Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' decision not to take the Fifth in his corruption trial was a bold gamble that backfired, the Hill writes. The Republican came across as "evasive and combative" under tough questioning on the stand, hurting his credibility and adding weight to the prosecution's argument that the senator had conspired to conceal free gifts from a company that stood to benefit from his clout.
Stevens had sought a quick trial in a move to beat the charges before his re-election bid. He must now face voters next week as the first sitting senator in a generation to be convicted of criminal charges. If Stevens—who could be sentenced to prison in February—wins, it will take a two-thirds vote of the Senate to expel him.