Tags: Law Enforcement | corruption | trial | senator | robert menendez

Sen. Menendez Corruption Trial Starts Wednesday

Sen. Menendez Corruption Trial Starts Wednesday
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. (Julio Cortez/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2017 07:37 PM

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is about to face corruption charges when his trial starts Sept. 6 in the first federal bribery case involving a sitting senator in 36 years.

Menendez's trial is expected to last six to eight weeks in Newark, New Jersey. He was indicted in 2015 on charges he took official action on behalf of a longtime friend who allegedly gave him gifts and campaign donations. The friend, ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen, has been convicted on Medicare fraud charges and is waiting for sentencing. Their relationship allegedly turned criminal after Menendez became a senator.

"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. "For the first four years of the corruption scheme, the all-expense paid trips Melgen provided often included free roundtrip flights on Melgen's private jet for Menendez and his various guests. When the doctor's private jet was unavailable, Melgen supplied equally luxurious travel for the senator."

Lawyers for Menendez tried to have the political corruption charges thrown out, a motion that was denied, and his team asked for the courts to modify the schedule so he could be in Washington, D.C., for "critical votes."

"The court suspects that the trial strategy behind this motion, if granted, would be to impress the jurors with the public importance of the defendant senator and his duties," U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls said in his ruling denying the request. "Defendant Menendez . . . need not appear in court if he does not wish or wants to be absent. He may voluntarily absent himself."

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Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is about to face corruption charges when his trial starts Sept. 6 in the first federal bribery case involving a sitting senator in 36 years.
corruption, trial, senator, robert menendez
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2017-37-05
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 07:37 PM
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