Senators, staff get approval to testify in Menendez corruption trial
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Current and former senators and staffers are getting formal approval to testify in Sen. Bob Menendez's (D-N.J.) upcoming corruption trial.

The Senate passed a resolution this week that would "authorize testimony, document production, and representation in United States of America v. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Spending bill faces Senate scramble Republicans raise concerns over Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany MORE, et al."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFive issues that will define the months until the midterms  Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE (R-Ky.) noted he was offering the resolution with the support of Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian MORE (D-N.Y.).

"Both the Department of Justice and Sen. Menendez are expected to seek trial testimony from members and Senate staff," McConnell said in a statement included in the Congressional Record, a daily rundown of Senate action.


A spokeswoman for Menendez noted that the resolution is "pro forma," or a matter of form.

"[It's] required should any employee of the Senate be asked to provide documents or testimony by government lawyers or senator's counsel. Authorizes such employee to do so and authorizes such employee to be represented by Senate legal counsel," said Tricia Enright, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Democrat, when asked about the resolution.

The resolution does not state whether any staffers or senators have been asked to testify, but only that the Senate will comply with any requests that would "promote the administration of justice."

"The Senate will take such action as will promote the ends of justice consistent with the privileges of the Senate," according to the resolution.

In addition to formally allowing current and former senators and staffers to testify, it also allows the Senate counsel to represent them.

Approval of the resolution comes as the Senate heads out of town for the August recess.

Menendez is expected to head to trial on Sept. 6, facing a potential criminal conviction after federal prosecutors charged him with 14 counts including conspiracy to commit bribery.

The Justice Department's probe alleges that Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist and political donor, bribed Menendez with gifts.

In return, prosecutors say Menendez helped Melgen obtain immigrant visas for his “foreign girlfriends” and was involved in a Medicare over-billing claim related to the doctor.

Menendez, who stepped down as ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee amid the legal fight, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is up for reelection next year and has signaled that he intends to run.