Republican Groups Step up Pressure on Democrats as Menendez Trial Begins
Sep 07, 2017, 01:57
Melgen also supposedly paid the bill for a suite in a five-star hotel in Paris where Menendez and a guest stayed in 2010. Robert Menendez's bribery trial on Wednesday to support his fellow New Jersey Democrat. While there has been no indication that either could take the stand from court documents filed so far, it's plausible that the defense could call the pair individually to the stand to describe their relationship. Bob Menendez's corruption trial.
Melgen is on trial with Menendez.
On the same day that a $300,000 check from Melgen arrived at a Menendez political-action committee June 7, 2012, Menendez met with CMS's highest-ranking official and pressed the agency to "change the reimbursement policy leading to the $8.9 million repayment demand", the feds say.
Second, in the event that Menendez is convicted - a potential outcome that was bolstered by last week's Department of Justice brief that Menendez has concealed up to a dozen trips paid for by Melgen which he failed to report and the possibility that Melgen could provide evidence against him in return for a lighter sentence - Senate Democrats will be forced to make a hard choice: Vote to expel Menendez from the Senate and lose a Democrat vote, or be subjected to wilting public criticism over hypocricy. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to help intervene, at Melgen's request, prosecutors claim.
According to prosecutors, Reid also reached out to an unnamed White House official for further assistance.
It has been a busy year for the legal issue at the heart of the corruption case against U.S. Sen. "I said what I said [due to] the lack of merits in this motion".
Despite the intrigue surrounding his trial, Menendez is still fundraising and campaigning for re-election in 2018, and was defiant when arriving in federal court this morning, telling reporters, "I believe when all of the facts are known, I will be vindicated". Abbe Lowell, representing Menendez, began his statement discussing the two men's friendship, which dates back to the early 1990s, and said "acting out of friendship is not a crime".
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez takes questions after a news conference about flood insurance in Union Beach, N.J., on August 17.
Aside from the implications for the balance of power in the Senate, the trial also poses complications for upcoming Senate votes.
Republicans would use a potential conviction in ads against Democrats, but ultimately, there's little desire among Democrats to give the GOP a chance for a pickup because of Trump agenda items at stake, said University of Virginia Center for Politics director Larry Sabato. In the case of a conviction, Menendez may face pressure to immediately resign, allowing governor Chris Christie to name a Republican as Mendendez's successor.
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