Menendez case shaping up to be aggressive tense court fight

first_imgSen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., answers a question in Union Township, N.J., Monday, July 27, 2015. The corruption indictment against Menendez is only a few months old, but early court filings pull back the curtain on a legal fight that figures to be bitter, personal and contested at every step. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) Though the FBI case agent testified before the grand jury that it was “perfectly clear” that the meeting was all about Melgen, defense lawyers say his own internal notes reveal Sebelius told investigators that “she could not recall what Menendez specifically wanted” or whether Melgen’s name came up during the meeting.The broad-based attack on the indictment is hardly surprising, given Menendez is represented by Abbe Lowell, who is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top trial lawyers and who successfully represented former Sen. John Edwards in a campaign finance case brought by the Justice Department.Lowell has already invoked that case — as well as the disastrous Justice Department prosecution against former Sen. Ted Stevens, derailed by accusations of prosecutorial misconduct — in arguing that the Menendez matter is another case that simply shouldn’t have been brought. Those two cases hover in the background of the Menendez prosecution, even though the Public Integrity Section has scored or contributed to several high-profile wins since then.“I think (prosecutors) recognize that excellent lawyers — you give them an inch and they will take a mile and make you pay for it,” said defense lawyer Jonathan Biran, a former Public Integrity Section prosecutor. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Prosecutors will have an opportunity to respond to the motions and perhaps recover whatever momentum was lost in the court of public opinion about the case.In the meantime, Menendez, who joined the Senate in 2006, has remained active in the chamber — including criticizing the nuclear deal with Iran — even as a case of enormous stakes with potential to upend his career slogs through the court system.The Menendez defense team is “going to do everything possible to win because basically, it’s life — political and otherwise — at stake here,” said Scott Fredericksen, a defense lawyer and former Justice Department prosecutor.___Associated Press writer David Porter in Newark, New Jersey, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Quick workouts for men New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “It’s going to be down and dirty. It’ll be bare knuckles, I’m sure,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s vaunted Public Integrity Section, which is handling the case. “From all appearances, it’s going to be a very aggressive defense.”The April indictment accuses Menendez of accepting campaign contributions and lavish gifts — including a Paris vacation, golf outings and trips to the Dominican Republic aboard a private jet — from a wealthy Florida eye doctor in exchange for political and business favors. Menendez, a Democrat, and the doctor, Salomon Melgen, were charged together in a 68-page indictment laden with headline-grabbing details about luxury entitlements and political negotiations. They have pleaded not guilty and maintain they are longtime friends who did nothing illegal.It’s not unusual for defendants to seek the dismissal of an indictment against them, and it’s possible the judge will turn aside each argument after prosecutors get their chance to respond next month. An earlier defense bid to get the trial moved from Newark to Washington was rejected.Even so, the breadth and ferocity of the Menendez defense team response has been striking, with more than a dozen motions totaling hundreds of pages that attack all aspects of the prosecution. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more