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Reid: Stevens' Conviction 'personal Tragedy For Our Colleague'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just issued this statement on today's corruption conviction for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska):

“This verdict is a personal tragedy for our colleague Ted Stevens, but it is an important reminder that no man is above the law. Senator Stevens must now respect the outcome of the judicial process and the dignity of the United States Senate.”

Stevens was found guilty of failing to report more than $250,000 in improper gifts he received between 1999 and 2006. Stevens has already indicated that he will appeal the conviction, but if he loses in the Nov. 4 elections, his defeat may help propel Reid and Senate Democrats to a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority.

Reid has served with Stevens on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and he told his GOP colleague, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, that he appreciated his friendship.

"So I say to Senator Stevens, at this important occasion for you, of course, and our country, recognizing you, your service in this body, the longest serving Republican in the history of the Republic, I extend to you my appreciation and my friendship," Reid told Stevens during an April 12, 2007, celebrating Stevens' becoming the longest-serving Republican senator.