Aidan P. O’Connor Quoted in New Jersey Law Journal Regarding Reports of Investigation of Sen. Robert Menendez
Aidan P. O’Connor, Partner and Co-Chair of the Criminal Defense and Investigations practice groups at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal article, “’That’s Not Enough’: Feds Must Overcome Narrower Definition of Corruption in Sen. Menendez Investigation.” The article discusses reports of a new investigation into Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, including McDonnell v. United States, which narrowed the definition of corruption.
“It’s tougher than it was before the McDonnell case, in the sense that [prosecutors] have to really draw that connection. There can’t just be the inference that you got something so you must have done something wrong. They have to really draw the line between the alleged bribe and the alleged benefit,” said Aidan O’Connor, a criminal defense attorney at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden and a former federal prosecutor.
In the case leading to the 2017 trial, Menendez was accused of taking steps to aid the businesses of Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, while accepting luxury trips and other gifts from him. The long-running friendship between Menendez and Melgen made the criminal case more complicated, said O’Connor.
O’Connor said it was “overreaching” when the government brought a corruption case involving parties who have a long-term friendship.
“It’s really the ones that are on the edge that the government is going to have a hard time with. The ones that are clear-cut, it will still be able to bring those cases,” O’Connor said.
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