WMAL Interview - PHIL KERPEN - 11.17.17

Nov 17, 2017, 07:02 PM

INTERVIEW – PHIL KERPEN – president of American Commitment – analyze Menendez mistrial

Federal judge declares mistrial in Menendez’s corruption case. A federal judge in New Jersey today declared a mistrial in the corruption case of Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., after the jury indicated it was deadlocked on all counts. “We have each tried to look at this case from different viewpoints, but still feel strongly in our positions, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions,” jurors told U.S. District Judge William Walls when he polled them in his chambers. The judge had earlier indicated he would not seek a partial verdict. New Jersey Sen. Menendez bribery trial begins, with possible implications for Washington
How Bob Menendez’s friends helped him steer clear of jail. (NY Post/Phil Kerpen) –  ‘Gifts to cultivate friendship are not bribes,” Abbe Lowell said in his closing in defense of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez — and enough jurors agreed to result in a hung jury and a mistrial. The Biz Markie defense — he’s just a friend — worked. Lowell was worth every penny of the $4.5 million raised and spent by Menendez’s legal defense trust. But the hung jury doesn’t change the facts: Menendez’s co-defendant Salomon Melgen left the courtroom and went back to jail, where he is awaiting sentencing on 67 counts of Medicare fraud. Menendez enjoyed ready access to Melgen’s private jets and luxury resorts financed by that Medicare fraud — and the New Jersey senator went all the way up the chain to the secretary of Health and Human Services to keep the money flowing. He got visas for Melgen’s supermodel girlfriends and he tried to steer a lucrative port-security contract to the eye doctor who had no security background. Customs and Border Protection official Stephanie Talton testified that she found it “odd” Menendez would “ask us to stop our law-enforcement mission.” Lavish gifts are sometimes used to cultivate friendships with sitting senators, it turns out, and once that friendship is cultivated, the senator is apt to do such friendly things.