Next phase of jury deliberations in Smukler trial centers on secretly recorded FBI interview

Steve Tawa
December 03, 2018 - 4:00 am
Ken Smukler outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia

Steve Tawa/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Jurors get back to deliberations on Monday in the trial of Ken Smukler, the political strategist who is accused of violating campaign finance laws in two congressional campaigns in 2012 and 2014.  
 
In its first full day of deliberations on Friday, jurors asked for transcripts of the FBI's interview with Ken Smukler, when agents raided his home in March 2017. They secretly recorded their conversations for more than five hours, and the agents' focus centered only on Smukler's role in managing the Marjorie Margolies' campaign for Congress in 2014.  

RELATED: Closing arguments at Smukler campaign finance trial​

Federal Court Judge Jan DuBois responded by telling jurors, written "transcripts are not in evidence," adding "what you heard in the court is evidence." He then quickly added, "if you want playbacks, we will call you back into the courtroom."

While Margolies was granted immunity from prosecution and testified during the trial, Smukler was accused of illegally moving around money set aside for the general election and the primary, which she lost. 

Prosecutors also say when the campaign was required to repay contributors, Smukler allegedly illegally raised and borrowed illegal contributions. Smukler testified he got advice from a lawyer with expertise on Federal Election Commission case law that the repayments were legally OK.