Judge tells Menendez’ lawyer to ‘shut up’

first_img ×U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is being tried for corruption. But defense attorneys claim this is an assault on the Hispanic Community U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is being tried for corruption. But defense attorneys claim this is an assault on the Hispanic Community NEWARK – During a heated debate on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls told a lawyer for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez to “shut up for a moment.” This came shortly after the trial began on Aug. 6, when defense attorney Raymond Brown chastised Walls for not allowing Menendez time off from the trial to vote in the Senate.According to press accounts from the trial, Brown appeared to be questioning the judge’s motives, to which Wall replied this was a defense effort to raise doubts in the jury about Wall’s intentions.Meanwhile, Kirk Ogrosky, the lead attorney for Dominican-born Florida eye doctor and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, claimed the trial was an attack on the Hispanic-American Community.Menendez has been charged with corruption for accepting gifts from Melgen, which prosecutors claim resulted in Menendez’s intervening on Melgen’s behalf on several issues, including Medicaid reimbursements as well clearing legal hurtles for a Melgen-owned business.The prosecution in its opening statement referred to “official acts” it claims Menendez allegedly took on Melgen’s behalf. The distinction is important because a pertinent U.S. Supreme Court ruling exonerating a Virginia official accusing of similar offenses held that in the absence of “official acts” tied to the alleged bribes no crime had been committed.Ogrosky in his defense opening denied that there was a corrupt agreement, and that the government had no witnesses, email, text messages to show there was.The trail is expected to continue into next week.last_img

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