Bharara rebuts Silver’s dismissal bid

US attorney fights assertion that his speeches to media were prejudicial
March 06, 2015 11:40AM

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara fought former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s motion to dismiss the federal corruption suit against him Thursday, denying that his speeches to the media had prejudiced any possible jury.

Silver, who resigned from his post as Speaker in February following his arrest for allegedly pocketing millions in illegal kickbacks, had tried to get the suit dismissed, arguing that Bharara created a “media firestorm” that made it so Silver wouldn’t stand a chance in front of a jury.

Bharara’s 24-page rebuttal stated that Silver’s motion is part of a “calculated effort to malign the U.S. Attorney and mislead this court and the public.”

“The defendant’s motion relies on distortions and omissions, disregards the law and is a transparent attempt to distract this Court and the public from the serious charges brought against the defendant. It should be denied,” the rebuttal stated.

Bharara also defended the use of Twitter to disseminate information about Silver’s arrest, and denied that details were leaked to news outlets before the arrest occurred.

Silver was arrested on Jan. 22 and resigned in February, leaving a gaping hole at the center of this year’s real estate legislative agenda in Albany.  [Capital NY] — Tess Hofmann