October 14, 2008
by Jill Burke
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, took the stand briefly Tuesday afternoon on behalf of Sen. Ted Stevens in Stevens' trial for allegedly failing to disclose gifts and home renovations carried out by an oil field services company.
Much like Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, Hatch gave Stevens high accolades.
Hatch said he first met Stevens in 1976 when Hatch first ran for Senate. In the 32 years since, he says he has come to know Stevens as one of the "strongest, toughest, most decent and most honorable people " he's known in the Senate.
"I love the guy," Hatch told jurors, adding he considers Stevens a great friend.
Hatch called Stevens one of the best Appropriation Committee chairs ever, saying Stevens was always fair to both sides, worked to get at the truth and was always straightforward.
Hatch repeated some of the phrases Powell and Inouye used to describe Stevens. Like Inouye, Hatch said Stevens' word was "good enough to take to the bank." And like Powell, he described Stevens as a "sterling" person.
With all three men -- Hatch, Powell, Inouye -- prosecutors worked to show that none of them had ever been to the senator's Girdwood home and that they had no personal knowledge of Stevens' finances or of the details of the criminal case against him.
Contact Jill Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org
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