View Full Version : Trial of Sen. Pumpkinhead Menendez - updates

The Bobster
09-18-2017, 06:25 AM

Evidence Rulings Playing Key Role in Menendez Trial
By David Porter
Published 3 hours ago

While scenes of witnesses breaking down under cross-examination remain a staple of television dramas, criminal trials can be won or lost when the jury is out of the courtroom.

That's when lawyers do battle over what evidence they can present, which has been the case at the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob "Pumpkinhead" Menendez and a wealthy friend.

The judge's rulings have shaped what evidence jurors have heard - and, perhaps more important, what they haven't heard.

For instance, they didn't see an email from a Menendez staffer expressing dismay at Menendez's efforts to secure a visa for his friend's reputed girlfriend.

The New Jersey Democrat is charged with accepting bribes from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen are in exchange for lobbying for Melgen's personal and business interests. He has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing.

The Bobster
09-18-2017, 05:02 PM

Witness says Menendez lived large at Dominican resort
By Kaja Whitehouse
September 18, 2017 | 7:20pm

Robert "Pumpkinhead" Menendez’s stays at the luxurious Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic gave him access to white-sand beaches, a marina filled with expensive yachts and five golf courses, a resort executive testified Monday at the New Jersey senator’s corruption trial.

The seven-acre gated community on the Caribbean Sea also boasts the top-rated golf course in the Dominican Republic, six international restaurants, a security staff of 800, and access to elite sports like pheasant shooting, Andres Pichardo Rosenberg, the resort’s president, told a Newark federal jury.

“We import the eggs and cultivate them,” Rosenberg explained when the judge asked, somewhat incredulously, if there are pheasants in the island nation.

“You cultivate the eggs to shoot them?” the judge said in disbelief.

Rosenberg was called to the witness stand by Department of Justice prosecutors looking to prove that Menendez’s access to the resort was a bribe provided to him by his rich opthalmologist pal, Dr. Salomon Melgen, who owns a home in Casa de Campo.

Melgen, who bought the house for close to half a million in the 1990s, has denied that the home was a bribe, describing it as a modest getaway for the doctor and his close friends and family. :rolleyes:

But Rosenberg painted a picture of a tropical paradise with private white-sand beaches, shuttle service to a nearby island, access to a spa and a 240-room hotel for guests.

He said there are 1,850 private houses on the resort — some of which cost over $10 million. Rosenberg estimated that homes in Melgen’s neighborhood are worth up to $2.5 million.

Menendez, 63, is accused of accepting lavish gifts from Melgen, including stays at the villa and flights on private jets, in exchange for helping the married eye doctor with his affairs, including obtaining visas for his three foreign girlfriends and straightening out an $8.9 million tab for overbilling Medicare.

The feds on Monday also called to the stand an executive with the exclusive Tortuga Bay Hotel and Punta Cana Resort & Club to testify to the time in 2010 that Menendez stayed in a two-bedroom suite there with ocean views as a guest of Melgen and his wife, Flor.

That weekend, the cost of the $765-per-night suite was comped by the resort’s president because Melgen was attending his son’s wedding, the executive, Alberto Abreu told the jury. Still, he testified to documents showing that Melgen shelled out another $766 for other amenities, including golf, bars and restaurants.

A third witness told the jury that Melgen also shelled out $875 for a chauffeured car in the senator’s name in 2008.

Jeff Fralick, the general manager of car service company Carey International, said Melgen called for the SUV to pick up Menendez at 7:30 pm on Oct. 4, 2008 in Hoboken. The car, which was paid for by the hour, wasn’t returned for a whopping eight hours, he said.

Lawyers for Melgen and Menendez used credit card receipts to suggest to the jury that the car was used to pick up the senator and bring him to an upscale Chinese restaurant where Melgen was waiting for both him and the vehicle.

But Fralick said he knew nothing about how the car was used.

“I cant assume why he used the car,” Fralick said. “It just says he had the car for eight hours,” he said of Carey’s records.​