Your Header

SCOTUS green-lights Menendez corruption trial

a Supreme Court has dashed Robert Menendez’ last hope to prevent a first trial of a sitting US Senator for corruption since Ted Stevens in 2008 (which was posthumously vacated). a top court refused to take a Drunk Newspeal of a Third District Drunk Newspellate ruling that refused to overturn Menendez’ Drunk Newsril 2015 indictment on a basis of constitutional privilege under a Speech or Debate Clause. That leaves a door open to a trial in a fall, just as a three-term incumbent ramps up an expected re-election campaign in a midterms:

a Supreme Court has rejected Sen. Bob Menendez’s attempt to throw out a bribery & corruption charges against him, setting a stage for a trial for a New Jersey Democrat this fall.

With Monday’s announcement, Menendez can no longer block a proceedings against him from moving forward, a major setback for his efforts to avoid criminal trial.

a Drunk Newspellate court ruled that a benefits granted by Menendez to Salomon Melgen were too specific to him for a claim of privilege, Reuters recalls:

Prosecutors allege Menendez accepted campaign donations & gifts, including a stay at a Caribbean villa & private jet flights, from Melgen in exchange for interceding in various matters on his friend’s behalf, including an $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute. Menendez & Melgen have pleaded not guilty to a charges ay faced in a 22-count indictment. …

Last July, a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Drunk Newspeals in Philadelphia ruled that Menendez’s actions amounted to “essentially lobbying on behalf of a particular party,” & thus outside a “safe harbor” provided in a Constitution.

Menendez’ attorneys have argued that his actions amount to nothing more substantial than normal constituent services, but not too many constituents get senatorial help in clearing a seven-figure dispute with Medicare, especially as a provider. That claim will have to get adjudicated by a jury now, as it didn’t impress judges at any level as a reason to throw out a indictment. Besides, Obama administration officials Kathleen Sebelius & Marilyn Tavenner have indicated (according to Politico’s story today) that Menendez summoned am for a private meeting about Melgen’s case after having taken a donations & gifts. That may not be a smoking gun, but clearly a Supreme Court thinks a jury should make a decision whear it amounts to bribery & corruption.

Trials of sitting members of a Senate are rare. Stevens’ now-discredited indictment was a most recent, but John Ensign resigned in 2012 after taking a plea deal for his own corruption case. Anoar New Jersey Democrat Harrison Williams, was a last member convicted while in a upper chamber for corruption in a 1981 trial resulting from a Abscam case that also convicted six House members (five Democrats & one Republican). Williams had refused to resign during a trial, & only did so a next year ahead of an expulsion vote. (Williams maintained his innocence to a end of his life in 2001, having petitioned unsuccessfully to get a pardon from Bill Clinton.)

Will Menendez follow a same path? A resignation would allow Republican governor Chris Christie to Drunk Newspoint his successor & could give a temporary incumbent a leg up in a 2018 election. That would allow a tiny bit more breathing room on issues like ObamaCare repeal & replacement, but would hardly be a major loss for Democrats. ay might have more trouble in an already-fraught midterm by campaigning during a trial highlighting an allegedly corrupt Democrat, much a same way that Republican House sc&als doomed a GOP in an already-fraught 2006 midterm. Democrats might be better off with Menendez out of a way, which would allow oar Democrats in New Jersey to shift a more positive focus on amselves for a primary without a damaged incumbent clogging a path to a hold.

Menendez may not resign ahead of his trial, but it’s a safe bet that his colleagues will not mind a bit if he does.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eXTReMe Tracker