Senator Menendez could face years in prison if convicted

2023-09-25 18:39:27, Kosova & Bota CNA

Senator Menendez could face years in prison if convicted

Allegations of bribery and conspiracy threaten the political future of one of the most influential senators in the United States. While the senator himself strongly denies the charges, experts say that the charges are serious and testify to the functioning of a strong judicial system in the United States. Meanwhile, in the state of the senator, in New Jersey, residents are not surprised.

New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez faces a series of federal charges, including that he took bribes to use his influence to benefit three businessmen and the government of Egypt, and helped settle the legal problems of his wife's associates. his.

"FBI agents raided the New Jersey home and bank where Senator Menendez and Nadine Menendez kept the items in the vault. In the closets, they discovered about $500,000 stuffed in envelopes. Some of the money was put through the pockets of the senator's clothes. And that's not all. Agents also discovered large amounts of gold ," announced Damian Williams, New York's Southern District Attorney.

Senator Menendez could face years in prison if convicted

Senator Menendez previously faced corruption charges in 2017, but prosecutors dropped the case after the jury in his trial failed to reach a guilty verdict.

The senator has strongly denied the new accusations, but this has not surprised the residents of New Jersey at all.

"I'm not surprised. A lot of illegal actions and the wife is also involved. And this is the second time she's been accused of corruption ," says Liz Batan, a resident of New Jersey.

"Not at all surprised. After he threw it once, why wouldn't he do it again? It's a typical politician's approach. If you're ever found not guilty, it's an invitation to continue the actions you've taken," says Jack Sabulich .

The senator says the allegations are a political attack on his career. He stated that:

"The forces behind the scenes have repeatedly tried to silence my voice and make a hole for me politically. I am confident that this matter will be successfully resolved once all the facts are presented, and my fellow New Jerseyans will see the truth."

Despite his denial, experts say that the charges against him are serious.

"It's a classic corruption scheme. The indictment raises three separate counts of conspiracy against Senator Menendez. Taken together, Senator Menendez faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison," says former federal prosecutor Adam Kamenstein.

Senator Menendez could face years in prison if convicted

He adds, however, that even if found guilty, the punishment may not be that severe.

"The court has a lot of room to adjust the sentence. So at the end of the day, if found guilty, Senator Menendez could be sentenced to much less than 45 years ," says Mr. Kamenstein.

Following the allegations last week, the senator stepped down from his leadership role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Former prosecutor and now professor Bennett Gershman considers the indictment of a senior American official currently in office as a testimony to the functioning of the American judicial system.

"My sense is that our judicial system, our law enforcement system, continues to be held pretty strong. I think the Menendez indictment shows that even though one may think they are all-powerful and that they will never face the consequences of dishonesty and his corruption, that will not be the case. If Menendez is found guilty, it could happen to anyone, even a former president ," says Mr. Gershman, a law professor at Pace University.

Experts say it may be difficult for Senator Menendez to survive politically after the allegations. Just hours after the charges were announced, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called on his fellow Democrat to resign.

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