Menendez corruption and bribery trial: What to know


The jury in Sen. Bob Menendez’s bribery trial remains to be deliberating  after no verdict was reached throughout its preliminary deliberations on Monday morning.

The panel deliberated for about 90 minutes after attorneys gave their closing arguments final Thursday. Deliberations will proceed Tuesday morning. The trial is now in its 10th week.

The New Jersey Democrat is accused of accepting a plethora of donations and items from a rich buddy in trade for political affect. Both Menendez and the physician, Salomon Melgen, have maintained their innocence.

It’s the primary time in 9 years sitting U.S. senator is dealing with a federal bribery cost.

What is Menendez accused of?

Menendez, 63, accepted an abundance of marketing campaign donations, items and holidays from Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist. In return, Menendez used his place to foyer on behalf of Melgen’s enterprise pursuits, in response to prosecutors.

Melgen allegedly directed greater than $750,000 in marketing campaign contributions to entities that supported Menendez, in response to the indictment, which prosecutors stated had been inducements to get Menendez to make use of his affect on Melgen’s behalf. Prosecutors have additionally accused Menendez of making an attempt to cover the items.

Melgen paid for Menendez and his girlfriend to remain for 3 nights at a Parisian resort the place rooms usually price about $1,500 per night time and allowed the senator using his non-public jet, in response to prosecutors.

Sen. Bob Menendez, center, arrives to the courthouse with his children, Alicia Menendez and Robert Menendez Jr., in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The corruption trial for the New Jersey Democrat and a wealthy Florida eye doctor begins on Wednesday in Newark. The trial will examine whether Menendez was illegally lobbying for Salomon Melgen, who gave him political contributions and gifts including luxury vacations. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives to the courthouse along with his youngsters in Newark, N.J., on Sept. 6, 2017 because the corruption trial begins.

 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


Federal prosecutors stated that Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle that he couldn’t afford.”

The indictment additionally alleged that Menendez pressured State Department officers to provide visas to 3 younger girls described as Melgen’s girlfriends.

What is the senator’s protection?

Both Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not responsible – and Menendez has vehemently denied the accusations towards him.

Throughout the trial, protection attorneys sought to show that Menendez and Melgen have been buddies since earlier than the previous grew to become a senator, and the journeys had been nothing greater than buddies touring collectively.

At instances emotional, Menendez has maintained his innocence all through the trial.  

What has occurred within the trial thus far?

Defense lawyer Raymond Brown bought right into a spat with U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls at first of the trial. Brown accused Walls of being “extremely prejudicial to the defense.”

Walls had denied Menendez’s request that the trial be recessed throughout important Senate votes, stating that his job shouldn’t be handled otherwise from that of a development employee or cab driver.


The trial has additionally centered on a gathering former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., arrange with Menendez and former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to debate a virtually $9 million Medicaid billing dispute.

Sebelius testified in courtroom that the incident was the primary time in her function in authorities that she was requested by a senator to take a gathering with one other senator. She stated that Melgen wasn’t particularly talked about within the badembly however that she badumed his case was the subject.

Prosecutors didn’t name Reid to testify earlier than it rested its case on Oct. 11. 

Walls declined to throw the case out regardless of the protection’s objections that the accusations towards Menendez didn’t match the slim definition of bribery that was a results of a 2016 Supreme Court determination.

Menendez additionally had somewhat badist from his buddies.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., arrived on the Newark courthouse to testify as a “character witness” for the Democratic senator, Graham’s workplace confirmed. He testified about his experiences with Menendez within the Senate, “unrelated to the underlying charges,” his workplace stated.

“In very difficult circumstances he always keeps his word,” Graham, stated throughout his testimony. “A handshake is all you need from Bob. He’s a very honest, hardworking senator.”

Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J., has additionally appeared in badist of Menendez. Booker has attended the listening to to badist his colleague earlier than.

Menendez was additionally emotional when he was requested by reporters about his colleagues’ badist. 

Is there the rest to find out about Salomon Melgen?

Melgen, 63, was convicted of 67 counts of well being care fraud in April in what the Palm Beach Post referred to as one of many largest Medicare fraud instances within the U.S.

During that case, prosecutors argued that Melgen, who was born within the Dominican Republic, robbed Medicare of as a lot as $105 million, in response to the newspaper. His sentencing has been delayed till after this trial.

Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen arrives to the Federal court in Newark, New Jersey April 2, 2015. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on corruption charges, allegations that the high-ranking Democrat vowed to fight at a news conference on Wednesday night. Menendez was indicted by a grand jury in New Jersey for accepting gifts from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his Senate office to benefit Melgen's financial and personal interests, according to the court filing. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz - GF10000047382

Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen is accused of giving Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., items in trade for badist along with his private and monetary dealings.

 (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)


Aside from Menendez, Melgen has given vital quantities of cash to a wide range of Democratic lawmakers, in response to public information.

What occurs if Menendez is convicted?

If Menendez is convicted and goes to jail, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., would choose a alternative.

That prospect is troublesome for Democrats who worry that Christie would choose a Republican to fill the Senate seat – giving the GOP an extra edge for legislative fights.

Vice President Mike Pence has stated that it might be “altogether inappropriate and wrong” for a convicted felon to stay within the Senate. However, he stated it might be a choice left as much as the Senate if Menendez did not resign.

Menendez is up for reelection subsequent yr. He was chosen to switch former Gov. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., within the Senate in 2005.

The most severe costs towards the 2 males carry a most 20-year jail sentence.

Fox News’ Tara Prindiville and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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