August 24, 2017

Robert Menendez’s Corruption Trial Causing Big Problems For Senate Democrats

While the Menendez corruption trial is the most problematic for Robert Menendez, it’s also creating huge, ancillary issues for many other Senate Democrats. Yesterday, Judge William H. Walls denied Senator Menendez’s request to postpone his trial. That means when Senator Menendez’s trial starts, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will likely be missing one Democratic vote during the critical September Senate session:

“When the 115th Congress returns to Washington on Sept. 5, Senator Robert Menendez will likely be absent: His federal corruption trial is set to begin here the following day. But when the Senate moves to vote on major bills during the fall – including on the debt ceiling, his plan to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program, even an unpredictable major foreign policy decision – Senator Menendez will be caught between his desire to remain in front of jurors and his congressional obligation to fight for his constituents.”

Senator Menendez’s trial is also creating problems for vulnerable 2018 Democrats, like Senator Jon Tester. As Talking Points Memo pointed out today, Senator Menendez gave Senator Tester a big campaign contribution this year. That means if Senator Menendez is convicted, Senator Tester will pay a big political price, too. Pretty soon, Senator Menendez’s political problems will have infected the whole Senate Democratic Conference.