For the first time during the three weeks of his criminal trial, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) appeared to struggle with his emotions on Thursday as he described his wifes brief sabbatical from work in late 2000.
Stevens and his wife have both testified that she was overseeing renovations on their Alaska home in late 2000 while she was in between jobs. The government alleges that Stevens accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of free renovations on his home, but the defense contends that the Senator did not know how much the work actually cost because his wife was handling the bills for the project.
Testifying in his own defense this afternoon, Stevens identified a document his staff had prepared for him that was essentially a projection of the household finances if his wife remained unemployed for several months.
Discussing the document, Stevens said that the family would lose several thousand dollars a month for each month that Catherine was not working, but Stevens said he was unconcerned about the money.
I was happy that she was going to get a chance to be home and to spend time with their daughter, he said. Fighting back tears, Stevens said that his wife had been traveling a great deal for her job with a foundation, and she had worked awful hard. ... She deserved the rest.
Stevens brief flash of emotion and affection for his wife was a stark contrast to the rest of the trial, during which he has mostly sat expressionless. His wife testified yesterday that she was unhappy with most of the renovation work, and she frequently expressed her displeasure with her husbands housekeeping and decisions that he made for the home without consulting her.
The two did not appear to make eye contact or talk during her time in court. In e-mails introduced into evidence, they refer to each other by their nicknames: He refers to her as Rosalee, after a character in a country song, and he signs his e-mails Oscar in a reference to the character in The Odd Couple.
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., left, David Goldman, center, and Arvind Chawdra right, attend a news conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on international child abduction. Goldman and Chawdra are fathers whose children were abducted by their mothers and taken abroad.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.