Judge refuses New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez’s request to dismiss bribery charges

A judge on Thursday rejected the motion to dismiss bribery and other charges against Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. The judge ruled that Menendez’s actions, despite his position as a senator and former member of the Foreign Relations Committee, do not receive protection.

Prosecutors claim that Menendez, a Democrat, engaged in unregistered lobbying for Egypt, receiving cash and other bribes in exchange for providing assistance to the government of Qatar and using his political influence for personal financial gain.

The request made by Menendez to dismiss the charges on other grounds is still pending before a judge and is not affected by this ruling.

Menedez’s lawyers contend that the prosecutors were excessively zealous in their attempt to criminalize the typical actions of legislators and disregard the safeguards afforded to members of Congress under the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause.

Menendez’s lawyers strongly refute the government’s allegations in this case, stating that they are completely false and distort the truth. According to them, every action taken by the senator was based on his genuine policy judgments and not on any corrupt intentions.

A day after delivering a rebuttal of the charges on the Senate floor, Menendez, 70, received the ruling.

According to his lawyers, Menendez could potentially file an appeal of Thursday’s ruling, which may result in a delay of the trial that is currently scheduled for May 6.

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