Feds announce indictment of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens

Federal investigators have been examining Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' ties to Veco Oil and its former CEO, Bill Allen, for more than a year. Previous investigations into Veco and Allen's misdeeds have led to the convictions of a number of Alaska state lawmakers, while Allen pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy, bribery and tax charges. One year ago, FBI and IRS agents raided Steven's home in Alaska, which in 2000 was remodeled by contractors employed by Veco.

In the indictment announced today, Justice Department officials allege those repairs, in addition to other goods and services totaling more than $250,000, were concealed by Stevens. The seven charges against Stevens are for making false statements, and he is accused of failing to include the items on financial disclosure forms.

Alaska's primary election is still almost two months away, but there's already speculation that Stevens might be forced to withdraw his name from contention. The field for both parties is pretty broad: Congresspedia is tracking 12 candidates. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich looks to be a lock for the Democratic nomination, and has been consistently ahead of Stevens in recent polling. Republican David Cuddy, who lost to Stevens in a primary back in 1996, now has much better odds on the nomination — he could beat Stevens outright, or benefit from a potential Stevens departure.

Our citizen-journalists have been documenting the investigation since it began, and we have a detailed accounting of the events leading up to the indictment. If you have something to add, please do! Also, be sure to check out our list of other congresspeople under investigation, and help us keep it up to date as well.