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Alaska's Sen. Murkowski seeks Bush pardon for Stevens

With less than 48 hours left of the Bush presidency, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's spokesman said Sunday that Murkowski had asked the White House to pardon the former senior senator of Alaska, Ted Stevens.

Michael Brumas, Murkowski's communications director, said the pardon request was made earlier this month. He declined to give other details, including whether Stevens himself wanted the pardon and had asked Murkowski to pursue it on his behalf. "It's just a very sensitive issue and a sensitive time -- a couple days left," Brumas said. "We're just not saying anything more."

Stevens, a Republican, was convicted in Washington, D.C., Oct. 27 of seven felony charges of failing to disclose gifts and services he received from 2000 to 2006. A week later, Alaska voters turned him out of office in November after 40 years in the Senate.

Stevens is asking for a new trial, alleging prosecutorial misconduct, juror misconduct and other issues. A hearing is scheduled next month, but would be rendered moot by a pardon.

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