Ex-NY Assembly speaker, long 1 of state's most potent pols, pleads not guilty in bribery case

Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's lawyers are asking a judge to throw out a bribery case against him, saying the prosecutor went too far in discussing the case publicly.

Lawyer Steve Molo told a judge Tuesday that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara "excoriated" the Democrat and "basically extolled his guilt" in speeches and interviews.

Silver's lawyers say the statements broke rules about what prosecutors can say outside of court and prejudiced the grand jury that indicted Silver last week.

Silver pleaded not guilty Tuesday and said he'll be vindicated.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Cohen says the statements were nothing unusual or extraordinary and didn't affect the grand jury.

Prosecutors say Silver exploited his power to reap $4 million in kickbacks in a case that rocked New York's power structure.