Categories
CoronaVirus News

Judge rules Menendez’s prosecutors can’t show ‘critical’ evidence – Saved Web Pages Review


Judge rules Menendez’s prosecutors can’t show ‘critical’ evidence

posted at 11:08:48 UTC via politico.com

menendez-bribery-77169.jpg

Stein found the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause does not allow prosecutors to show jurors the evidence. The clause grants members of Congress a form of immunity that is mostly impenetrable in investigations relating to the official duties of lawmakers, their aides or other congressional officials.

Coincidentally, Stein based his order on a 1979 Supreme Court case about another New Jersey Democrat accused of corruption. In that case, the high court ruled the speech or debate clause barred prosecutors from introducing certain evidence against Rep. Henry Helstoski, who had been accused of accepting bribes.

Prosecutors had hoped to present the evidence in the Menendez case next week in the form of a summary of the years of text messages, phone records and other documents obtained during a multi-year investigation of the senator, his wife and various associates, including New Jersey business people accused of bribing him.

They wanted to show jurors two series of exhibits. First, 2019 text messages and phone records that allegedly show Menendez sought to assure bribers that he was not holding up military aid to Egypt after Egyptian officials heard he was. Second, a 2022 text message from Menendez’s wife about her husband having to sign off on military sales to Egypt, which prosecutors interpreted to mean she was signaling to “keep the bribes flowing.”

Citing the Helstoski case, Stein said “prior holds on foreign military assistance and prior sign-offs are precluded from coming in as evidence.”

Before the ruling, prosecutors called the evidence “critical” to parts of their case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

Menendez is also accused of taking other bribes to do other things, which are not immediately affected by Stein’s ruling.

So, while prosecutors can talk about alleged promises given in exchange for bribes, they can’t talk about legislative acts themselves.

Experts on the “speech or debate” protection for Congress have described this sometimes-awkward dynamic as a feature of the framers’ vision, not a bug. It is rooted in their desire to prevent members of Congress from being intimidated or coerced by the threat of prosecution from the Executive Branch. Punishing members for their official acts, therefore, can be extremely complicated — by design. This dynamic has frustrated several prosecutions of members of Congress, however, it has not precluded them altogether.

Unlike executive privilege, which shields a president’s private communication, or attorney-client privilege, the speech or debate protection is actually written into the Constitution, making it a far more absolute protection than the others. And though the text only explicitly protects their remarks on the House or Senate floor, it has long been interpreted by the Supreme Court to extend to any acts that are part “integral” to the legislative process.

Other recent battles over the issue have included a fight over the FBI’s seizure of Rep. Scott Perry’s cell phone — part of the investigation into Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election. The ensuing legal fight resulted in the first-ever ruling that members’ personal cell phones are covered by the speech or debate clause. That, the court ruled, was a natural extension of perhaps the most significant ruling of its kind — a 2007 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals forcing prosecutors to return some documents seized from the congressional office then-Rep. William Jefferson.

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

U.S. Attorney General Garland announces lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, in Washington
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announces an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno Purchase Licensing Rights, opens new tab
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday called former President Donald Trump’s claims that the FBI was authorized to shoot him during its 2022 search of his Florida club “false” and “extremely dangerous.”

Garland told reporters that Trump and some of his allies were referring to a “standard operations plan” that limits when agents can use lethal force while executing search warrants.

The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August 2022 to retrieve classified material that he retained after leaving office. Agents found a slew of records that led to one of the four criminal prosecutions Trump currently faces.

Ahead of the search the FBI drafted a policy statement, which was made public this week, that authorized law enforcement to use deadly force only if an officer or another person was under immediate threat. Trump was not present when the search took place.

Trump, the Republican challenger to Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election, has falsely claimed in fundraising messages sent by his campaign this week that the FBI was authorized to attempt an assassination.

“BREAKING FROM TRUMP: BIDEN’S DOJ WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME!” read one e-mail, titled “I nearly escaped death.”

“It’s just been revealed that Biden’s DOJ was authorized to use DEADLY FORCE for their DESPICABLE raid in Mar-a-Lago.”

Garland, who oversees the FBI as attorney general, said such policies are routine and were also in effect during consensual searches of Biden’s homes conducted by the FBI in a separate classified documents investigation.

“That allegation is false and it’s extremely dangerous,” Garland told reporters during a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the concert promoter Live Nation.

The use-of-force document was among hundreds of pages of records unsealed this week in the criminal case accusing Trump of unlawfully retaining sensitive government documents after leaving the White House in 2021. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

His defense team is seeking to suppress evidence seized during the search, arguing that it violated Trump’s rights under the U.S. Constitution.

FBI agents seized about 100 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago during the court-authorized search, which came after Trump thwarted government demands to return the documents, according to prosecutors.

Sign up here.

Reporting by Andrew Goudsward, additional reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Scott Malone and Chizu Nomiyama

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles., opens new tab

___________________________________________

Saved Web Pages Review – The News And Times – TheNewsAndTimes.com

Stein found the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause does not allow prosecutors to show jurors the evidence. The clause grants members of Congress a form of immunity that is mostly impenetrable in investigations relating to the official duties of lawmakers, their aides or other congressional officials. Coincidentally, Stein based his order on…
posted 3m ago via politico.com
 

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announces an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno Purchase Licensing Rights, opens new tabWASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday called former President…
posted 22h ago via reuters.com
 

U.S.WorldBusinessArtsLifestyleOpinionAudioGamesCookingWirecutterThe AthleticSKIP ADVERTISEMENTCredit…AFP/Getty ImagesBy John GhazvinianThe uncertainty ushered in by the death of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in a helicopter crash, just weeks after an unprecedented exchange of military attacks with Israel, has brought a chilling question to mind:…
posted 22h ago via nytimes.com
 

It began last month with the arrest of a Russian deputy defense minister. Then the head of the ministry’s personnel directorate was hauled into court. This week, two more senior military officials were detained. All face charges of corruption, which they have denied.The arrests began after President Vladimir Putin began his fifth term and shuffled…
posted 1d ago via apnews.com
 

Haaretz | Israel NewsAnalysis | Ebrahim Raisi’s crash: Neither Israel’s political leaders nor agencies like the Mossad would dare consider assassinating a foreign leader, not even of an enemy state like IranGet email notification for articles from Yossi Melman FollowMay 20, 2024Get email notification for articles from Yossi Melman FollowThe death…
posted 1d ago via haaretz.com
 

En cette période très troublée en Nouvelle-Calédonie, le groupe d’amitié France-Azerbaïdjan de l’Assemblée nationale fait profil bas. Un seul député y siégeant a trouvé le temps de répondre à nos questions. « Nous avons de grandes sociétés françaises qui travaillent en Azerbaïdjan, avance André Villiers, député Horizons de l’Yonne. Les intérêts français…
posted 1d ago via lepoint.fr
 

Former FBI Director James Comey By Steve Neavling Former FBI Director James Comey warned Tuesday that Donald Trump “is coming” for the FBI and Justice Department.  In an interview with MSNBC, Comey was asked about the implications for the bureau if Trump is elected to a second term.  “Serious for the Justice Department and the FBI, because Trump…
posted 1d ago via ticklethewire.com
 

A deputy chief of the Russian military general staff has been arrested on charges of large-scale bribery, Russian news reports said Thursday, the latest in a series of bribery arrests of high-ranking military officials.The arrest of Lt. Gen. Vadim Shamarin followed the arrest this week of Maj. Gen. Ivan Popov, a former top commander in Russia’s offensive…
posted 1d ago via nbcnews.com
 

The deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and head of its Main Directorate of Communications Vadim Shamarin has been detained on charges of “large-scale bribery”, Russian business news outlet RBC reported on Thursday morning. Russian business daily Kommersant first reported Shamarin’s detention, citing a source…
posted 2d ago via novayagazeta.eu
 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held the service at Tehran University, the caskets of the dead draped in Iranian flags with their pictures on them. Khamenei was joined by senior figures from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and the leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh. Following Khamenei’s service the coffins were loaded onto a semi-truck and a procession was held…
posted 2d ago via apnews.com
 

Iranians gather at Valiasr Square in central Tehran on May 20 to mourn the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others in a helicopter crash the previous day. …
posted 3d ago via npr.org
 
Skip to contentSkip to site indexThe deaths of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, and foreign minister leave the country without two influential leaders at a particularly tumultuous moment of international tension and domestic discontent, although analysts and regional officials expect little change in Iran’s foreign or domestic policies.Mr. Raisi, 63,…
posted 4d ago via nytimes.com
 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other officials died in a helicopter crash Sunday near Iran’s northern border with Azerbaijan, Iranian state media said Monday morning.The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters returning from an event inaugurating a joint dam project when it crashed in heavy…
posted 4d ago via abcnews.go.com
 

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in northern Iran has shaken the world and led to wide speculation about the circumstances.The helicopter transporting Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tabriz Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, East Azerbaijan Governor General Malek Rahmati…
posted 4d ago via newsweek.com
 

Show key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featureShow key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featurePeter BeaumontIran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, who is missing in Iran’s mountains after a helicopter crash near the border with Azerbaijan, is a hardliner who was instrumental in the last few years in steering Iran back towards…
posted 5d ago via theguardian.com
 

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene (AP)A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene.Iran’s interior minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed to state TV that one of the helicopters…
posted 5d ago via independent.co.uk
 

NEWS 19 May 202412:00 Ceremony to commission “Khudafarin” hydroelectric complex and inaugurate “Giz Galasi” hydroelectric complex was held with participation of Azerbaijani and Iranian Presidents NEWS Meetings 19 May 202411:00 Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran met in the presence of delegations 19 May 2024, 11:00 NEWS Events…
posted 5d ago via president.az
 

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, met on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran, Azernews reports. The heads of state had a conversation held in a sincere atmosphere. — Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz…
posted 5d ago via azernews.az
 

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, held a meeting on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran.
posted 5d ago via video.azertag.az
 
The News And Times Information Network – Blogs By Michael Novakhov – thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com