Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s lawyers asked a judge to throw out a bribery case against him on Tuesday, saying the prosecutor went too far in discussing the case publicly.
Authorities say the Democrat exploited his power to reap $4 million in kickbacks in a case that has rocked New York’s power structure.
But his lawyer, Steve Molo, said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s statements after Silver’s arrest broke rules about what prosecutors can say outside of court and prejudiced the grand jury that indicted him last week.
“The U.S. attorney excoriated the defendant and basically deprived him of the presumption of innocence, and basically extolled his guilt,” Molo said.
Silver pleaded not guilty Tuesday and said through his lawyers: “I will be vindicated in the court.”