Judge Rejects Menendez’s Request to Drop Bribery and Extortion Charges

(IntegrityTimes.com) – Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J., was dealt a blow on March 14 in Manhattan when Judge Sidney Stein denied his motion to dismiss the charges brought against him by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Menendez is facing multiple indictments, including extortion and bribery. He argued that the charges violated the Constitution, citing the Speech or Debate Clause and the separation of powers doctrine. Lawmakers are afforded certain legal protections while conducting their legislative duties.

Judge Stein said that the DOJ’s indictments include conduct that goes beyond “legislative acts,” deeming that he lacked the cited legal protections. Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were indicted along with three businessmen from New Jersey back in September 2023. Since then, the DOJ has announced additional indictments and one additional defendant, with Menendez pleading not guilty each time. Most recently, the DOJ alleged that Menendez was acting as a foreign agent of Egypt and accused him of accepting gifts from Qatar in his role in an alleged corruption scheme.

Menendez could further delay his May 6 trial by appealing Judge Stein’s ruling. He has also filed another motion to dismiss for other reasons, but a decision is still pending. One attorney for Menendez named Adam Fee told CNN that the senator’s team was exploring legal options while conducting a review of the ruling. He said that the jury would have to decide whether to believe the allegations brought by the DOJ. Fee claimed that Menendez’s indictment “is a gross distortion of reality,” adding that Menendez’s legal team believes that the jury will find that Senator Menendez did not do anything wrong. He said that the legal team would work to clear the senator’s name during the trial.

The third superseding indictment came on March 5, with prosecutors alleging that Menendez and his wife attempted to cover up their crimes by convincing their former attorneys to claim the money given to the couple was for loans instead of bribery payments.

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