The judge leading the case of New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez — who has been charged with federal corruption — has taken a hardline stance against officials who have abused their authority for personal gains.
“We, the people of the United States, are sick and tired of political and public officials being on the take,” said Judge William Walls two years ago after he imposed a 70-month sentence on a Union County employee who confessed to stealing $120,000 from the county.
Menendez’s trial has altogether destabilized Senate Democrats who have expressed unfounded ire due to the New Jersey lawmaker’s case.
“The fate of a lot of important issues hang in the balance of what happens with this trial. Just look at the health care vote. What happens if he’s convicted? Can he hold out long enough for the next governor? The shift in one seat in New Jersey could have huge ramifications on a lot of issues nationally,” said the president of the New Jersey Sierra Club, Jeff Tittel.
KABOOOOOM !! Democrats caught w/ their pants down as Senator Bob Menendez Is Denied Reprieve to Cast Senate Votes !!
DEAD CARE WALKING !🚶🏽 pic.twitter.com/n1eZUiBLpW
— 💎STOCK MONSTER💎 (@StockMonsterUSA) August 24, 2017
Politico reported that Senator Menendez is looking at a serious time in prison if found guilty of all 12 counts of seemingly making favors for Florida doctor Salomon Melgen in return for luxurious vacations, flying with private planes, and campaign money.
Judge Walls has created quite the reputation for his dauntless statements.
“It’s unusual, I think, for a judge to speak so frankly and clearly to prosecutors in this way,” remarked defense attorney Robert Walker, an ex-prosecutor in the DOJ’s Public Integrity division — the same division that introduced the case against Menendez. “It’s certainly not inappropriate for him to do so, but it is not common.”
We shall remain to see how, if at all, Judge Walls’ traditionally strict sentences will affect Menendez’s team of lawyers, led by veteran lawyer Abbe Lowell.
“Would it make me nervous as an attorney?” said former prosecutor Walker, who is not partaking in Menendez’s trial.
“I don’t know if it would make me nervous, but you’d certainly have to take a hard look at it and say: what are the risks of this case, what are the likelihood of succeeding at trial, and if it looks like it’s going to be hard to succeed at trial, we’re going to face a judge who has a reputation as a tough sentencer in public corruption cases,” he added.
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