NEWARK, New Jersey, USA – The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected Senator Bob Menendez's appeal related to the indictment of corruption against him, setting the stage for him to face federal trial this year.
The judges upheld the lower court ruling that had denied the New Jersey Democrat lawmaker dismissing charges, including conspiracy, bribery, and fraud.
A jury investigator formally accused Menendez in 2015 after prosecutors said that the legislator had favored a longtime friend from his position who gave him gifts and campaign donations, including flights aboard a luxury jet And a vacation to Paris.
Florida ophthalmologist friend Salomon Melgen is charged in that state on various counts related to fraud in the government's health care program for the elderly and disabled Medicare.
These charges are extraneous to those that Melgen faces in the indictment filed against Menendez. According to the indictment of the investigating jury, Menendez used his official influence to arrange meetings with officials to help Melgen in a dispute related to Medicare and a private port security business in the Dominican Republic.
Menendez claims that he intended to influence a future policy and not just intervene in favor of his friend, and that the government tries to take advantage of the campaign donations to create a "give me and give you" between him and Melgen who assures Never existed.
A federal judge in New Jersey and the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia rejected Menendez's argument that the meetings were part of his ordinary legislative obligations protected by the constitutional clause of expression and debate that protects legislators for Who are not prosecuted for such actions.
"It is disappointing that the Supreme Court did not seize this opportunity to establish a clear and well defined separation of powers in order to ensure that Congress continues as an independent and equal branch of government, free from the meddling and revenge of the executive As intended by those who drew up the charter, "Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Menendez, said in an e-mail on Monday. Menendez "has always acted in accordance with the law," Lowell said.
The legislator "maintains the confidence that it will be claimed when all the facts are reviewed in the trial," he added. In a report last month, the government wrote that the clause is limited to acts that are "fundamental to the legislative process" and does not cover attempts to influence government agencies. The appeals court said the matter should be heard before a jury.
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