Sunday, November 2, 2008

Congressional Report on status of a Senator who has been indicted or convicted of a felony

On Oct. 22, the Congressional Research Service for the Library of Congress (CRS) compiled a 14-page report titled "Status of a Senator Who Has Been Indicted for or Convicted of a Felony"

An unidentified Senator submitted the question to CRS just days before Alaska Senator Ted Steven's "Oct. 27 conviction on seven felony counts for lying on his Senate financial disclosure reports." Said Bonnie Goldstein, in an article published in The Slate on Oct. 31, "Stevens is only the fourth member in the entire history of the U.S. Senate to be convicted of a crime while in office."

CRS found no rules or laws "providing that a Member of the Senate who is indicted or convicted of a crime must forfeit his or her congressional salary, pension or seat." (That is, unless the member is forced to take a leave of absence from the Senate for the purposes of incarceration).

Senator Stevens, who maintains his claim of innocence, has announced that he has no intention of resigning. The Senate has the ability to discipline Stevens, but has not actually expelled a member from the Senate since before the Civil War.

The links for this article came from an article submitted to the Hot Document section of The Slate by Bonnie Goldstein:

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