Media Won't Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez's Corruption Trial

Media Won't Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez's Corruption Trial”

For the first time in almost four decades, a sitting U.S. senator goes on trial Wednesday on federal bribery charges in a case that could have profound political impact.

Prosecutors suggested that the two men's relation was a "corrupt pact" in which Melgen provided Menendez with expensive vacations and campaign donations in exchange for the senator helping Melgen in several disputes with government officials.

After the outpouring of criticism against the New York Times, the fact that Menendez is a Democrat was added, but not with the correction noted.

In exchange, prosecutors say, Menendez acted in his "official capacity" as a senator to help advance the personal and business interests of Melgen.

The moment underscored the unusual predicament facing Mr. Menendez, a senior senator: For the first time in 36 years, a sitting United States Senator is facing a federal bribery trial, one that comes as a bitterly divided Congress reconvenes amid the unrelenting turbulence of the Trump administration. The senator also says he agreed with Melgen on various policy issues for which he advocated. In March of this year, the Supreme Court rejected a motion from Menendez that sought to block the case from going to court. Melgen also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the senator's campaign funds, legal defense funds and political action committees that supported the senator and paid for a pricey Paris hotel stay Menendez, according to court documents. The senator wrote his donor in an email that he wanted "a king bed, work area with internet, limestone bath with soaking tub and enclosed rain shower, views of courtyard or streets", according to prosecutors. But in the two years since it was unveiled, the Supreme Court has made it much harder to win a conviction. Bob McDonnell's federal bribery conviction, laying out a narrow definition of what constituents an "official act".

But in a letter that evening to U.S. District Judge William H. Walls, Abbe D. Lowell - a veteran white-collar litigator spearheading the senator's defense effort - argued prosecutors shouldn't have missed a court deadline to file their own proposed jury instructions five days prior to opening arguments.

Their relationship allegedly turned criminal after Menendez became a senator.

In 2011 Reid, enlisted by Menendez, personally lobbied a top aide to President Barack Obama over the billing dispute, asking the White House deputy chief of staff to call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to prosecutors.

In pre-trial proceedings, Menendez's team fought hard for the court to accommodate his schedule, even requesting that the court delay proceedings until October to accommodate the start of the Senate session Tuesday - the day before the trial is due to commence.

They allege that Menendez used his office to perform favors for Melgen, including helping the doctor's foreign female companions obtain visas to visit the US and advocating for Melgen in a dispute between his ophthalmology practice and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Dr. Salomon Melgen, the friend in this scenario, is also on trial in Newark. "Bob Menendez's corruption trial does it note that he's a Democrat", tweeted David Martosko, the editor for the Daily Mail. "Prosecutors at the Justice Department don't know the difference between friendship and corruption", he said when the charges were filed in 2015.

Menendez and Melgen are charged with bribery, honest services fraud, and related counts.

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