Supreme Court Won’t Throw Out Menendez Corruption Case


The Supreme Court rejected a bid from Senator Robert Menendez on Monday to have his corruption charges thrown out, making it increasingly likely that the New Jersey Democrat’s trial would move forward this fall.

The legal team for Mr. Menendez issued a statement calling the justices’ decision “disappointing” but also vowing that the senator would be “vindicated” through his trial.

“While the senator always understood it is rare that the Supreme Court hears any case before trial, given the gravity of the constitutional issues raised, he believed it was important to try,” said Abbe Lowell, Mr. Menendez’s lawyer.

“As the senator has been saying for more than four years since the government began chasing these wild allegations,” Mr. Lowell continued, “he has always acted in accordance with the law. Senator Menendez remains confident that he will be vindicated when all the facts are heard at trial.”

Mr. Menendez was indicted in 2015 on eight charges of bribery after a two-year investigation by the Justice Department. The charges stem from Mr. Menendez’s relationship with Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, a Florida eye surgeon and the senator’s longtime political benefactor. The investigation found that Mr. Menendez had traded political favors for luxury vacations, golf outings and campaign donations. The senator was also charged with conspiracy and making false statements.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been aggressively fighting them for the past two years, including efforts to prevent a public criminal trial.

The senator had based his appeal to the Supreme Court on the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, arguing that his actions were protected by the law shielding legislators from being questioned by prosecutors about legislative work.

Mr. Menendez’s trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 6.



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