WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, began his testimony Thursday by denying he made false statements and concealed gifts he received from friends.
The longest-serving Senate Republican had pleaded not guilty to charges he did not disclose more than $250,000 in home renovations and gifts on in Senate disclosure forms.
Stevens, 84, answered three questions about the substance of the case before chronicling his life, The Hill reported. When he took the stand, Stevens become the first sitting senator to defend himself in court since New Jersey Democrat Harrison Williams in 1981.
"When you signed those forms, did you believe they were accurate and truthful?" asked Brendan Sullivan, Stevens' defense lawyer.
"Yes, sir," said Stevens, who is seeking re-election.
He also said he never intended to file false statements nor tried to conceal the information from the Senate.
Steven's wife, Catherine, testified Thursday the couple paid every bill they received and would have paid more had the costs been disclosed to them. On cross-examination, however, she struggled to explain how and why the couple received expensive gifts and the home renovations, the Washington publication said.
The jury should receive the case next week, The Hill reported.