Bob Menendez says he worried government would take his money — meaning the Democrats?

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In his protection of bribery allegations, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) argues he’s simply your tio loco, who doesn’t belief banks and prefers a Serta Good to Morgan Stanley to carry his cash.

Name it the “mattress protection.”

Wads of money and gold bars had been discovered within the Menendez residence.

However the senator insisted that he was simply being an “old school” Cuban who feared that the federal government may confiscate his property at any second.

It’s a curious protection.

He’s claiming that he has been squirreling away cash for years as a hedge in opposition to an authoritarian crackdown — of which his Democratic Celebration is in management, and he’s one in all its most senior senators.

So he’s fearful President Biden goes to seize his gold bars?

It’s hardly a roaring endorsement of our system.

Menendez declared: “For 30 years, I’ve withdrawn hundreds of {dollars} in money from my private financial savings account, which I’ve saved for emergencies, and due to the historical past of my household going through confiscation in Cuba. Now this may increasingly appear old school, however these had been monies drawn from my private financial savings account.”

Menendez was born in america to Cuban immigrants who fled the island in 1953. 

What’s hanging is that Menendez locked on this protection inside every week of the indictment.

There isn’t any strolling again, since this press convention might be admitted as proof at trial.

It’s an evidence that’s extremely unlikely to persuade a jury as a complete.

There’s proof, from fingerprints to DNA, connecting the senator and his spouse, Nadine, to cash handed over by co-conspirators.

There are additionally damning emails and messages.

In a single such message in March 2020, Nadine allegedly informed an Egyptian official, “Anytime you want something you’ve gotten my quantity and we are going to make all the things occur.” 

That’s what is so telling about Menendez’s press convention.

It’s a protection that appears crafted not for acquittal however a hung jury.

Six years in the past, he was saved by a hung jury in a previous bribery trial. 

This may very well be a pitch for a similar outcome.

He simply wants to attach with one juror to outlive to grift one other day.

It might be working. Within the chatter that adopted in New Jersey, some shortly affirmed that this was a “Cuban factor.” 

One voter in Union Metropolis informed CBS Information, “The half concerning the cash I do perceive as a result of as a Cuban we’re used to placing … we don’t belief the federal government. We got here from a really darkish place in Cuba beneath a horrible regime.”

In fact, nobody is aware of the “darkish locations” as a lot as Bob Menendez.

He has dwelled and thrived in these locations for many years.

In the meantime, the suggestion of a resignation is unlikely to enchantment to Menendez.

Why quit the leverage of a seat in a intently divided Senate?

With numerous Democrats calling for his resignation, Menendez is hardly being refined concerning the risk he may pose.

He may run as a third-party candidate and doubtlessly lose a seat that the Democrats have lengthy handled as a assured win.

Within the meantime, he continues to attract a big wage and might use Senate enterprise to argue for delays and lodging within the court docket proceedings.  

In his press convention, Menendez promised to remain his course “regardless of the naysayers and everybody who has underestimated me.”

It’s definitely by no means good to underestimate Bob Menendez relating to the “darkish locations” of American politics.

Jonathan Turley is an legal professional and professor at George Washington College Legislation Faculty.

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