Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal from Sen. Menendez

US top court rejects US senator's bid to escape corruption case

The nation's highest court denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed by Menendez, who.

Updated to include comments from Menendez's attorney.

The Constitution says members of Congress can't be held to account "for any speech or debate in either house".

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from New Jersey Sen.

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A federal appeals court said that issue should be argued in front of a jury. The New Jersey Democrat is also accused of advocating for Melgen's financial interests in a contract dispute between a private company and the Dominican Republic and in a Medicare billing dispute at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not guilty, and the senator called the case an attempt to prosecute over the men's 20-year friendship. Melgen's Medicare fraud trial is now underway in Florida.

In its ruling a year ago, the appellate court said the question of whether Menendez deserved constitutional immunity turned on whether five specific actions for Melgen were "inherently legislative", as the senator claimed. Bob Menendez's request to review his federal corruption case, clearing the way for his trial to move forward in September.

The justices left in place a lower court's refusal to dismiss a corruption indictment against Mendendez, who had argued that a provision in the U.S. Constitution shielded him from prosecution.

Menendez faces charges that he accepted bribes worth nearly a million dollars and that he used his office to help his friend, Florida doctor Salomon Melgen. The underlying case is U.S. v. Menendez, 15-cr-00155, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

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