Sen. Robert Menendez has lost another round in federal court in seeking to have the bribery and corruption charges against him dismissed, and the New Jersey Democrat will now ask the Supreme Court to get involved in his case.
In another legal blow, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled Tuesday that it will not hold an “en banc” hearing on Menendez’s case. In July, a three-judge panel of that court let stand the charges against him, rejecting his claims that his constitutional protections as a senator were violated.
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Menendez and his co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, can now ask the Supreme Court to take up his appeal, or the Menendez can take his chances in front of a jury.
Menendez’s defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, signaled that the New Jersey Democrat would ask the Supreme Court to take up his appeal.
“As he has said from the outset, Senator Menendez has always acted in accordance with the law and that, once all of the facts are presented in court, he is confident that he will be exonerated,” Lowell said in a statement. “He believes the legal issues in his case are important enough to seek review from the trial court, the appeals court and the Supreme Court. These are the steps he has pursued and will continue to show that the allegations against him are wrong.”
The Justice Department, meanwhile, is urging a federal judge in Newark to move ahead with Menendez’s trial as soon as possible.
“It has been 17 months since a grand jury sitting in the District of New Jersey indicted Senator Menendez and Dr. Melgen for numerous counts of corruption,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday. “Accordingly, the Government respectfully requests that the Court schedule a status conference and set this case …