Sheldon Silver’s Appeal Will Be Heard on Thursday

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It’s a big week for former Lower East Side Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, who’s appealing his conviction on federal corruption charges. Lawyers for the former New York State power broker will lay out their case during a Thursday hearing before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison in May of last year. A jury found him guilty of collecting $4 million in illicit payments and bribes. Silver’s legal team believes a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Virginia case has invalidated the verdict. They will argue that the trial court judge, Valerie Caproni, erred in her jury instructions, which defined “official action” allegedly taken by Silver in exchange for the payments.

Silver was, of course, prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Trump’s Justice Department over the weekend after refusing to resign his position (all 46 Obama-era states attorneys were told to step down). Bharara did not try the case against Silver. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Goldstein led the government’s prosecution. He’ll take the lead again on Thursday.