(DailyVantage.com) – Embattled Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is now asking the judge overseeing the case against him to dismiss charges of bribery and acting as a foreign agent, saying that prosecutors were criminalizing activities that were perfectly normal for a legislator to do.
The petition is part of a legal brief Menendez’s legal team has filed with the court, the first time his team has done so before the scheduled start of his federal corruption trial four months from now.
In the filing, Menendez calls the charges against him “outrageously false,” and a distortion of reality. The brief also claimed that the judicial and executive branches of government had no right to “second-guess” how legislators chose to interact and deal with foreign representatives.
His lawyers, in a statement, said that their client should not even face a trial in the first place, and accused prosecutors of tarnishing Menendez’s five decades of “patriotic public service.”
The filing reflects a lot of the arguments in a scathing speech the senator delivered on the Senator floor recently, where he attempted to defend himself from the charges, calling them “baseless” and accused the U.S. Justice Department of conducting a targeted hack job against him. He bizarrely claimed that the gold bars and cash found in his home were not bribes and said that these were gained in the course of his routine statesmanship.
He also warned that the case against him sets a “dangerous precedent” for the rest of his colleagues, and suggested that he was merely advocating that foreign governments buy goods and services from American companies.
Menendez is accused of accepting bribes from agents of Egypt and Qatar, in exchange for helping secure favorable business dealings and aid for these countries. Prosecutors have charged his wife, Nadine, as well, and allege that Menedez received a variety of luxury items and other expensive gifts, including the gold bars and cash found in his home, in exchange for his use of his public office to help benefit his foreign benefactors.
Copyright 2024, DailyVantage.com