Silver Proffers His Second Not Guilty Plea

     (CN) – New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning to a second indictment that multiplied the corruption charges against him for the millions he allegedly collected in bribes and kickbacks.
     The former speaker’s second arraignment went off with far fewer fireworks than his first.
     On Feb. 24, Silver’s attorney Steven Molo came out swinging against the prosecution for allegedly attempting to try Silver in the press before moving into the courtroom.
     Though she ultimately rejected the defense’s motion to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni scolded U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for “stray[ing] so close to the edge of the rules governing his own conduct” that it nearly jeopardized Silver’s right to a fair trial.
     In legal-speak, Caproni called Silver’s argument “nonfrivolous.”
     As the defense’s dismissal motion sputtered, prosecutors worked on a superseding indictment that added four new charges.
     Renewing the initial plea Tuesday, Silver’s attorney Steven Molo had no blockbuster allegations to throw at prosecutors this time around, but he suggested that they may be taking a “stingy view” of exculpatory evidence to hand over to the defense.
     Prosecutor Carrie Cohen told the judge that her team found no discovery that they would need to disclose under Brady v. Maryland, the Supreme Court case that bound the government to supply any information helpful to a criminal defendant.
     “If that is the representation, we’ll have to live with that, and I suspect they’ll have to live with that representation as well,” Molo said, referring to the prosecutors.
     Judge Caproni pressed Cohen as to whether a third indictment could be in the works.
     Noting that the “investigation continues,” Cohen said she could “not rule out” the possibility.
     Barring that wrinkle, the parties set a schedule for a trial currently slated for Nov. 2.
     Outside of the courtroom, Silver echoed remarks that he made to reporters in February.
     “This is going to trial, and I hope, I am confident I’ll be vindicated after a full hearing of the facts,” he said.

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