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Maryland Democrat confessed to taking cash, prosecutors say

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By Dom Calicchio | Fox News

A Maryland state senator has confessed to taking cash payments in exchange for conducting official business, federal prosecutors said last week.

State Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks, a Democrat, is scheduled to stand trial in the spring on charges of bribery and obstruction of justice. Oaks has pleaded not guilty.

Oaks’ confession was revealed in a motion that prosecutors filed against a request by Oaks to have the bribery and obstruction charges tried separately, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The next legislative session for Maryland’s general Assembly begins Wednesday. Oaks’ trial is set to begin right after the session concludes.

The Baltimore Sun reported that it was unsuccessful in reaching Oaks or his defense attorney.

Oaks is accused of accepting $15,300 from someone he believed was a “wealthy Texas businessman” but who was working for the FBI, the Sun reported, citing information from prosecutors.

Subsequently, while cooperating with authorities, Oaks reportedly coached an FBI investigation target to “Just say no” when Oaks offered the subject cash as part of the investigation, court documents said.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, also a Democrat, told the Sun last week that Oaks should his day in court before the Legislature considers whether he should leave the state Senate.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, disagreed.

“No question he should be removed from office,” Hogan told the Sun on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.