Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is currently on trial for a slew of serious corruption and bribery charges. Today Sen. Menendez was hoping the Federal Judge would toss away the charges, or at least some of them. However, that hope went up in flames, as Judge William H. Walls decided not to dismiss any of the 18 charges brought against Menendez by federal prosecutors (via Star-Ledger):
A federal judge on Monday refused to dismiss any of the 18 criminal counts against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, clearing the way for the pair’s bribery trial to enter the defense phase.
Defense attorneys had argued a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the conviction of former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell narrowed the scope of federal bribery law to exclude the acts with which Menendez and Melgen were charged.
U.S. District Judge William H. Walls had postponed ruling on a motion to dismiss until after hearing all the evidence put forward by the prosecution, which rested Wednesday after six weeks of testimony in Newark.
Menendez, the senior Democratic senator from New Jersey, has maintained his innocence since April 2015, when the Justice Department first announced an indictment accusing him and Melgen of swapping government favors for lavish gifts.
That is a huge blow for Senator Menendez. He had a decent chance to have some (if not all) of the charges dismissed.
— Kurt Siegelin (@kurtsiegelin) October 16, 2017
Very, very bad news for Bob Menendez —> https://t.co/GYzRbtBfGT
— Steven Shepard (@POLITICO_Steve) October 16, 2017
The embattled Democrat also tried to request special time to vote in the Senate, another request that was rejected by Judge Walls, who said that Menendez’s job was no different than that of a cab driver.
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