Supreme Court denies Menendez appeal in bribery case

Cheryl Sanders
March 20, 2017

Supreme Court on Monday refused to throw out bribery and corruption charges against New Jersey Sen.

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.

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Menendez, who is accused of accepting gifts in exchange for political influence, claims his meetings with government officials were to discuss policy and not for the goal of garnering gifts and monetary contributions.

A lower court previously ruled that Menendez' relationship with Melgen affected his questioning of Medicare officials about regulations at a time the doctor was embroiled in a $9 billion billing dispute.

Abbe Lowell, Menendez's lead defense attorney, called the charges "wild allegations" in a statement, saying Menendez "remains confident that he will be vindicated when all the facts are heard at trial".

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.

The appeals court said that issue should be argued in front of a jury.

Last year, U.S. District Judge William Walls said he would set a trial date trial for Menendez in Newark, N.J., after the outcome of the senator's appeal.

Walls said a year ago 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. Melgen is on trial in West Palm Beach, Florida, in a separate Medicare-fraud case.

Menendez is the 12th senator charged with a crime while in office, and the first since Alaska Republican Ted Stevens, who was found guilty in 2008 of seven corruption-related felonies. Stevens was killed in a 2010 plane crash.

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