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Sun Jan 31, 2021, 10:21 AM

How the plan to grant clemency to Sheldon Silver was scuttled


The tense two days began Jan. 18. The New York Times, citing two people briefed on the matter, reported that Trump was considering commuting the 6 ½-year sentence of Silver from a 2018 corruption conviction. The conviction was related to Silver accepting $700,000 in fees from a Manhattan tax law firm for steering cases to it from real estate developers who were seeking Silver’s support for rent-control legislation and in other matters.

Trump had known and worked with Silver for decades in Albany on legislation concerning Trump’s building developments and the state’s approval of casinos. The story was preceded by a Times tweet.

"I went ballistic when I saw that," Buffalo developer Carl Paladino, the 2010 GOP nominee for governor, said of the tweet. Paladino said he sent a message to a Trump ally whom he wouldn’t identify, saying that Silver "was not deserving of a pardon. He was the worst scoundrel to ever work in New York State."

Then came a tweet that surprised many.

"Make no mistake," tweeted the state Republican Party under chairman Nick Langworthy, one of Trump’s most loyal allies. "Disgraced former NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver deserves no clemency or pardon. Silver deserves to actually serve the jail time that he was sentenced for selling the incredible power he yielded to enrich himself. He was a corrupt and dishonest politician."

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