Witness: On his 1st day of work, he told boss: "You know who I am. I'm Adam Skelos." https://t.co/6zJ3ANzvML @Newsday— Yancey Roy (@YanceyRoy) November 18, 2015
Adam Skelos to his boss: "Guys like you couldn't shine my shoes...If you talk to me like that again, I'll smash your [expletive] head in."— Nicole Fuller (@nicolefuller) November 18, 2015
You've got to listen to some of these Skelos Trial Wiretaps! House of Cards level corruption. #AlbanyOnTrial https://t.co/P59r18513R— Hedge Clippers (@GoHedgeClippers) November 20, 2015
That time Adam Skelos threatened to hurt his mortgage broker. #AlbanyOnTrial pic.twitter.com/w061UbbOtH— Susanne Craig (@susannecraig) November 21, 2015
Senator Skelos had to call his son's mortgage broker and apologize after Adam made a threat #AlbanyOnTrial pic.twitter.com/X1JxajXiFk— William K. Rashbaum (@WRashbaum) November 21, 2015
I dunno, I'm not a defense lawyer and I'm thankfully not on trial on corruption charges, but once the wiretaps were deemed admissible as evidence in the Skelos' trial, I think I might have looked for a plea deal.
You can make a pretty good argument that Shelly Silver going to trial rather than looking for a plea deal made sense because the alleged quid pro quo schemes in his case are complex, require detailed explanations and even then, there's no slam dunk "That's definitely a crime!" moment as you hear the evidence.
I think the preponderance of the evidence in the Silver case, taken as a whole, leaves a fair observer with the impression that Silver was trying to hide where his outside income was coming from and what he was (or wasn't) doing to obtain it and those attempts at secrecy got more desperate as disclosure laws were changed over time and he risked exposure.
Whether a jury finds any of that rises to the level of a crime, well, that's hard to say, but here are the instructions the jurors will get from the judge on that point, per Joshua Saul at the NY Post:
Here's the instructions #SheldonSilver jury will hear Monday before they begin deliberations. Goodwill=OK. @nypost pic.twitter.com/nMoRMOfsc5— Joshua Saul (@joshfromalaska) November 21, 2015
Essentially the Silver trial comes down to whether the jury buys the Silver defense argument that "friends will do favors for friends."
The Skelos case, on the other hand, has more moments of "Holy Cow, I can't believe that just happened!" than you often get in high profile trials of politicos.
It's all there - the threats and intimidation (some overt, some implied) of some pretty big players in New York by Dean and Adam, the payoffs Adam received for essentially doing nothing other than having the state senate majority leader as his dad, and Adam and Dean themselves conspiring on the phone.
We're only a few days into the Skelos trial, but the more you hear from Dean and Adam via wiretap and the more testimony you get from the prosecution witnesses, the more difficult it is to see how a jury comes in with anything other than guilty verdicts.
Earlier this week we learned that Adam Skelos' lawyer asked about a plea deal from the feds though nothing ever came from it after the feds returned communication.
I have to think Adam didn't like what he heard from the fed side about what a plea deal would entail but given how bad the evidence is here for him, I wonder if that wasn't a mistake for him.