Court resumed session for a few minutes Wednesday afternoon in former Congresswoman Corrine Brown's corruption case so the jury could ask about counts 2 - 8.
Brown is charged with aiding and abetting mail fraud in those counts. The jury would like to know if their instruction provided by the court mean they can't find Brown guilty on those counts unless the government proved four separate prerequisites beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan checked with both the prosecution and the defense, who both thought the answer was 'yes,' before preparing his answer.
The judge did not explain what the four bullet points were that the government had to prove, but they are provided in the jury instructions reproduced below:
1. The Defendant knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud, or to obtain money or property by using false pretenses, representations, or promises.
2. The false pretenses, representations, or promises were about a material fact.
3. The Defendant acted with the intent to defraud.
4. The Defendant transmitted or caused to be transmitted by wire some communication in interstate commerce to help carry out the scheme to defraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Tysen Duva was hesitant giving his answer, asking to confer with his team of lawyers before eventually acquiescing.
Corrigan replied to their question with a simple, 'yes,' and sent the answer back to the jury so they might continue their deliberations.
"That may be the shortest answer I've ever written," he told the court to mild laughter from the assembled gallery.
Brown is accused of 22 charges relating to lying on financial disclosure and tax forms, mail and wire fraud. The jury in the federal case heard eight days of witness testimony and looked at hundreds of documents in the case.
In their first question of the trial, jurors wanted to know if Brown is legally responsible for everything on her tax form, even if she didn’t prepare it.
Court was called back into session to answer a question by the jury.
The handwritten note asked “if the defendant is responsible for everything on her filed taxes if she didn’t put everything on her tax form or tell the CPA or if she did not sign the tax form?”
The judge simply referred the jury back to the instructions they'd received.
View the full jury instructions below:
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