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Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal from Sen. Menendez

20 March, 2017, 23:55 | Author: Mae Harvey

Bob Menendez will face trial later this year on bribery and corruption charges after the Supreme Court refused Monday to toss his case. Bob Menendez, clearing the way for a federal trial this fall for the Democrat.

The appeal argued that Menendez's alleged conduct was immune from legal scrutiny because it fell under "the sphere of legitimate legislative activity", which is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause [text] of the US Constitution.

When that appeal was denied, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which denied without comment to dismiss the charges against Menendez this week.

NJ.com reported, "The court, as is custom, gave no reason for deciding not to hear the appeal from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which in July ruled that the case should go to trial".

Lowell said the senator maintains his innocence.

The indictment alleges that Menendez intervened in a dispute between Medicare and Melgen at Melgen's request, and also with a contract in the Dominican Republic involving one of Melgen's companies. Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not guilty to the charges they faced in the 22-count indictment.

Menendez said he was targeted by the Justice Department because he opposed President Obama's actions toward Cuba and Iran. In September 2015, U.S. District Judge William H. Walls ruled that the trial should proceed.

"The predominant objective of the challenged acts was to pursue a political resolution to Dr. Melgen's disputes and not to discuss broader issues of policy, vet a presidential nominee or engage in informal information gathering for legislation", the appellate panel wrote.

Walls said past year he would set a trial for Menendez and Melgen for this fall in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, depending on the outcome of the senator's appeal. Stevens was killed in a 2010 plane crash.

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