In response to the New Jersey jury’s inability to arrive at a verdict on the charges of corruption facing New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, Issue One Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy Meredith McGehee released the following statement:
“Today’s lack of a verdict is disappointing but not surprising given how the U.S. Supreme Court has gutted key anti-corruption laws in the last few years. This outcome lays directly at the feet of the Court’s findings in McDonnell v. United States. Sen. Menendez’s case is a roadmap for how donors and friends may continue to buy access and influence in Washington, whether through lending private jets, campaign contributions or bestowing other gifts.
Public officials are appropriately held to higher standards of ethics and accountability — and the jury’s indecision is a crushing blow to anyone who cares about the rule of law because Americans no longer recognize what should be a dictionary definition of graft.
Should the Justice Department decide not to reprosecute, it is up to the Senate Ethics Committee to resume its inquiry into Senator Menendez’s potential violations of Senate ethics rules that have come to light during the corruption trial. For example, court testimony revealed that Senator Menendez and his staff failed to disclose numerous trips on a donor’s private jet between 2006 and 2012, as required by Senate rules.”