(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A jury convicted former Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, of a felony — failing to properly report gifts — in 2008. He lost his reelection campaign just over a week later.
Bipartisan outrage followed his conviction, as high-ranking Democrats and Republicans called for his resignation. Both parties agreed that a man convicted of a felony could not serve in the United States Senate. (The charges against Stevens were later dropped and suspicion that they were politically motivated arose.)
As the verdict in the trial of Senator Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, approaches, Democrats appear to be covering up their prior belief that felons cannot serve in the U.S. Senate. Democrats.Senate.Gov displayed a statement from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, calling for Stevens to step down if he won reelection.
“The reality is that a convicted felon is not going to be able to serve in the United States Senate,” Reid said in 2008.
Now that Menendez’s jury has begun deliberations, Democrats.Senate.Gov has removed Reid’s statement and the page says, “This link is extinct! We’re working on it now.”
Then-Senator Barack Obama agreed in 2008 with Reid and his Republican counterparts.
“Yesterday’s ruling wasn’t just a verdict on Senator Stevens, but on the broken politics that has infected Washington for decades,” Obama said. “It’s time to put an end to the corruption and influence-peddling, restore openness and accountability, and finally put government back in the hands of the people it serves. Senator Stevens should step down.”
It’s not yet known if Democrats will reverse their stance in an attempt to save one of their own, but it’s conspicuous that they would remove long-standing statements right before a verdict in Menendez’s trial.