CINCINNATI — The defense of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder broke out Thursday in Householder’s epic corruption trial.
Defense attorney Marc Mullane of Cleveland suggested it was due to the unfairness of federal district court Timothy Black. It was after a day that could have happened.
It was the fourth week of the exam that sparked. Householder and former Ohio Republican Party Speaker Matt Borges will use $61 million in utility bills to make Householder speakers, primarily benefitting Akron-based FirstEnergy, a major contributor13 The plan to pass a billion-dollar bailout was accused of racketeering.
Earlier Thursday, defense attorney Stephen Bradley announced Jeffrey Longstreth, who acted as the right-hand man to the Speaker of the House and through the passage and defense of the 2019 Relief Act, House Bill 6. I interrogated.
Longstreth was arrested along with Householder, Borges, and two others in July 2020. He is now cooperating with prosecutors in exchange for a recommendation of a sentence of less than six months.
In an in-person inquiry Wednesday, Longstreth described a lavish dinner with householders and FirstEnergy executives at Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration in Washington, D.C.
On one occasion, Longstreth explained that he was at one end of a long table at a raucous steakhouse with FirstEnergy vice president Michael Dowling, while the householder sat at the other end with company CEO Chuck Jones. Longstreth said he couldn’t hear the conversation on the other side of the table, but at his side Dowling said FirstEnergy needed help and wanted to help the householders become speakers. .
Dowling directed Longstreth to set up an organization to receive FirstEnergy’s millions of dollars, Longstreth said.
“He said (the money) had to be a private, unlimited donation,” Longstreth said. testify on wednesday.
Apparently trying to impeach Longstreth’s memory, Bradley showed jurors on Thursday an itinerary showing Jones took a First Energy jet to D.C. the morning after his steakhouse dinner. prepared a credit card receipt showing that he attended dinner at another restaurant the following night.
However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Glatfelter asked Longstreth if the itinerary would change. He agreed that they often did.
She then produced credit card receipts and car records, indicating that Jones was likely in DC and could have attended the first dinner as Longstreth described. She also indicated that the next night, the dinner, which Bradley said Jones attended, ended about 30 minutes before the dinner, which Longstreth said he attended, began.
Longstreth testified that it was common for presidential inauguration ceremonies to attend multiple receptions and dinners on the same night. It’s about staying in a $600 hotel, eating lots of $200 dinners, and figuring out how to divide the taxpayer’s (or taxpayer’s) money.
Whistleblower Former State Rep. Dave Greenspan
After Longstreth left the stand, prosecutors called former State Rep. Dave Greenspan, R-Westlake. He said he never voted for House Speaker and never supported House Bill 6.
“I didn’t believe in corporate bailouts,” Greenspan said, backing FirstEnergy because it didn’t show a need for the money and the bill didn’t put limits on how the money could be spent. “There was nothing in the bill that required FirstEnergy to do anything.”
The fact that 17 Republicans voted against the bill when it passed the House in April 2019 shows just how unpopular the bill was. It also serves as a reminder that without the support of Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives, this bill would never have become law.
Greenspan said it had been under intense pressure from Congressman and lobbyist Neil Clark to vote on the bill. He was so upset by it that he contacted a member of the U.S. Marshals Service and got in touch with the FBI.
During cross-examination, another of Householder’s attorneys, Mullane, appeared stunned that Greenspan had contacted the FBI.
Then, as I was about to read a lengthy passage of Greenspan’s grand jury testimony, Judge Black repeatedly interrupted the attorney and told me to ask him questions.
Another attack on the judge
On February 1, Mullane took a risky bet, accusing the judge of prejudice. Household head opposed Black’s candidacy for Ohio Supreme Court 22 years agoMarein doubled after the jury turned in Thursday afternoon.
He began to speak so loudly that Black advised Mullane to show him the same respect he believed he had shown Mullane.
A little quieter, Mullane said. he dismisses the objection. Frankly, I don’t know what’s going on. ”
He then added, “Do you have anything personal for the head of household?”
When Mullane finished, Black asked, “Is that all?”
Marein said yes, and Black tapped his gavel and said, “We’re on a break.”
Morning headlines delivered to your inbox