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07 September 2017, 01:57 | Katrina Lee
NJ's Menendez Set for Rare Senate Corruption Trial
Robert Menendez, D-N.J., begins on Wednesday, the first time a USA senator faces bribery charges in almost four decades and a case that could affect the balance of power in the Senate, NBC News reported.
The case, brought by prosecutors from the Justice Department's Public Integrity Unit, accuses Menendez, 63, of accepting lavish bribes from a millionaire Palm Beach, Florida, eye doctor, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations, free private jet flights and "all-expense paid" vacations.
Before the alleged conspiracy began, Lowell said, Melgen contributed to the senator's election efforts, Menendez took trips on the doctor's jet, and the two exchanged gifts. "If Democrats don't call for a convicted felon to resign immediately and instead force taxpayers to keep paying his salary, that's a debate we're ready to have". Melgen was described in a recent prosecution brief as Menendez's "patron". Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning in Newark federal court.
"This case is about a corrupt politician who sold his Senate office for a life of luxury he couldn't afford, and a greedy doctor who put that politician on his payroll for whenever he needed the services of a United States senator", Peter Koski, deputy chief of the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, said in his opening statement of Menendez's corruption trial. Bob Menendez, a Democrat who represents New Jersey.
It has been a busy year for the legal issue at the heart of the corruption case against U.S. Sen.
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U.S. District Judge William Walls continually interrupted to deny the allegation.
"I am looking forward to finally having the opportunity to seek exoneration", Menendez said.
The digital ad push, which will run on Facebook and Twitter, presses Democratic leaders in Congress, Senate Democrats up for 2018 re-election in states President Donald Trump won and Democratic senators, like Warren, who are rumored to be considering 2020 presidential bids, to answer whether to believe Menendez should keep his U.S. Senate seat if convicted.
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. If he leaves the Senate before Gov. Chris Christie leaves office January 16, the Republican governor would pick a successor.
A minute-long ad posted on the GOP's YouTube page, meanwhile, questions if Democrats are "really going to let a convicted felon stay in the Senate". If he loses, things could get really interesting.
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