The Real Deal New York

Silver won’t take the stand, defense could rest

Prosecutors wrapped up three weeks of testimony and evidence against former Assembly speaker

November 20, 2015 11:36AM

Sheldon Silver

Sheldon Silver

The legal defense team of former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver will not call any witnesses to testify in the corruption trial, and that includes the man himself.

“I do not wish to testify,” Silver told the court Wednesday, speaking for the first time since the trial opened earlier this month. Prosecutors rested their case against Silver after nearly three weeks of testimony and evidence, including calling two witnesses who testified that he had laundered money.

The trial has also featured testimony from major real estate players like developer Steve Witkoff and lobbyists for Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management.

Though Silver’s decision not to testify is no surprise, his defense team’s choice to not call any witnesses defied some expectations, according to Politico. Silver’s attorneys have regularly referred to roles played by a number of his aides — raising the possibility that those aides would play a role in his defense.

If Silver’s legal team does rest, the trial will move to summations next week and the jury could begin deliberating Silver’s fate by next Tuesday. [Politico]Rey Mashayekhi