Democratic Senator Bob Menendez's Corruption Trial Has Begun

07 September, 2017, 01:56 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Image Salomon Melgen

In exchange, Menendez pressed government officials to help his doctor friend, who will also be on trial, with his business and personal affairs - including procuring U.S. visas for Melgen's three young girlfriends, the feds have said. At one point, the judge told Menendez's lawyer, "Shut up for a moment, if you don't mind". In exchange, prosecutors say, Menendez repeatedly use his office to try to help the doctor. Abbe Lowell, representing Menendez, began his statement discussing the two men's friendship, which dates back to the early 1990s, and said "acting out of friendship is not a crime". Their joint trial is expected to last about eight weeks. The New Jersey Democrat was in court for the start of his corruption trial.

The Republican National Committee launched a series of online ads Wednesday urging U.S. Sen.

The digital ad push, which will run on Facebook and Twitter, presses Democratic leaders in Congress, Senate Democrats up for 2018 re-election in states President Donald Trump won and Democratic senators, like Warren, who are rumored to be considering 2020 presidential bids, to answer whether to believe Menendez should keep his U.S. Senate seat if convicted.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) leaving the podium after speaking to the media during a news conference in Newark, New Jersey, April 1, 2015.

The trial will also test what remains of federal corruption law after the U.S. Supreme Court weakened it past year.

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"The defendants' bribery scheme began shortly after Menendez's elevation to the Senate in 2006, when Melgen began a pattern of treating Menendez to weekend and weeklong getaways in the Dominican Republic that would continue for the next several years", prosecutors said in a recent court filing, according to Politico. When attorney Abbe Lowell pointed out that the motion was filed according to the judge's order from December, Walls replied, "Fine".

Attorneys for Menendez have argued that, given last year's Supreme Court ruling, the case against their client should be thrown out.

Opening statements were delayed Wednesday to seat one regular juror and two alternate jurors.

Menendez says that "not once have I dishonored my public office".

The campaign includes a Snapchat filter available near the courthouse that has a banner saying "Bye Bye Bob Menendez" as well as an airplane, an apparent reference to what prosecutors say was the senator's acceptance of lavish trips to the Caribbean and Paris in return for helping Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen with lobbying. Walls continually interrupted to deny the allegation. In the case of a conviction, Menendez may face pressure to immediately resign, allowing governor Chris Christie to name a Republican as Mendendez's successor.

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