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How cocky Bob Menendez may pay for his hubris with a retrial and jail

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How cocky Bob Menendez may pay for his hubris with a retrial and jail

Robert Menendez, the senior New Jersey senator, will be retried on federal corruption charges, according to government correspondence filed in federal district court Friday.

Menendez was tried but a hung jury failed to reach a verdict after a two month long trial last fall. All but two jurors voted to acquit Menendez on all charges.

The senior senator walked out of court, proclaiming both his vindication and his intent on vengeance towards those who had written his political epitaph.

The first was incorrect. The second was an indiscretion of alarming magnitude that may cost Menendez his freedom.

A hung jury is not a vindication. It may indicate weaknesses in the government’s case, but it also allows the government to learn from its mistakes. A retrial is not a replay; the case can be repackaged and changed in terms of style (but not substance). Jury selection may be handled differently. Also, a different judge may rule differently on various issues.

Instead, Menendez all but did the Riverdance jig out of Newark federal court two months ago, acting as if he’d been acquitted, exonerated.

Ummmm, not so fast.

Not good was that he made a public spectacle of it, when it wasn’t even true.

And then, even worse was his vowing retribution on political opponents. Outside the courthouse, after the hung trial was declared, Menendez warned adversaries that, “I know who you are” in the most thinly veiled threat this side of Nucky Johnson and Tony Soprano.

I don’t believe the Trump Administration Justice Department had a political animus towards Menendez.

But his false public exoneration claim and mafia-style vow of vengeance, as indiscreet (if not tragic for their hubris) as they were entertaining, probably invited a reexamination of the merits of his prosecution. And this time, that view may have been tipped away from his favor and towards needing to show the public that hubris by elected leaders accused of public corruption cannot go unpunished.

Had Menendez been the contrite “church mouse” and said nothing, he might not have been retried. We may never know.

We do know that his retrial will likely be scheduled soon, and during his reelection year. He faces a November reelection, but an April 2nd petition filing deadline. The party primaries are the first Tuesday in June.

His legal uncertainty, the legal deadlines and the rarity of open Senate seats all mean that ambitious Democrats must look at challenging him. (The Republican Party, of near irrelevance after eight years of wallowing in Chris Christie’s shadow, will have a few challengers to vie for the race, more to establish name recognition for future races than to actually win in November 2018.)

Another item to note is that Menendez was not exactly a progressive beacon in the Senate. He was a strong Hillary backer. In a Democratic Party increasingly rushing towards overt Socialism, a vulnerable Menendez already might have faced a progressive challenger. Now, it’s nearly certain he will see a Bernie Sanders-style “progressive” entertain a primary challenge.

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Democrats

2020 hopefuls lurching leftward to appeal to radical progressive base

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2020 hopefuls lurching leftward to appeal to radical progressive base

The great primary evolution is already starting. We saw it in 2016 as every Republican candidate tried to “evolve” their views to cater to the conservative base. No evolution was more striking than candidate Trump’s, who went from supporting gun bans and partial birth abortion as a younger man to being one of the most conservative candidates during the primaries.

We’re seeing it now with the Democratic candidates and potential candidates as they try to plant their ideological flags as far to the left as possible. Former Trump pollster John Mclaughlin gave his opinion on the leftward lurch of the field, focusing on Elizabeth Warren, Cory “Spartacus” Booker, and Kamala Harris. Each has attempted to paint themselves as the radical progressive the primary-voting base desires. All of them were much more moderate in the past. Warren was even a Republican in the 1990s.

The thing that makes this trend most disturbing is that the “far left” of the past is nothing compared to the radical progressivism of today’s Democratic base. By the time the primaries really heat up, most if not all will be full-blown socialists.


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Democrats

Pirro: Democrats putting politics over people

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Pirro Democrats putting politics over people

Following President Trump’s speech to America with his compromise offer to Democrats to secure the border and end the government shutdown, Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro was in rare form as she went after Democrats for instantly rejecting the proposal. Her biggest target was Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The President has requested funds in order to build a small portion of the border wall, render humanitarian assistance, improve drug detection technology, and hire 2,750 additional border patrol agents and 75 immigration judge teams. In exchange, he’s offering three years of extended protection for DACA recipients and those with Temporary Protected Status.

Here was her response:

My Take

There are many conservatives who are against the proposal. Under normal circumstances, I would be as well. But we’re approaching a full month of the government shutdown. Enough is enough.


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Democrats

Will Democrats abandon Dreamers over the political ploy of the border wall?

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Will Democrats abandon Dreamers over the political ploy of the border wall

The ball is back in the Democrats’ court. Some may say it’s been there the whole time. I do. Unfortunately, most Americans have bought into the leftist media narrative that the President is forcing the government shutdown to continue by not negotiating despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Nevertheless, the President has decided to make his compromise public. He took to national television to offer three years worth of protection to Dreamers.

Trump’s immigration offer brings polarized reactions from Dems and GOP

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trumps-immigration-offer-brings-polarized-reactions-from-dems-and-gopPresident Trump’s immigration compromise package to end the partial government shutdown drew sharp reactions from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.

In a televised White House address Saturday, Trump offered Democrats a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, in exchange for the $5.7 billion to fund a barrier along the southern border with Mexico.

The Democrats’ responses were predictable. They don’t want any deal that includes the border wall because they realize if they can keep the wall from going forward, it harms the President’s chances for reelection in 2020.

Period.

This has never been about helping immigrants. Democrats are willing to harm both Dreamers and 800,000 Americans hurt by the shutdown in order to make the President look bad for 2020. They’re a disgrace to our nation’s government. Build the wall.


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