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Editorial

Rays of Hope for Bob Menendez

At first glance, the government’s evidence in the trial against Senator Bob Menendez seems to leave little room for optimism. They say they found hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, a luxury car, etc., at his home. Where did he get them from? Every well-meaning person wonders. These pieces of evidence – and many more – have ‘put on ice’ the Senator’s friends, including us. Even more so, considering this is his second trial for corruption.

Of course, The National Herald has a duty to inform its readers about the progress of this case which is deeply distressing for us. However, perhaps – just perhaps – a decision by the judge gives some rays of hope regarding its outcome. The judge has prohibited the prosecutors from presenting certain evidence, the exclusion of which from the knowledge of the jurors may weaken the government’s case against the senator.

Specifically, the judge’s decision concerns the protection offered by the Constitution to members of Congress under the ‘Speech or Debate’ clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the government from presenting information about legislative acts they perform while in office. Specifically, Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution states that “for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”

The judge ruled that certain electronic communications regarding whether the government has stopped or should resume billions in aid to Egypt will be excluded from the evidence against Menendez.

Of course, the judge will allow the government to present many other critical pieces of evidence. That’s why this case is not easy. But as we have often said: Innocent until proven guilty.

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