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Report: Trump set to release Sheldon Silver

(JTA) — Sheldon Silver, the disgraced former speaker of the New York State Assembly, is among the last tranche of people President Donald Trump will grant clemency before he leaves office Wednesday.

The New York Times reported Monday that Trump was set to pardon or commute the sentences of between 60 and more than 100 people.

The names will likely be a mix of people that justice reform activists say have been wronged by the criminal justice system, and figures who have paid intermediaries to lobby Trump for clemency, or whom Trump knows.

It’s not clear why Silver, a Democrat who was prominent in Orthodox Jewish circles on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, would get clemency, although the Times noted that he has a professional connection with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Silver, 76, for years a fearsome power broker in New York politics, was sentenced in 2018 to seven years in prison in a federal fraud case involving kickbacks for using his influence as the Assembly speaker to dispense favors.

The Times also noted that Silver’s prosecutor was Preet Bharara who has emerged as a prominent Trump critic.

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