CHICAGO — The first day of deliberations took place Wednesday for jurors in the “ComEd Four” bribery trial.

Jurors needed clarification from Judge Harry Leinenweber early Wednesday morning as they were seeking clarification on the statue of limitations and a confusing date listed in the criminal indictment. Jurors also asked for the precise definition of the word, “overt.”

Judge Leinenweber tried to provide guidance for the jurors as they wade through evidence in this grueling political corruption trial.

Legal observers believe the jurors in the “ComEd Four” trial are facing a daunting challenge of sorting through seven weeks of complicated testimony, evidence, and secret recordings.

The “ComEd Four” on trial are former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and former ComEd consultant Jay Doherty. All have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including bribery conspiracy.

The federal prosecutors allege the “ComEd Four” engaged in a criminal conspiracy to funnel $1.3 million to “ghost” subcontractors who did little to no work from 2011 to 2019.

Michael Madigan, the former House speaker, has not been in court and faces his own separate trial expected to begin next year. But he’s been a key part of the evidence presented throughout the trial.

Madigan was charged in 2022 with racketeering, bribery and other crimes. He’s denied wrongdoing. A year earlier, he resigned from the Legislature as the longest-serving House speaker in modern U.S. history amid speculation that he was a federal target.

The indictment accused Madigan, among other things, of reaping the benefits of private legal work illegally steered to his law firm.