WASHINGTON – The team of lawyers shepherding Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens through a gauntlet of federal indictments has papered the U.S. District Court clerk's office with a flurry of filings — most of which are designed to bolster their arguments that the case be dismissed.
Stevens has been charged with seven counts of making false statements on his yearly Senate financial disclosure forms in an alleged effort to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from the former Alaska-based oil services firm VECO and its top executives.
At his arraignment last month, Stevens and his team of lawyers, led by Brendan Sullivan, had pressed for a compressed trial schedule so Stevens could "clear his name" prior to the November general election.
Judge Emmitt Sullivan granted the request, with jury selection process beginning on Sept. 22.
On Tuesday, the Stevens team argued the government isn't supplying information — including evidence — in a timely enough fashion.
At court today, Stevens' lawyers filed several documents, including a motion to compel the government to immediately supply its evidentiary information so that his defense team will have enough time to sift through the materials prior to the trial.
So far, Stevens' lawyers say, the government has produced 400 hours of audio and video — including intercepted phone calls between Stevens and VECO execs — but has not indexed the information.
The defense argued in Tuesday's filings that the information has nothing to do with Stevens or the charges against him. Additionally, the defense team indicates it will move to suppress the recordings of the telephone calls because there is no indication Stevens was the investigative target when the calls were recorded.
"Among the government's duties was to minimize the interception of communications to and from persons not named as interceptees in the surveillance orders; to minimize interception of non-criminal communications; and to identify the actual targets of the interceptions by affidavit to the authorizing court," the filing asserts.
"Here, the government never once identified Senator Stevens as a targeted interceptee in its Title III applications, yet it appears to have targeted his phone calls."
If Stevens was not named in the original court order that allowed interception of the calls, his lawyers say, then the calls should be off-limits for trial. Other arguments offered by the defense:
— Stevens argues that government has not adequately accounted for the "items of value" he is alleged to have received from VECO, and wants the court to order the prosecution to come up with a detailed list, or a so-called bill of particulars.
— Stevens wants the indictment dismissed because it is too "vague," and therefore "deficient"
— Stevens again says that since the financial disclosure forms were submitted to the Senate, the Senate should punish him, rather than the courts or the executive branch.
— Stevens again argues that his indictment at the hands of an executive branch agency violates the legislative protections afforded him under the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution
— The government hasn't shown motive or how or if Stevens acted in a material manner to benefit VECO for the receipt of the alleged gifts, his legal team says: "The government obviously wishes to import the stench of a bribery prosecution into a case that is nothing of the sort. The government has cited no case, and we are aware of none, in which prosecutors were permitted to suggest a quid pro quo when no quid pro quo was or could be charged in the indictment. Particularly here, where the government concedes that the senator's official acts were entirely lawful and proper, the allegations are unnecessary and unfairly prejudicial."
Despite his indictments, Stevens sailed through his primary by 63 percent on Aug. 26. He faces Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat who led by double digits in recent polls on the general election.
FOX News' Ian McCaleb contributed to this report.