Sen. Menendez’s corruption trial request gets the shredding it deserves

**Written by Doug Powers

Senator Bob Menendez’s corruption trial starts in a couple of weeks, and his legal team has requested that this particular potential swamp draining be put on hold on certain days so Menendez can attend Senate votes. The response from federal prosecutors is a solid gold old-school ass kicking. Here’s a portion (via Phil Kerpen):


After being indicted twice for depriving the people who elected him of their right to his honest services, defendant Robert Menendez now demands that this Court disrupt his criminal trial so that he can perform his duties as a United States Senator. Defendant Menendez was indicted in 2015 and 2016 for bribery, conspiracy, honest services fraud, false statements, and violating the Travel Act. Those indictments allege a seven-year bribery conspiracy in which he traded the power of his public office for a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean. Defendant Menendez concealed all of the reportable gifts he received on his financial disclosure forms, and he lied to the media and the public about them after he was caught. These gifts, the concealment, and defendant Menendez’s lies will be presented in full at trial. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that the law does not recognize wealth or title. Many defendants try to evade their criminal trials—but only a United States Senator can try to hide behind the very office he corrupted to avoid accountability to the public for his actions. Every defendant should be treated equally, and no defendant should receive special treatment based on power or privilege. This Court should reject defendant Menendez’s effort to let politics in Washington dictate the trial schedule in Newark.

2 The only reason defendant Menendez’s trial is scheduled for September 2017, almost two-and-a-half years after he was first indicted by a grand jury, is because he has spent that time pursuing a meritless argument that the Constitution immunizes him from prosecution—an argument that has been rejected by every judge to have considered it. Now he seeks to use his status as a United States Senator to pick and choose the dates on which his criminal trial will be conducted. But this case is not about the Affordable Care Act, the debt ceiling, or the balance of power in the Senate. The political consequences of defendant Menendez’s trial or criminal conviction should not be considered in the courtroom. This Court has consistently recognized that defendant Menendez is not entitled to special treatment because of his status. It should maintain that principle here. This Court has already denied the request that defendant Menendez advances here. Specifically, this Court ruled that “with regard to adjourning the case, no, I am not going to adjourn the case. If the Senator wishes to absent himself at times for purposes of vote, that is his prerogative and I have no problem with that.” Aug. 22, 2017, Tr. at 15-16. This Court remarked, “I think that’s a very practical resolution of your concerns.”
This case began with defendant Menendez being treated like any other defendant, and it should end that way. Accordingly, the Government respectfully requests that this Court deny the defendant’s motion.

Alternate headline: Area Corruptocrat Taken to Woodshed.

However, even if Menendez is convicted of corruption he could remain in the Senate for some time, because hey, we’re talking about Congress. It should also be noted that the Democrats have a great interest in dragging this out as long as possible, because if Menendez were to leave the Senate, the N.J. governor would pick his replacement, and the Left’s hoping the next governor will be a Democrat.

**Written by Doug Powers

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