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Stevens Trial Continues, Dismissal Hearing Later Today

The corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) continued this morning, with jurors being led through a long series of e-mails between Stevens and a close friend related to the renovation of Stevens' home in Girdwood, Alaska.

The e-mails were highlighted by prosecutors, who put an FBI agent on the stand to review them. Justice Department prosecutors used the e-mail trail to show that Stevens was intimately involved in minute details of the home remodeling project, right down to the color of fixtures being installed. Stevens' attorneys have claimed that the senator really lives in Washington, D.C., and thus couldn't know what was going on at his home in Girdwood, more than 3,000 miles away.

Defense attorneys also notified the court that they would call former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) as defense witnesses. Inouye is Stevens' closest friend in the Senate --the two call each other "brother," and routinely campaign for the other's re-election, despite being in different parties. Stevens' ties to Powell are less clear.

With the prosecution expected to rest its case this afternoon after hearing more testimony about Stevens' involvement in a Florida real-estate transaction, Judge Emmet Sullivan has also scheduled a hearing on a motion by the defense team to dismiss the case. Stevens' attorneys have argued that DOJ has failed to turn over all the materials it is using in the case, and Judge Sullivan had been forced to resist defense demands for dismissal or a mistrial.

The latest flash point is a check used by Bill Allen, a former Alaska oilman and the government's star witness in the case, to pay for a Land Rover. Allen allegedly swapped the car for an old Mustang owned by Stevens, plus some cash. Prosecutors allege that the Land Rover deal was part of a string of improper gifts that Allen gave Stevens, which the Alaska Republican failed to report on his annual financial disclosure forms. Chief among these alleged gifts was more than $180,000 that Allen spent on fixing up Stevens' home, including adding a new ground floor. Stevens claims to have paid more than $160,000 of the renovation cost, with his attorneys asserting that he paid every bill he received.

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