CINCINNATI (WCMH) — It’s been a month since the trial began in Ohio’s largest bribery scheme.
Former Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder and former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges face federal racketeering charges for their role in the passage of H.B. 6, the multimillion dollar bailout of FirstEnergy. Current players, like Attorney General Dave Yost, have been subpoenaed and could be on the witness list, but this week, whistleblower and former state Rep. Dave Greenspan testified.
In his testimony, Greenspan said he called the FBI the day before the H.B. 6 vote and explained the pressure he felt from Householder to vote for it.
While the prosecution continues laying out its case, the defense continues to accuse the judge of favoring the state. At the beginning of the trial, Householder’s attorney accused Judge Timothy Black of bias. This week, he said Black was “tying their hands.”
Former U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, who initially brought charges against Householder and Borges in 2020, told NBC4 that accusations like the defense’s will likely have little impact on the case’s outcome.
“The bottom line is – it’s what’s being said to the jury as opposed to a judge,” DeVillers said. “The jury is the trier of fact and any sort of inappropriate statements by the lawyers, the defense or prosecution, if that can taint the jury then that will be an issue. But anything outside of a jury is highly unlikely that it will result in any mistrial or an issue of appeal.”
DeVillers said he finds it likely that Householder or Borges will testify in their own defense. Both men face up to twenty years in prison if found guilty.