(Florida Times-Union) -- Jurors will resume deliberations Tuesday to decide which of the two stories they believe about former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s fall from the halls of Congress to a seat behind the defendant’s table in a federal fraud trial.
“It’s in your hands right now,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan told the jurors before sending them home for the night Monday. “Nobody should be trying to interfere with that at all.”
The day began with attorneys painting opposing accounts of the iconic Democrat’s entanglement with a sham charity, One Door for Education, from which tens of thousands of dollars donated by Brown’s wealthy supporters were moved into her bank account.
“She never intended to cheat or defraud anyone. She was defrauded,” argued Brown’s attorney, James W. Smith III.
He said Brown was undone by her faith in Ronnie Simmons, the former chief of staff she trusted and groomed for success since his youth a quarter-century ago. “A betrayal so fundamental, so tragic, that even on the [witness] stand she has a tough time comprehending it,” he said.
Hogwash, said prosecutor Eric Olshan, who explained the 22 criminal charges against Brown as result of an entitled Capitol Hill politician taking more than she earned for her unsustainable high lifestyle.
“The defendant exercised total control. Nothing happened without her say-so,” Olshan said.