The federal corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez resumed Monday after a judge rejected a motion by the defense to dismiss the case based on a major Supreme Court decision last year that overturned the corruption conviction against a former Virginia governor.
“We are going to the jury,” Judge William H. Walls said, after reading a lengthy opinion in a courtroom here with the jurors out of the room.
Judge Walls had suggested last week that the Supreme Court decision might limit the “stream of benefits” theory of bribery, which is important to the Menendez case and holds that a bribe can occur if a person offers something of value to another person as a retainer, expecting favors over time, rather than a more straightforward quid pro quo exchange.
But on Monday, Judge Walls said that the ruling, which reversed the conviction of the former Gov. Bob McDonnell, did not eliminate the theory, in part because there was no explicit mention of the term in the high court’s decision.
“I see nothing in McDonnell that attacks the stream of benefits theory,” he said, adding later that in his view, the Supreme Court would not have made such a major ruling without explicitly making a finding about the theory.