From David Hulen in Anchorage --
Three telephone calls between ex-Veco chief Bill Allen and Sen. Ted Stevens were entered into evidence today in Stevens' trial in Washington, D.C.
You can listen to them below. Transcripts of all three calls (produced by ADN) are below the audio players. We've updated the presentation to put them in chronological order rather than exhibit number.
(ABOUT COMMENTS: The reader-comment feature across the site has been having problems much of the day; latest word is that it should be back soon).
Exhibit 652: Aug. 31, 2006
It's the day of the surprise FBI raids of legislative offices and other locations around the state. Allen tells Stevens that the FBI searched his home and asked about Ben Stevens' work for Veco, and the work done on the Girdwood residence.
Exhibit 651: Sept. 10, 2006
They talk about Allen's health and the investigation. Says Stevens: "I think you've done what you thought was right and what I think is right and so let's stick this thing out together, OK?"
Exhibit 650: Oct. 18, 2006
Allen and Stevens discuss the looming federal investigation, with a reference to Martha Stewart's conviction based on lying to the grand jury, and former Fairbanks mayor Jim Hayes' pending corruption case. Allen apologizes "that this whole thing's happened."
Exhibit 652: August 31, 2006
STEVENS: Hey, Bill?
ALLEN: Yeah, Ted.
STEVENS: I'm in San Francisco now, walking downhill I hope. Catherine wants me to walk a little bit. I wonder if you're going to be around Sunday.
ALLEN: Uh, yeah. I'll be here, Ted.
STEVENS: Catherine wants to get in touch with you. She's comin' down there Sunday and she has in mind replacing those black uh.... uh.... uh... y'know, uh couches in the... in the... at the chalet, and wanted to talk with you about what you might want to do with those...
STEVENS: All right?
ALLEN: Yeah, uh, hey Ted, I've been trying to get ahold of Ben. I can't get ahold of him. And uh, the FBI got a warrant and searched my house and... and the office... uh
STEVENS: For what?
ALLEN: uh, with, with Ben and trying to figure out, y'know, what... what kind of ... you know, what he done for us.
STEVENS: I see. Ok.
STEVENS: Well, I...
ALLEN: And uh, they asked me what I done on your house....
ALLEN: And I said, well, he's paid for everything and uh, you know, you don't... you don't need this problem again, Ted, but that's what they're, uh, talking me... and I just told 'em I wouldn't talk to 'em.
STEVENS: Yeah, Ok. Good. Well, I'll talk to Catherine and we'll figure that out. But that's what... that's what... uh, I had an inkling something was up, Bill, but I don't know what it is. I'll try to get ahold of Ben, too.
ALLEN: Ok, they're asking me about the labor charges.... and you know, I don't know what they done, uh you know when Rocky and that Dave had it, I don't know what they done with the invoices and all that.
STEVENS: I'll talk to Catherine about it now. I'll be back to you later today, Billy.
STEVENS: Allright, thanks.
Exhibit 651: Sept. 10, 2006
STEVENS: Hey, Bill?
STEVENS: Hello Bill?
STEVENS: It's Ted Stevens. How are you?
ALLEN: I'm not good, but I'm better than I was
STEVENS: I hope you'll do yourself a favor and get yourself a trainer and come over the house there and get yourself some workout every day.
STEVENS: Keep yourself going now, my friend
ALLEN: I will
STEVENS: I've never been up against a bunch like this one before. And I hope you'll really take care of yourself.
ALLEN: How about you? How are you doing?
STEVENS: Well, I'm not getting much sleep thinking about all this shit that's going down - about four hours a night. But I'm gonna survive. I'm just trying to figure why these fuckers are doing this thing to our friends, but... Bob and Ben and you and I seem to be the chief targets right now.
ALLEN: Yeah, seems like it to me, Ted.
STEVENS: Let's not talk about the problems we face, but let's talk about how you're feeling. How're you doing?
ALLEN: Well, I, hey remember when we were on our boot camp? And remember when I couldn't walk? ... Remember?
ALLEN: And I would get dizzy and all that.
ALLEN: And I couldn't figure out why the hell I'd get so dizzy. And on... I think it was Thursday, I got up and man it was really dizzy and so, when I got back... I fell once and I got into my bed again, and I had my blood tester... you know, my blood pressure...
ALLEN: .... machine and I put that on ... it was 81 and 40. And so, I finally got ahold of my doctor and Rick took me to the office, his office. He laid me down... He was ... imagine me... punching in my gut and all of that. And after awhile, he said, "Is it better when you lay down?" And I said "Yeah." He said, "Do you know why?" And I said no. He said, "Your blood pressure is 79 and 40" I think it was.
STEVENS: That's low.
ALLEN: Oh, yeah, I mean, that's when you start falling over, you know. And so he put a IV on me and he put some blood... got some blood, and he made me sit there three to four hours putting that liquid in my .... arm.
ALLEN: Then he said, "Now you can stand up. And I was deteriorated. I didn't have enough water.
ALLEN: And so he took two... three pills away from me, you know, that came from him... and now, I'm great. I don't get dizzy. Hell, I could outwalk you now.
STEVENS: Well, that's good. I think the real secret to this one is keep your health up, you know?
ALLEN: I got to...
STEVENS: I don't know what the fuck these guys are doing, we'll have to figure that out later. But I told my guys that no matter what comes up, we're not abandoning you. I think you've done what you thought was right and what I think is right and so, let's stick this thing out together, OK?
ALLEN: You bet, Ted
STEVENS: But what you got to do is you gotta keep your health up
ALLEN: Well, since they hit me with all this shit, I haven't had one drink... no wine, no nothing, and I've lost about 10 pounds, uh 10 to 12 pounds
STEVENS: Good for you. I been doing about the same thing. I got the first bottle of wine I've had this week in front of me right now.But let me tell you - get yourself some exercise. Keep your heart going, keep yourself going, cause we got a fight out there ahead of us. And we're gonna win it because we didn't do anything wrong. You've got a right to spend all the money you got to support the party you believe in.
ALLEN: Yeah, I know.
STEVENS: You remember that. No one can tell you you spent too much money.
STEVENS: The question is whether you did something illegal and I don't think you did. I have a little problem about Rick Smith from some of the things I'm hearing. I don't know if you're hearing that, but the things he's done down in Juneau may have been a little bit on the edge. But we'll stick with him. I'm not tossing him to the wolves, don't misunderstand me.
STEVENS: But uh, keep your health up.
ALLEN: Ted, I will.
STEVENS: I can't come outta here until after Oct. 1 because we're in this session. I promised to go up and be with Chris Imhof at the [Alyeska] Prince today but I could not do it because of what we did Friday afternoon, what we're gonna do Monday morning. But, so, I'm here, I'm locked here until we get out of this thing Oct. 1st. But after that, we'll come up and I'll talk to you. I don't know what these fuckers are gonna do, but whatever they do, you gotta keep in mind, and your attorneys got to keep in mind, you have the money and you're entitled to spend it as long as it's spent legally and I think you spent it legally.
ALLEN: All right.
STEVENS: Stay with it, my friend.
ALLEN: You bet, Ted.
STEVENS: You're one of my greatest friends I ever had, now don't give up.
ALLEN: Same here...
STEVENS: Don't give up.
STEVENS: Hang in there, buddy.
ALLEN: Alright, good bye.
STEVENS: Good bye.
Exhibit 650: October 18, 2006
STEVENS: Hello Bill, can you hear me now?
ALLEN: Now I can, yeah.
STEVENS: Yeah. Sorry about that. How are you feeling today?
ALLEN: Feel, feel pretty good. I got a good night's sleep.
STEVENS: That's good. Get some exercise? I just finished my exercise.
ALLEN: No ... not today, but I have been.
STEVENS: I was talking, to ... when I was talking to my lawyers, they told me that we, we ought to avoid trying to look like we're meeting in a situation where we wouldn't be overheard or having no one with us. They point out that, what's her name, that woman that uh, who went to jail, Martha Stewart?
STEVENS: She didn't go to, to jail because she did something wrong. She went to jail because she lied about a conversation she had with somebody.
ALLEN: Uh huh.
STEVENS: They say we should have no problem ... we can meet, you know have dinner, or what not. But we should not try to look like we're going to try to try to keep things from the world. And he, they said we ought to really lay low right now, because this grand jury is meeting. And if they got wind that it looked like we were going try to, you know, do what they call obstruct justice, they could call us before the grand jury on a different, different thing all together.
So, I think we ought to just sweat out this grand jury and see what's happening. I don't know if you know about Jim Hayes up there in Fairbanks, you know. They went in and seized his stuff last January. They still haven't filed a case against him
ALLEN: Yeah, I remember he was a preacher or something, wasn't he?
STEVENS: Well he was three-time mayor of Fairbanks.
STEVENS: And he took over his father's church. (inaudible), he was a preacher, became a preacher. That involves me also, because I was, got a fund to, to help him set up a day ... not day care, but a center for black children there in Fairbanks. And he, uh - I don't argue with it - he bought his father's church and then, with the money. And then, then built another church, a smaller church, but turned this thing in, into the black center.
Uh, they went in and took all his books and everything else, almost some 10 months ago now. But they haven't done anything yet. The advice they gave him too was just sit back and wait. You can make things worse if you try, try to find some way to stop this because that's that obstruction of justice, or that problem about having a conversation that you think is, you can, you can not have to talk about, and then, you know, trying to cover it up it becomes another charge.
So they said you and I ought to wait this thing out. I don't know. Have you talked, also, once a charge is filed, we can get the statement, or statements these people have filed. And then, we'll know what these people have accused us of. Right now we don't' know what they've accused us of. They really haven't filed a charge yet.
ALLEN: No, I guess they haven't. When is this, when is this grand jury, when's that going to happen?
STEVENS: It's meeting as we speak.
STEVENS: Meeting right now. I don't think we've done anything wrong, Bill. I can tell you right now. I told my lawyers - I can't think of a thing we've done that's wrong. Now, some people go on the basis of what they call the appearance or image of wrongdoing, and these people who have filed these statements, I think they're partially political if not totally political.
But in any event, they're doing this around the country. And this same unit is involved in almost all those things. And they have a habit of filing additional charges when people try to prevent them from getting access. Or they try to, to work together to prevent them from establishing a case. So I think we gought to be very careful about this. Besides that, a lot of the things involved are corporate, as far as you're concerned. They're not individual, they're corporate, and you, you own the corporation.
Some of the things you may have done yourself, but basically the things that have been done have been done by your corporate employees. So, you're in a different world in terms of this corporate thing. And it may well be that the corporation is going to get fined or something. But you ought to be careful not to get yourself into the point where you're involved in it.
ALLEN: OK, well.
STEVENS: Are you talking to that lawyer of yours?
ALLEN: Yes I am. He's going to be back here Wednesday. He had to go to California with his... his mother. But he'll be back here on Wednesday I think
And, and you know I go that one in New York too.
STEVENS: Yeah, well you ought to get them, get them, make sure they agree on what you should do. But the people who have really gotten in trouble with these guys are the people who have tried to frustrate them from finding out whether the charges are right or wrong. So we'd be better off to just let them keep on looking and looking and looking - whatever they want to look at. As far as I'm concerned, they can look. I don't have any problem. It may be that what we've done leaves an impression we've done something wrong. But you have, you have to make up you're mind you're doing something wrong. You have to have an intention to do something wrong to really be guilty of a crime. So, you know, it's a long way before we're going to have to be in front of a jury. I hope to God neither one of us is. But, but we don't want to get ourselves there by trying to do something that leads to a different kind of charge.
ALLEN: Yeah, I wasn't going to talk about...
STEVENS: No, I understand that ... I agree, but the appearance of what we're doing leads them to that conclusion. I think they're probably listening to this conversation right now, for Christ sake.
ALLEN: Well, they're not supposed to be. Because this is uh, this cell phone, it's... my lawyer went and, I got it so that I could talk, you know, on it. So...
STEVENS: It may be posible to talk to your lawyer, but when you're talking to me, you're on a regular wire.
ALLEN: Oh that's right. That's right.
STEVENS: So, but it, you know, it doesn't make any difference. Hell, I don't care what they ..(inaudible) I'd say the same thing I said if they were sitting here right in front of us. I'm not going to let these guys get us in a position where they can charge us with something just because we didn't do what they think we should do. They, they've got to go out make the case that we did something that, that is against the law. I don't think we have violated the law.
ALLEN: I don't think we have either, Ted. But, uh, you know, I, I - that lawyer has grilled me and grilled me on what they think they can do. He talks to them, I don't.
STEVENS: That's, that's the way it should be. But as a practical matter, the question is, what can they convince the jury, uh grand jury, to charge us with. That's the problem. But when I was a district attorney, I, I handled grand juries, lots of them. They're funny people, but they also are people from within the community. And your reputation and everything else comes into into this play, as far as grand juries are concerned. But I think, really, when you look at it. We ought to just cool it. I told Ben the same thing: just cool it, you know, go about our business and smile and have a happy face. You ought to get out and meet people and do things. Do the things you used to do and just keep going. If it's a violation of the elections law, that's a corporate violation. This thing, it shouldn't, it shouldn't get to your mind, old buddy.
ALLEN: Well it has been, I'll tell you.
STEVENS: Well but, you got to, you got to just stand back and say what's going to happen when it's all over. You got to get a mental attitude that these guys can't really hurt us. You know, they're not going shoot us. It's not Iraq. What the hell? The worst that can be done, the worst that can happen to us is we round up a bunch of legal fees and, and might lose and we might have to pay a fine, might have to serve a little time in jail. I hope to Christ it never gets to that, but, and I don't think it will. But I don't, I'm developing the attitude that I don't think I did anything wrong so I'm going to go right through my life and keep doing what I think is right.
ALLEN: Well, when this, when this grand jury is over, where are you going to be?
STEVENS: Grand juries meet about two or three days a month, Bill. They'll finish and then they'll go up and think about stuff and ask people to get more information on this or that and then they'll come back in about a month to five weeks. So it's not going to be over. They last about, their term is about 18 months.
STEVENS: I'm going back to Washington on the 25th.
ALLEN: What is today?
STEVENS: The 19th.
ALLEN: 19th. .
STEVENS: I'm going to Seward, then I'm going to Valdez, then I'm going to Fairbanks, going to Barrow, and come back here and then leave the state.
STEVENS: But we ought to get together some time, when we can ...
ALLEN: Yeah, we really should, Ted. And just between me and you - we're not going, we're not going to do anything, Justice, but I've got more information, maybe, maybe, than you got. You know, uh, and ...
STEVENS: That's probably true. But we'll, we'll get to the point where we have share information. Right now, let's not, let's not hasten, you know, this thing along and make it look like we're trying to stop them at the pass. I'm not afraid of them at all.
ALLEN: I know you're not. Uh, well, there is, there is things that I need to tell you. But, but uh, you know, I can't do it over the phone.
STEVENS: If there's some things you need to tell me, tell your lawyers to tell my lawyers. Bill Phillips in Washington's my lawyer.
ALLEN: Is he? OK, well. How...I think I got all your cell phones and all that, so.
STEVENS: Well you, anything gets really serious, give me a call. Lets not try to share information that they don't have.
STEVENS: That, that would be obstruction of justice.
ALLEN: OK Ted.
STEVENS: Thanks my friend.
ALLEN: Hey Ted?
ALLEN: I'm sorry this whole thing is happening, though, to you.
STEVENS: Hey, man, life is life. That's what I told Ben -- these things happen. I told -- I should tell you about my uncle. My uncle Walter that I moved in with and lived with in California. He was a tool and die maker, and he went to Detroit after he got out, out of the tool and die school. He was in World War I. And he started inventing. And he invented the sandwich toaster. He invented the waffle iron. And, and he just was simple enough to think that you just sent in your application for a patent, and you kept going on making more things.
Well, someone picked up on the fact that the patent applicant was, was faulty. And, and they filed the patent application, they got the patents and they came and sued him for infringing on his, their patents. And, because he was making modifications. And he ended up, he had made almost a million bucks. Ended up by being totally broke just as, just the crash came in '29.
And he moved to California and had a good attitude. He moved to the beach and said, 'Hell with it, I'm going to enjoy life. He got a job at a little machine shop earning $30, $35 bucks a week. And that's about the time I moved in with him. He just had a, he just made up his mind, he says: 'I made up my mind, that thing wasn't going to destroy my life. I'm going to have a happy life.' And he did. He worked, then he went and worked for Technicolor after that. And he played beach volleyball on the beach every weekend. Rode his bicycle about 10, 12 miles on Saturday and Sunday.
He died about my age. But he was a happy man. He said I'm not going to let, let that thing destroy me, and it didn't. But he, He was actually convicted of - he had to pay a fine, didn't go to jail - of criminal patent infringement or something like that. I, I wasn't there, and I was a young kid. I may not have it all straight. But anyway, the attitude is what makes a difference in the future life, my friend. We're both going to live a long yet time yet if we do this right. And screw 'em. If they can prove that we did something wrong, or the jury thinks we did something wrong - In my heart, I don't think we did. So that's the, you ought to try to find an attitude that will keep you going, buddy.
ALLEN: I need it. You know...
STEVENS: You ought to do it. I really think you should....
ALLEN: Hey, what I wanted to look at, is when they, when they searched my house and all that, you know? They got all the people that they want to talk to. And, shit, it's a whole bunch of them. And I don't know if they've talked to all of them, or they haven't or what, but...
STEVENS: If they tell the truth, Bill. I don't know. You never know what people are going to say. We know what the truth is. We'll have to wait and see. But they're still talking to people here, right here in Girdwood. I know that. I bumped into a guy here the other night. Said that they called his business. And it's one of those tings. But I say screw it. You know, you can get - I've seen guys get down in a deep hole. And I think Ben is about there, too. Where you just - you know you get to the point where they just don't know what they're doing. And if you get that way, you're going to lose it all, you know.
ALLEN: Hey, is uh, is Elizabeth and him going along, are they going along pretty good? I mean, you know, it really would hurt me if his little family got screwed up.
STEVENS: Yeah, no, that's why I told him this morning. He's got to stop being uh, being just so depressed because it'll, it'll spring over to the kids. He's, he's going to do all right. Where, when, ... when his term finishes, we'll get some funds to help him pay his law firm, his legal fees. But he's got a tough road to hoe. Those guys, they've done this to him three times before remember? He's been through this, state procedures three times. And he says, 'Dad, there's no end to it.' And I said, 'You're wrong. You're out ... these guys are political. As soon as they know you can't, you're not a threat to them, they're going to forget about this.' But the people involved in this investigation aren't. So we got a new, new, new thing to contend with. But I said, 'Don't get a bad attitude.' And I think you ought to get out and get around. I think you ought to continue being Veco. I think you ought to continue doing the things you've done in the past. You ought to be involved in helping with the, the kids and doing the things you've done. And maintain your reputation in the community, Bill.
ALLEN: You know, like for example Ted. The military kids?
STEVENS: There's not, there's no ...
ALLEN: Yeah, I know, I know, I know. I'm just telling you that, that uh, that we were going to have a fund-raiser for it. You know, for them. But we got to do, if we don't, they're going to, they're Christmas is going to be screwed up.
STEVENS: Well, I've just talked to(uninteligble), she's going to talk to the police, I said go ahead and have it. Since we've been, been involved in this, Bill, they've got a new ethics thing - I can't sign letters anymore asking for contributions to non-profit entities. And that's really a non-profit thing they formed there, that little, 501 (c) 3 or whatever it was, to help the kids. But you, you ought to, you ought to be still be part of the community Bill. Don't, don't, don't hole up in your house. Get out and be seen and forget about this goddamn thing. Just literally, you've got to forget about it. If you've got somebody to go to church with, go to church. Find some way to get going and, be, be the part of the community you were before they started this shit, and they can't harm you.
ALLEN: I don't know. There's a lot of people when I got to the store, they'll look at me sideways, you know?
STEVENS: Oh, I know that. I know that. They do it to me too. But, but so what? You know, I know I didn't do anything wrong. I just, it's just like, we bumped into, to one of these guys. I just went up and shook his hand and said, 'How are you doing?' And just surprised the hell out of him.
STEVENS: But, Bill, you're going to have to not, not let this whip you. If you or I or both of us end up in court, the worst thing we can do is just sit there and looking glower and you know, make the jurors feel like they're part of a process that you hate. You know, you've got to have some faith in the system and faith in the juries and faith in what's going to go on in order to succeed in this deal. I would, I would talk to your lawyer but if I were you, I'd, I'd, I'd be involved, I'd be going to these various things. And if someone said, 'Bill, how's it going?' Tell them, it's going pretty good. I don't know what this things going to be, but life's, it's a good life, isn't it? Just tell them, it's a good life. No matter what they do it's a good life.
STEVENS: Try it buddy.
ALLEN: I will. Hey Ted, uh, I love ya, you know.
STEVENS: Bill, I consider you to be one of my best friends. I'd be over there in a minute if I didn't feel what the lawyer said was right, and I could, I might hurt you by trying to listen to you now, and you're telling me things that I should know. I'll find them out in time. If we need them, your lawyer will share them to, with my lawyer. But right now, let's play this game so straight, that they can't accuse us of one damn thing other, other than what these other guys have charged us right, which aint true.
ALLEN: I got, I got, ... this goddamn Dave Anderson, and like that asshole. People like that, you know?
STEVENS: Yeah, I know. You just, but, just, you see him, just, you know, without anything else, just say, 'Hi Dave.' Walk on. Don't let him get to you Bill.
ALLEN: If I couldn't do that, if I seen him, I'd knock him on his goddamn ass, like I've done before.
STEVENS: You're picture'd be on the front page of the paper, and every juror'd know it. You're not going to do that Bill. Let's get through this and get back to our boot camps again.
ALLEN: OK (laughing)
STEVENS: I'm serious now. I think we can do it. Because, if you just believe in your own heart, and I do, that we didn't do anything wrong. They may look at us and say what these guys did is wrong - you know, here, I'm, I've got the position I've got and you've got your committee. I was looking at the wall when I was back there in Washington. You know, days gone by, that business magazine put us on the front page together. Did you know that? Remember that?
ALLEN: Oh, way back there.
STEVENS: Yeah. We've been together that long, you know. We've been working together for years for this state. These bastards are not going to stop us working for this state and doing what we think is right. So get your guys together and say what can we do, that we need to do here in this community. How can we help this community? And just keep going. All right?
ALLEN: Well, shit, it don't make any difference if I do it. Uh, and I've always done it, but uh ...
STEVENS: Bill, it does. You're reputation in your community has a lot to do with what happens in court. I don't care where they are, people will come and , people who have worked with you and me know what we are. They're, I've had people come up and say Ted, if you need someone to tell anybody that you're, you're a good man, you're not, you don't intend to (inaudible), you let me know. You'll learn the same thing bill. You're run learn the same thing. Just get back out there. But don't hide!
ALLEN: Well, well it's hard. You know. I don't like people looking down at me. Uh.
STEVENS: But buddy? Christ, it's what they do to me all the time. I mean, the newspaper causes that. You're just getting in the circle. You know, but, you know, be careful of some people like Rick and rest of them. Don't let those guys lead you astray.
ALLEN: OK. All right, well ...
STEVENS: All right, give me a call if I can ever chat with you about it.
STEVENS: Take care.