions posed by a reporter for KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, Senator Stevens stumbled over whether he is a target of this investigation while noting that he has been involved in other investigations before (video here and transcript here).  He said, "I'm not sure I'm a target yet. I've not been told I'm a target. But as a practical matter, the situation -- I shouldn't have answered that question either . . . I was not a target of those other investigations, is what I was saying."  Got that?  Watching the video doesn't make it any clearer what he meant. (ph)

Corruption, Investigations | Permalink

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