MSNBC: Menendez Can ‘Hang On’ to Senate Seat ‘Months’ After Corruption Conviction

Discussing the corruption trial of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, political analyst Steve Kornacki predicted that it would be “unlikely” for Governor Chris Christie to be able to name a Republican to replace the disgraced Democrat, even after a criminal conviction. Why? Because the Senator would simply “hang on” to the seat until a Democrat becomes the state’s new governor in January.

“Chris Christie’s term is up...he will be out of the office by the second week of January. So if you were to get a conviction of Menendez in the near-term future, the challenge for Menendez...is could he hang on for a couple months until a Democrat becomes governor of New Jersey?,” Kornacki wondered. He assured the show’s liberal panelists: “I’m almost sure he would do this and I’m almost sure Democrats in the Senate would have his back in doing this.”

 

 

Rather express outrage at a politician potentially clinging to power despite a bribery conviction, Kornacki instead eagerly cited “precedent” set by another corrupt New Jersey Democrat decades earlier:

To the extent there’s a precedent on this, and you can always find a precedent for anything, the last senator who was convicted of bribery was 36 years ago, in New Jersey, in the same Senate seat, Harrison Williams, he was convicted in April of ‘81. He actually resigned his seat in the spring of ‘82, he managed to hold on for a year. So if that’s a precedent at all, I think Democrats can get Menendez to hang on for a few months after a conviction.  

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A key factor in Menendez being able to “hang on” to his seat for “months” would be how much political pressure is brought to bear on him and the Democratic Party. That will only happen if the public at large is made aware of his corruption. Sadly, the liberal media have refused to touch the story. NBC and ABC have completely ignored the trial so far and CBS has only managed mere seconds of coverage.

Kornacki’s skewed analysis was brought to viewers by GE, USAA, and Raymond James.

Here is a transcript of the September 8 segment:

8:41 AM ET

(...)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And, Steve Kornacki, I’m sure Donald Trump would think it would be a lot more helpful if he had instead of 52 senators, Republican senators, perhaps 53. Could that happen in the next couple of weeks?

STEVE KORNACKI: Well, I think it’s unlikely. You’re talking about the situation with Bob Menendez from New Jersey, he’s on trial now for bribery. If you look at the weight of the evidence the prosecution’s put forward, certainly there is a very decent likelihood, probability maybe that Bob Menendez won’t be long for the U.S. Senate.

Obviously you have Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, who theoretically would make the appointment to replace Menendez. The issue is this though, it’s timing. Chris Christie’s term is up, his second term’s up, he’s – he can’t seek re-election, he will be out of the office by the second week of January. So if you were to get a conviction of Menendez in the near-term future, the challenge for Menendez – and I’m almost sure he would do this and I’m almost sure Democrats in the Senate would have his back in doing this – is could he hang on for a couple months until a Democrat becomes governor of New Jersey? Because the Democrat who’s running in New Jersey, you know, is 30-35 points ahead, it’s barely even a race in New Jersey.

To the extent there’s a precedent on this, and you can always find a precedent for anything, the last senator who was convicted of bribery was 36 years ago, in New Jersey, in the same Senate seat, Harrison Williams, he was convicted in April of ‘81. He actually resigned his seat in the spring of ‘82, he managed to hold on for a year. So if that’s a precedent at all, I think Democrats can get Menendez to hang on for a few months after a conviction.  

WILLIE GEIST: But you think it looks like he gets convicted at this point?

KORNACKI: Well, not being a legal expert, here’s the thing, the parallel that’s drawn here is the case with Bob McDonnell in Virginia. Now, McDonnell got convicted then got it tossed out because basically what the judge ruled in that case was you needed to have a clearer connection between the actions that the elected official took and the favors that were done. But in Menendez’s case, the volume of favors that were done is a lot bigger and the volume of actions that were taken is a lot bigger.

(...)


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