Sen. Menendez alleges feds ‘zeal to get back’ at him motivated ‘illegal searches’


U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) alleges that the federal government’s “zeal to get back” at him led to “illegal searches” and seizures at his home in a memorandum of law in support of his motion to suppress search warrant returns.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The government’s apparent zeal to ‘get back’ at Senator Menendez for defeating its prior prosecution has overwhelmed its sound judgment. As set forth in prior motions, the government crafted an Indictment that trespasses on the Constitution’s protections of federal legislators, among other defects,” wrote attorneys Adam Fee, Avi Weitzman, and Yaakov Roth.

” … Specifically, several of the government’s search warrants were riddled with material misrepresentations and omissions that deceived the authorizing magistrate judge and now require an evidentiary Franks hearing. Other search warrants were overbroad and unparticularized ‘general warrants’ that permitted the government to rummage through the Senator’s personal life going back years before the conduct at issue. The government’s overreach now requires judicial intervention.”

The criminal defense team for New Jersey’s senior senator continued that more than 20 search warrants were obtained in the case, which totaled over 5,000 pages when coupled with their supporting affidavits.

This included searches of his home, cell phones, emails, and iCloud account, with several warrants obtained by misrepresenting evidence and withholding key information.

For example, the court filing indicates Menendez’s email and iCloud accounts were able to be search after a recorded conversation between a confidential sources and an associate linked him to a bribery scheme.

This section is the first of the filing that’s redacted, a trend that continues when claiming that a June 16th FBI search of his home came only after “the government intentionally or recklessly omitted disclosure of substantial exculpatory.”

The redactions make it impossible to deduce what instances the criminal defense team is referencing in either instance.

“The problems with the government’s search warrant applications are not limited to misrepresentations and omissions. Two of the warrants were facially overbroad and authorized unconstitutional ‘general warrants,'” the filing says.

“More specifically, warrants to search both the Senator’s cellphone and his email address and iCloud account permitted the FBI to undertake an “exploratory rummaging” through the Senator’s phone records, emails, text messages, and personal digital belongings without adequate limitations as to the scope of the search, and without even any limitation as to date. This is precisely what the Fourth Amendment prohibits.”

The attorneys further state that noting uncovered in the “illegal searches,” which includes gold bars and cash, does not implicate Menendez in any of the bribery schemes he’s charged in.

In further explaining the details of why the warrants were obtained either improperly or illegally, the court document continues to be heavily redacted, meaning that details are scarce.

” … If the conversation between Associate-1 and the CS were properly reported, there would have been no basis at all for probable cause to search the Senator’s email and iCloud account, as well as the Senator’s home,” the attorneys contend.

” … Agent Corkery must have had the transcript of the conversation between the CS and Associate-1 in preparing her affidavits—she purported to summarize it. Yet, by mischaracterizing what Associate-1 actually said, Agent Corkery abandoned her duty of candor and created a false impression of criminality. This was, at minimum, a reckless disregard for the truth.”

The filing concludes that “the FBI ran roughshod” over Menendez’s constitutional rights, therefore, the evidence obtained through the five warrants in question should either be dismissed, or at a minimum, examined further at a future court hearing.

This is the third filing from the senator’s lawyers in the case, previously filing two motions to dismiss: the first asserting that Menendez engaged in constitutionally protected conduct and the second asking for his wife Nadine to have her case separated.

Menendez has been indicted three times by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York since late September, initially accused of accepting cash, gold bars, and a car, among other things, in exchange for his influence.

A superseding indictment in October accused him of acting as a foreign agent to Egypt, with a subsequent superseding indictment earlier this month alleging that he accepted bribes from developer Fred Daibes to help facilitate Qatar dealings.

Menendez has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has a trial date set for May 6th, about a month before the June 4th primary.

He has not yet indicated whether or not he will seek re-election, with First Lady Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy (D), and U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3), already raising millions for the contest.  The filing deadline for the primary is March 25th.

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  1. I can’t stand this guy. Menendez is as dirty as they come. Who keeps 400k in cash and 6 figures worth of gold in their home for “emergencies”??? And just look at all the Hudson County politicians still backing him anyway!!!

  2. While your 2nd sentence is spot-on, your concluding sentence indicates you are willfully misinformed. The last time I checked, the only Hudson County Politician still backing Senator Menendez is his son, Congressman Robert Menendez, Jr. Facts matter.