The Associated Press is reporting that "several GOP colleagues of indicted Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens distanced themselves politically on Wednesday by donating campaign contributions from him to charity, while other Republicans declined to comment on whether they support his decision to remain in office.
"Stevens, meanwhile, returned to work in the Senate, actively participating in a committee bill drafting session and casting votes on the floor, where he received warm embraces and gestures of personal support from several colleagues.
" 'Hey Ted ... say it ain't so,' said longtime Democratic colleague and friend Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
"But several GOP colleagues, when asked whether Stevens should remain in office despite accusations that he took more than a quarter-million dollars' worth of unreported gifts, offered no encouragement other than to say he is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
" 'I'm not going to talk about Sen. Stevens, OK?,' " said Mel Martinez, R-Fla. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., also declined to comment, while Sam Brownback, R-Kan., declared, 'He's innocent until proven guilty.' "