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Judge rejects Sen. Menendez’s claims that legislative immunity protects him from bribery charges


Sen. Bob Menendez cannot escape federal prosecution on grounds that he has legislative immunity from four conspiracy charges alleging that he accepted bribes including cash and gold bars in exchange for delivering favors to three New Jersey businessmen, a judge ruled Thursday.


U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein in Manhattan said in a written ruling that charges alleging the New Jersey Democrat accepted bribes from three businessmen in return for legislative favors cannot be dropped on grounds that members of Congress get extra protection from some laws for what they do in the legislative sphere.


He said criminal intent cannot be protected by wording in the Constitution meant to protect information sharing by legislators.


“The fact that this information sharing is part of a corrupt scheme prevents a characterization of those discussions as legislative acts,” he wrote.


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  • 1 month later...

Senator Robert Menendez may blame his wife, Nadine Menendez, for pulling the couple into what prosecutors have said was a criminal conspiracy and may claim that she hid information from him, leading him to believe that “nothing unlawful was taking place,” according to court papers unsealed on Tuesday.


The revelation was contained in two sentences in a legal brief filed by Mr. Menendez’s lawyers, who had asked a judge to keep them secret because they detailed a trial strategy that if made public would “surely garner significant media attention” and “bias the jury pool.”


The new insight into Mr. Menendez’s defense comes just three weeks before he and two New Jersey businessmen are scheduled to go on trial in Manhattan, accused of participating in a wide-ranging bribery scheme. Ms. Menendez is to be tried separately, in July. All four defendants have pleaded not guilty.


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Jury selection begins in bribery case against Sen. Bob Menendez in New York


Jury selection began Monday in the federal criminal trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who is charged with accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes — including some in gold bars — in return for official acts.


The once-powerful former head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee appeared in a Manhattan courthouse in a dark suit and sporting his senator pin.


U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein outlined the 18-count indictment against Menendez and two businessmen on trial as co-defendants, and warned defense lawyers and prosecutors "to operate in good faith."


He later told a pool of prospective jurors the trial could last six to seven weeks. Assistant U.S. attorney Daniel Richenthal estimated the timeline to present the prosecution's case would be between four and a half to six and a half weeks.


Menendez, 70, sat facing forward with his hands folded across his chest, occasionally tapping his fingers together. He did not turn around when Stein asked if any potential juror had a reason they would not be able to serve, prompting many to raise their hands.


The senior senator from New Jersey has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which he’s described as “salacious,” and faces decades in prison if found guilty.


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It's amazing how much less time it took for this trial to begin than any of Trump's trials.  Maybe amazing is the wrong word; I find it sickening that Trump is treated so differently.

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1 hour ago, Corcaigh said:

If I’m looking for political favors from a US Senator, I’m not sure bribing their spouse in secret is a strategy for success.




That's for SCOTUS.  


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Yep, trying to get around our laws preventing people not authorized by the government to meet with foreign citizens to conduct foreign policy. 


Some Republicans need to be brought up on charges regarding Russia, North Korea, and China. 

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‘Whoa, that was gross,’ former NJ attorney general recalls after meeting with Menendez


New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer and top aide looked at each other after they left a 2019 meeting with Sen. Bob Menendez.


“Whoa, that was gross,” the aide told then-New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.


That’s how Grewal on Thursday recalled a September 2019 meeting prosecutors say was Menendez’s attempt to disrupt the agency’s work in exchange for bribes. The testimony was some of the most vivid yet in Menendez’s ongoing corruption trial, offering a behind-the-scenes account of a senator seeming to leverage his influence with one of the state’s most powerful officials.


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