Gov­ern­ment seeks to head off Me­nen­dez Supreme Court ap­peal

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS -

NE­WARK >> Gov­ern­ment at­tor­neys are push­ing back against New Jersey Sen. Bob Me­nen­dez’s at­tempts to have his cor­rup­tion in­dict­ment thrown out.

They filed a re­sponse this week to the Demo­cratic sen­a­tor’s fil­ing seek­ing to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear his ap­peal.

Me­nen­dez is ac­cused of us­ing his in­flu­ence in ex­change for gifts and po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions from a wealthy Florida eye doc­tor. Me­nen­dez has ar­gued his ac­tions were cov­ered un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion’s “speech or de­bate” clause that pro­tects law­mak­ers when they are per­form­ing leg­isla­tive du­ties.

In its brief this week, the gov­ern­ment wrote that the clause is lim­ited to acts that are “in­te­gral to the leg­isla­tive process” and not to at­tempts to in­flu­ence gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

If the Supreme Court de­clines to hear the case, a trial could take place this fall.

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