The FBI, working with an Alaska oil contractor, secretly taped telephone calls with Sen. Ted Stevens as part of a public corruption sting, according to people close to the investigation.
The secret recordings suggest the Justice Department was eyeing Stevens long before June, when the Republican senator first publicly acknowledged he was under scrutiny. At that time, it appeared Stevens was a new focus in a case that had already ensnared several state lawmakers.
The recorded calls between Stevens and businessman Bill Allen were confirmed by two people close to the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way. They declined to say how many calls were recorded or what was said.
Allen, a wealthy businessman and Stevens’ political patron, agreed to the taping last year after authorities confronted him with evidence he had bribed Alaska lawmakers. He pleaded guilty to bribery and is a key witness against Alaska legislators. He also has told prosecutors he paid his employees to renovate the senator’s house. Read more…