Gov't Would Have to Walk a 'Very Fuzzy Line' to Prove Corruption By Menendez
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who faces possible federal criminal corruption charges for allegedly abusing the power of his office to provide illegal help to a close friend, has denied any wrongdoing and stated that, "I am not going anywhere."
Menendez is accused of promoting the interests of Dr. Salomon Melgen in exchange for favors that allegedly included free trips on private jets.
"Anyone who knows us knows that he and his family and me and my family have been real friends for more than two decades," Menendez said in a statement to reporters Friday. "We celebrated holidays together, we have been there for family weddings and sad times like funerals and have given each other birthday, holiday and wedding presents, just as friends do."
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said on "America's Newsroom" that rumors have been swirling around Menendez for some time.
Napolitano revealed that details of these specific allegations were leaked when court documents briefly surfaced on the Internet last week, apparently by accident, before being put back under seal.
"It now appears that the government will ask a grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, to indict Sen. Menendez for bribery, for receiving gifts in return for doing favors for Dr. Melgen," Judge Nap said. "The senator will say, 'He was my friend, these gifts were not a bribe and I returned them anyway. And what I did for him, all senators do for any constituents.'"
Judge Nap noted that Menendez will also likely mention that he is one of President Obama's harshest critics on Cuba and Iran, which could make the timing of the charges against him appear suspicious.
Judge Nap explained that the government will have to gather enough evidence to persuade a trial jury that the gifts Menendez received were the reason he did the favors for Melgen.
"It's a very fuzzy line. And the burden is on the government to prove it's criminal."
Get more insight from Judge Nap in the "America's Newsroom" clip above.