(Photo: Seth Wenig/AP)
Former New York assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, once one of the state’s most powerful politicians, was convicted on Monday of charges that he traded favors to earn $5m illegally and then lied about it.
A Manhattan federal court jury returned the verdict after a three-week trial in which prosecutors claimed that the 71-year-old Democrat repeatedly promised the favors to enrich himself. The defense countered that the government was trying to criminalize the longtime routines of politics in Albany.
The government had argued that the trial testimony of 25 witnesses and many documents proved Silver traded his office for riches.
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