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  • 2 weeks later...

Sen. Bob Menendez pleads not guilty to foreign agent charge in corruption case

 

Sen. Bob Menendez on Monday pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment accusing him of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for the Egyptian government.

 

The arraignment in federal court in Manhattan marked the second time in less than four weeks that the Democratic senator from New Jersey entered a plea on criminal charges related to his alleged abuse of office.

 

Menendez, who is up for reelection next year, has denied wrongdoing and vowed not to resign.

 

“We are innocent. We are going to prove it,” Menendez said in Spanish after leaving the court hearing, which lasted less than five minutes.

 

Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were charged last month with accepting a range of bribes — including gold bars, cash, home mortgage payments and a Mercedes-Benz convertible — as part of a yearslong “corrupt relationship” with three New Jersey businessmen.

 

That indictment accused Menendez of using his power and influence in ways that “secretly aided the Government of Egypt,” including by sharing “sensitive U.S. Government information.”

 

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  • 1 month later...

Gold bars featured in Sen. Bob Menendez bribery case are linked to a 2013 robbery, records show

 

At least four gold bars found in the FBI search of Sen. Bob Menendez’s home had been directly linked to a New Jersey businessman now accused of bribing Menendez, the state’s senior senator, Bergen County prosecutor’s records from a 2013 robbery case show.

The businessman, Fred Daibes, reported to police that he was the victim of an armed robbery in 2013, and he asked police to recover the gold bars stolen from him. Daibes reported that $500,000 in cash and 22 gold bars were stolen, Edgewater, New Jersey, police records show. Police later caught four people with the stolen goods.

To get his property back, Daibes signed “property release forms” certifying the gold bars belonged to him, the records show.

“Each gold bar has its own serial number,” Daibes told investigators in a 2013 transcript made by prosecutors and police who recovered — and returned to Daibes — the stolen valuables. “They’re all stamped…you’ll never see two stamped the same way.”

A decade later, it said, the FBI found four gold bars with unique serial numbers in the Clifton, New Jersey, home of Menendez and his wife, Nadine.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/gold-bars-featured-sen-bob-013214890.html

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8 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

The fact the Dems haven't done this pisses me the **** off! There is zero good reason not to have expelled him. 

 

When I need ammo to show my MAGA friends that I don't mind critiquing the Left, this and Afghanistan withdrawal are the easy, low-hanging fruit.

 

It's not the Dems.  I think most Dems would expel him immediately and let NJ's D governor replace him.  GOP Senators (1) want to keep him around since he makes the Dems look bad and (2) basically have to say he is innocent until proven guilty given that their party's candidate for POTUS is also federally indicted (91 times at last count) but hasn't yet been proven guilty. So, I guess, if your frame is "gaining legitimacy with your MAGA friends", this really isn't the low-hanging fruit. 

 

https://www.axios.com/2023/09/26/bob-menendez-bribery-indictment-republicans

 

Quote

What they're saying:

  • "Senator Menendez has a right to test the government's evidence in court, just like any other citizen. He should be judged by jurors and New Jersey's voters, not by Democratic politicians who now view him as inconvenient to their hold on power," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sounded a similar note, tweeting: "The allegations against the Senior Senator from New Jersey are nasty & the evidence offered difficult to explain away. But in America guilt is decided by a jury, not politicians in fear of their party losing a Senate seat."
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the charges against the New Jersey senator are "extremely serious," but added "it's up to him and the voters of New Jersey to make the resignation decision."
  • "That's up to the Democrats," said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the chair of the Senate GOP's campaign arm, when asked if Menendez should resign.
  • Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), a staunch Trump ally, said: "Whether Bob Menendez steps down is a decision for the voters of New Jersey. Clearly the guy's been accused of some pretty crazy stuff ... but we do have innocence until proven guilty here."
  • "Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and Bob is as well," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another Trump ally.

 

 

4 minutes ago, TradeTheBeal! said:

I feel like that Dem margin in the senate is a little bit thin to be tinkering around with right now.

 

He would be replaced by a new Dem by NJ's Dem governor in less than a week.  It took Gavin Newsome 5 days to replace Feinstein, I think. 

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20 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

The fact the Dems haven't done this pisses me the **** off! There is zero good reason not to have expelled him. 

 

When I need ammo to show my MAGA friends that I don't mind critiquing the Left, this and Afghanistan withdrawal are the easy, low-hanging fruit.

As Jaime Raskin said after voting against Santos’ expulsion the first vote, “You don’t want to set a dangerous precedent.” 
 

I don’t believe the senate ethics committee has finished an investigation, and released a report, and Menendez  has yet to have his day in court, so until either one of those things occurs, I think it’s prudent to bide your time.

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13 minutes ago, Long n Left said:

As Jaime Raskin said after voting against Santos’ expulsion the first vote, “You don’t want to set a dangerous precedent.” 
 

I don’t believe the senate ethics committee has finished an investigation, and released a report, and Menendez  has yet to have his day in court, so until either one of those things occurs, I think it’s prudent to bide your time.

 

Bull****.  Set a precedent of looking at each case individually. There is a line where voting him out becomes necessary.  I can't say exactly where that line is but he sure as **** crossed it.

 

But the fact that he keeps attending classified briefings make it easy.

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1 minute ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

 

Bull****.  Set a precedent of looking at each case individually. There is a line where voting him out becomes necessary.  I can't say exactly where that line is but he sure as **** crossed it.

 

But the fact that he keeps attending classified briefings make it easy.

Doing that could too easily lead to the expulsion of members for any number of things the other side feels warrants the action. 
 

If the GOP holds a voting majority in either chamber, and the precedent has been set that they can expell a member on evidence alone, without thorough investigation or verdict, they could start throwing out members on the basis of spotty evidence. THAT is a dangerous precedent.

 

Now, I fully believe that Menendez is an idiot douche canoe, as is his wife, and should be expelled, but there does need to be due process. I’m sure there are plenty of investigative agencies that have his every move documented and watched now, so I doubt that he is a high risk.

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1 hour ago, TradeTheBeal! said:

I feel like that Dem margin in the senate is a little bit thin to be tinkering around with right now.

 

Yeah. What's the breakdown right now?  51-49?  And that's if they count Manchin and Sinema?  

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2 hours ago, Long n Left said:

As Jaime Raskin said after voting against Santos’ expulsion the first vote, “You don’t want to set a dangerous precedent.” 
 

I don’t believe the senate ethics committee has finished an investigation, and released a report, and Menendez  has yet to have his day in court, so until either one of those things occurs, I think it’s prudent to bide your time.

 

This is definitely the argument they are making, that someone shouldn't lose their seat in Congress before they've had due process.  But as Jamie Raskin (who was literally my Constitutional Law professor) well knows, the Due Process clause states that no state shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."  A Senate seat is not someone's life, liberty or property.  

 

At a certain point, a reasonable person can view the publicly available evidence and conclude that a person is no longer fit to serve in the Senate (and sit in on classified briefings as @TheGreatBuzzpoints out).  Getting to a conviction takes a LONG TIME for powerful people, and the bar for continuing to serve in the United States Senate should be higher than "hasn't yet been convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion and acting as a foreign agent, but the guy had gold bars in his house that have been traced directly back to the dude accused of bribing him."

Edited by PleaseBlitz
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I’ll stand by what I said with Santos - if there’s a pending ethics committee investigation then I’m ok with waiting for it to complete. Conviction may take way too long. 
 

can’t they remove him from committee assignments so he isn’t getting classified briefings anymore? 

That said if they voted him out tomorrow I’d be OK with that too. 
 

think I also said that as part of Santos. 

Edited by tshile
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