Corruption trial for Democrat Senator could make their obstruction more difficult
The upcoming bribery trial for New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez could have damaging consequences for his party whether or not he's convicted, by sidelining him from Congress just as Democrats gear up to fight the Trump agenda.The trial will also be a reminder of Democrats' flaws when it comes to integrity, at a time when they are trying to attack Trump.
The senator is now pleading with a federal judge to alter the trial schedule on certain days so he can return to Washington to vote.
So far, however, the court has rejected these requests, which the Trump Justice Department has decried as a bid for "special treatment."
The timing of the trial, set to begin Sept. 6, is critical. It would fall as Congress returns from the August recess and Republicans prepare to vote on President Trump’s legislative agenda -- potentially covering everything from tax reform to health care to the budget and debt ceiling.
Neither party can afford to lose a single member from the Senate floor. Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority, and it’s possible the absence of a single reliable Democratic vote could tip the balance on key votes this fall, including possibly another attempt at repealing President Obama’s health care law.