Prosecutors warn that tossing bribery charges against US Senator Robert Menendez – as being considered by a federal judge—would “decriminalize corruption” and “jettison the vast majority of bribery prosecutions.”
US District Judge William Walls suggested last week that the Justice Department’s bribery charges against Menendez may not move forward based on his reading of a 2016 Supreme Court opinion overturning the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
McDonnell had been convicted of corruption charges for taking gifts from a businessman in exchange for arranging a meeting between him and state officials.
In that ruling, the top court invalidated the “stream of benefits” theory of bribery that prosecutors have used to make legal cases against Menendez and other public officials.
“I know the prosecution had a heyday before McDonnell, and now they have a doomsday after McDonnell,” Walls said.