US Supreme Court won't throw out Menendez corruption case

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied [order list, PDF] an appeal by Senator Bob Menendez [official profile] in a bribery and fraud case.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear New Jersey Sen. Bob MenendezRobert MenendezSteve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Senators to Trump: We support additional Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.), who was indicted on federal bribery charges in 2015.

Menendez is accused of taking nearly $1 million, most of it in campaign donations and luxury travel, in exchange for his intervention on behalf of Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who was involved in several disputes with the USA government.

The top court rejected Menendez's petition to end the case without providing comment to explain its reasoning.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled on July 29 against Menendez, saying the Justice Department had not violated the senator's constitutional privilege under the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which says members of Congress can't be held to account "for any speech or debate in either house".

The indictment alleges that Menendez intervened in a dispute between Medicare and Melgen at Melgen's request, and also with a contract in the Dominican Republic involving one of Melgen's companies.

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

Did Supreme Court give Menendez a lifeline? Melgen is on trial in West Palm Beach, Florida, in a separate Medicare-fraud case.

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.

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