Sheldon Silver’s corruption retrial ready to head to the jury
Manhattan federal prosecutors rested their case Wednesday against former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver following a corruption retrial that covered 26 witnesses over seven days.
Silver’s defense team also rested — without calling a witness — after admitting into evidence a few undisputed documents. Silver declined to testify on his own behalf.
“Do you wish to testify?” Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni asked the Lower East Side Democrat before dismissing the jury for the day.
“No,” he said.
The jury could begin deliberations in the high-profile case as soon as Thursday following closing arguments and legal instructions by the judge.
Silver, 74, is on trial for corruption for the second time in three years after his 2015 conviction was tossed on appeal. The judge’s previous instructions to the jury weren’t in line with a US Supreme Court ruling that limited the types of acts that can be charged as bribes, an appeals court said.
Prosecutors spent the last week and a half seeking to prove the same charges they did the first time — that Silver sold his office as one of the three most powerful politicians in the state in exchange for $4 million in illegal kickbacks.
On Wednesday, the government sought to prove that he also lied to the public about his sources of income to cover up the alleged fraud, including through misstatements to The Post’s then-Albany bureau chief, Fred Dicker.
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