A federal judge on Tuesday heard arguments over whether Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., should have his alleged corruption trial moved from New Jersey. Following an hour’s worth of arguments, U.S. District Court Judge William Walls ruled Menendez’s trial will not move to Washington, D.C. and will remain in New Jersey.
According to Abbe Lowell, representing the Democratic senator, the case should move to the nation’s capital because most of the alleged acts occurred in Washington, D.C. and most potential witnesses reside in the area. Lowell said Menendez’s elected duties would also not be affected if the trial moved to Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), however, said some of the alleged crimes occurred in New Jersey, including the senator accepting gifts from friend and ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen.
“As he has said from the beginning, Senator Menendez has always acted in accordance with the law and firmly believes that no matter where a jury is located, once we have an opportunity to put forth our case, and a jury hears all of the facts, he will be exonerated,” said Menendez spokesperson Tricia Enright following Judge Walls’ ruling. “Senator Menendez’s priority has always been his work on behalf of the people of New Jersey and we plan to do everything possible to ensure that work continues with the least disruption.”
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