July 29, 2016 – A federal appeals court has dismissed Sen. Robert Menendez’s bid to have the bribery and corruption case against him thrown out.
The federal court in Philadelphia has allowed charges against the New Jersey Democrat to stand, dismissing claims that Menendez’s constitutional protections as a senator were violated, according to court documents filed Friday.
We “take seriously the sentiments and concerns of the Supreme Court that Members (of Congress) are not to be ‘super-citizens’ immune from criminal liability or process,” the court concluded Friday in its decision. “Senator Menendez’s selective reading of the materials in the record does not persuade us that the District Court clearly erred in its findings of fact or that it incorrectly applied any law. That reading may prevail at trial, but at this stage we affirm in all respects.”
Menendez has maintained his innocence and pledged to fight federal corruption charges brought against him, which he said were politically motivated and “intended to silence me.”
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“I have always conducted myself in accordance with the law. I have always stood up for what I believe is right. I fight for issues I believe in the people I represent and the safety and security of this country every single day,” he said at an August 2015 press conference. “That’s who I am and I am proud of what I have accomplished and I am not going anywhere.”
Menendez was indicted nearly a year ago on corruption charges for allegedly using his Senate office to push the business interests of a friend and donor in exchange for gifts, according to the Justice Department.
The senator has fought off investigations for years after lengthy pursuits from federal prosecutors and the FBI. The corruption case was brought by the Justice Department’s public integrity unit.