Dem Senator to Face Trial for Corruption, Bribery After Supreme Court Snub
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion to dismiss bribery and other charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), meaning a federal trial will go forward in September, USA Today reported.
Menendez, 63, is accused of improperly accepting gifts and hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for using his office to help Florida opthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen.
The senator was formally indicted in 2015 on those charges, and has since been trying to have them dismissed.
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 million billing dispute.
He is also accused of trying to discourage the Department of Homeland Security from sending the Dominican Republic equipment to prevent drug smuggling while Melgen operated a company that scanned containers for contraband, according to the New York Times.
Menendez appealed his case to a Philadelphia court, arguing that part of the Constitution prevents the judiciary from questioning his activity as a legislator.
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.
Menendez said he was targeted by the Justice Department because he opposed President Obama's actions toward Cuba and Iran.
The senator's attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the New York Daily News that Menendez "has always acted in accordance with the law."