Even as Ted Stevens appeals of his seven-count felony conviction, the disgraced senator isn't ruling outthe possibility of seeking a pardon from President Bush, the Anchorage Daily News reports. "If I were counsel to him, I would encourage him," says Alaska's former US attorney, a Stevens supporter. "I strongly believe President Bush should pardon Senator Stevens."
President Bush has generally avoided high-profile pardons and has granted just 171—less than half President Clinton's total. If Stevens plans to press him before they both leave office, it apparently won't be through conventional channels: Stevens "hasn't submitted an application for any sort of clemency," a Justice Department rep says. And White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says, "We never comment on pardons."