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The fix is in.
Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is getting a second corruption trial, thanks to the Supreme Court decision McDonnell v. United States, which significantly limited the judicial branch’s ability to convict a public official of bribery.
(This is the same Supreme Court case that helped Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) dodge his corruption charges back in November 2017.)
In the case of Sheldon Silver, he has already been found guilty. Silver was convicted on seven counts of corruption in 2015 for two separate schemes, one of which involved a mesothelioma researcher at Columbia University Medical Center. In exchange for referrals to his law firm, Silver directed $500,000 in state grants to Dr. Robert Taub. The other corruption scheme involved a real estate firm.
In total, reports estimate that Silver’s multiple abuses of power involved approximately $4 million in kickbacks and bribes. Yet, the case is being re-tried, thanks to the Supreme Court’s McDonnell case. The jury has been selected, and witness testimony is scheduled to begin April 30.
It is infuriating to think that Sheldon Silver might be handed a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” because the judicial system at the highest level failed to hold another public official accountable. The evidence spoke for itself. Silver was found guilty of corruption, and he needs to answer for his crimes.
Sheldon Silver was once considered among the most powerful and influential public officials in New York. A conviction would signal that no public official --- past or present --- in the State of New York is above the law.
It’s time to take a stand. The American people aren’t being heard by their representatives because the game is rigged. Government isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”