Court Rules That Menendez Case Will Go To The Jury For A Verdict On Public Corruption

800x-1Senator Robert Menendez and his close friend Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, are heading to a jury decision after U.S. District Judge William Walls ruled that the indictment against them for public corruption would stand.   Menendez not only stands in considerable jeopardy for his highly questionable relationship with Melgen but his conviction could flip the seat in the Senate since Governor Chris Christie would appoint his successor. ( A new governor will be elected for January).

Melgen gave lucrative gifts and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to support Menendez. This include trips on private jets and a three-night stay at a Paris hotel among a “stream of benefits” from Melgen. In return, prosecutors allege that Melgen received the support of Menendez on various issues.

The defense made a strong argument under a tougher standard established by the Supreme Court in the case of  former Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia in the interpretation of the term “official acts.” The Supreme Court said prosecutors must prove a formal exercise of power on “something specific and focused” by an accused public official. I was a critic of the McDonnell prosecution and supported the ruling of the Supreme Court.  However, as I previously discussed, there are distinctions to be drawn between the McDonnell and Menendez cases.  In the current case, there is a stronger basis to allege a quid pro quo since Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf over things like billing rules under Medicare — an issue worth millions to Melgen.  He also intervened on visa problems for Melgen’s family. The record in the case confirms the worst suspicions of voters in how their elected officials conduct themselves with wealthy donors.  Menendez showed little concern over ethics or conflicts as he accepted lavish gifts from Melgen.

As predicted, the court saw this record as enough to go to a jury on the higher standard set out by the Supreme Court.  Walls ruled “A rational jury could conclude that the defendants entered into a quid-pro-quo agreement.”

If convicted, the case could present a significant test appeal for the “stream of benefits” theory of the Justice Department in public corruption cases.

The case is U.S. v. Menendez, 15-cr-155, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

28 thoughts on “Court Rules That Menendez Case Will Go To The Jury For A Verdict On Public Corruption”

  1. Prediction:

    Menendez will be convicted on a lesser charge and will be exonerated on appeal – by the U.S. Supreme Court – if it gets that far.

    Are taxpayers funding his defense team?

  2. Christy Christie let his staffers take da rap and go to the pen. He tossed the Kushner crime family in da clinker and T rump tossed him out of T rump Tower where Pauly M and da crooks hang out.

  3. Darren: If the Clintons had some serious “dirt” on Trump, wouldn’t they have used it during the election?

    1. RSA – I think Trump has serious dirt on the Clintons, too. So, if they go after him, he opens the flood-gates.

      1. The floodgates have been opened time and time again, Paul, but it seems that the supporters of Hillary don’t care about theft, deceit, rape and all those awful things associated with the Clintons.

        1. Allan – I think Trump can name names and dates about Hillary. She would lose about half her voters. Hell, he may even have pictures. 😉

  4. This will make life interesting. However, I think the judge made the right decision.

  5. Great!

    The Menendez case is going to the jury.

    Now what about the Clinton case which, in moral, political, financial and legal terms, dwarfs exponentially that of the Senator from New Jersey?

    1. I have a suspicion the Clintons have dirt on President Trump that could suddenly be revealed if he chose to prosecute Hillary or Bill.

      1. I have a suspicion Darren that’s how this entire political class, with few exceptions, operates. Nothing else makes sense. Us regular folk witness events happening within government, where clear violations of the law occur and no one is held accountable. The government has all the financial resources they need and an alphabet soup of agencies at their disposal to protect their cartel. We’ll get thrown a bone now and again, like Menedez, to keep us believing that corruption will get weeded out. But the higher we move up the cartel food chain the less likely anyone will face punishment.

      2. That would be very powerful “dirt” indeed as it was evidently too powerful to use during the election. Imagine what that “dirt” might have been.

    2. And then there is Trump administration/Trump, Inc. whose corruption dwarfs exponentially Menendez and Clinton in moral, political, financial, and legal terms.

      1. whose corruption dwarfs

        And we know that because you say so. Or whatever.

      2. Can you cite any proven examples of this? Or is this just garden variety talking points? One of those “everyone knows…”?

        1. Can you cite any Russian “collusion?” No. But there is a burgeoning investigation by the patently corrupt Mueller (Comey wrote the exonerating findings regarding the Hillary investigation months before it was concluded). It is long past time to open an investigation of the Clinton Foundation; start by simply auditing the books of the Clinton Foundation comprehensively back to its inception. Hillary wanted to see Trump’s “tax returns,” right? Let’s see Hilalry’s pay-for-play returns.

          The crimes of the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation are literally “TOO BIG TO JAIL” because they include the highest levels of governments around the world. Like the “Big Lie” the global corruption of the Clinton Foundation is too big to question. One simply cannot believe that one cannot believe it.

    3. George – and the Awan bros as well. Why was CA AG Becerra allowed to give the cops a fake server?

  6. Welcome news. I suspect, though I haven’t devoted the time to ascertain such that Congress is one of the most criminal demographics of American society. I doubt any other occupational group can boast as many crimes per person.

    It’s another great sign of the different strata of justice here. The average person is thrown in jail quite summarily for small crimes alleged but a public official or politician committing a far more egregious act gets his/her case dragged on indefinitely with every legal trick in the book to wrangle them out of an indictment.

    As I would say to those I trained. “If you have probable cause to arrest a public official or politician book them in jail immediately, just as you would do for anyone else on the street. Because, if you don’t, they’ll weasel their way of any responsibility because the prosecutor or others will make every effort to delay prosecution so that the case can be swept under the rug. If the suspect politicians are put in jail, the system and the prosecutor’s office are forced to address the issue now. Plus, and this counterintuitive, if you arrest them you cover yourself legally for the inevitable retaliation you will receive. Otherwise, the prosecutor or potentially other politicians will whittle down the significance of what the suspect did and will later claim you had no case against the suspect.”

    1. Congress is one of the most criminal demographics of American society.
      I do not doubt this, but it is still very depressing to read. Still think Hillary should be accountable even if she has info on President Trump. Most likely will not happen. Why bother voting?

    2. Congress in general? Not quite. What you see with Congress that’s gross is members going into the influence-peddling business upon retirement. Trent Lott spent 39 years (age 25 to age 64) on the Congressional payroll, then resigned and was hired by a lobbying firm.

      What really astounds, though, are what look to be pre-paid bribes. I’m not sure Congress receives these, but certain quondam executive branch employees do. The Clinton’s time at the pig trough has been appalling. Interestingly, George W. Bush has also been hoovering up speaking fees. You do not hear about it because Bush does not make public addresses. The most horrifying example, though, is Rahm Emmanuel, who, after leaving the White House staff, was paid $16 million by Wasserstein, Perella for ‘investment banking services’. Emmanuel had no academic or professional background in economics, accounting, or finance and his most recent tour in commercial employment had been a late adolescent stint working for an Arby’s franchise. With regard to the speaking fees, I’d really love to know who the actual source of the cash is which the college, business enterprise, or trade association in question is laundering.

      I’d have felt more sympathy for Dennis Hastert’s predicament if he hadn’t been such a crook. First, he benefited from insider information to make real estate purchases which netted him a packet when they were expropriated under eminent domain. Then he hoovered up cash working as a lobbyist. This quondam athletic coach / high school teacher was able to cough up seven-figure sums to unscrupulous people blackmailing him over sexual transgressions 30+ years earlier.

      An aspect of this (I think) is a decline in patriotism and civic spirit which removes certain inhibitions. Another would be the business opportunities for influence-peddlers made possible by the omnipresence of the hyper-regulatory state.

    3. ” The average person is thrown in jail quite summarily… ”

      I think this is one of the big reasons that people supported Trump and will continue to support him even when his policy differs from theirs. Trust in our leaders is, I believe, at an all-time high so people are looking towards non-politicians to lead them.

      Darren, I had trouble after I posted on the boycott thread. Not sure if it worked itself out or not. Thanking you in advance for fixing a problem if it exists.

    1. Crime bosses and Godfathers can. That’s not right. But after he gets out, he can become A Republican and Bannon will run him to primary some “cuck” from the right! Just like GOP felon Michael Grimm!

      1. Grimm’s chances of unseating the Republican currently representing Staten Island are bupkis.

        Grimm was a member of a careerist caucus called ‘the Republican Main Stream Partnership”. Per the American Conservative Union, he had in 2014 the worst lifetime voting record of any member of Congress bar one. Susan Collins had a better voting record as far as they were concerned.

        You managed to pick the Republican in Congress least suitable for the role you’ve assigned him. It takes a certain finesse to be stupid to that degree.

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