Editorial: Big Democrat indicted

While the media is intently concentrating on former President Donald Trump’s 91-count indictments, the Biden family has been shown considerably more leniency in their legal difficulties.

Now, comes word New Jersey U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D), and his wife, have been charged with bribery, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, including cash, gold bars, home mortgage payments, a luxury vehicle, and other items of value.

The Menendez couple are looking at three felony counts each.  Hardly worth mentioning when compared to Trump’s lengthy list of infractions.  Then again, Trump didn’t take any bribes, cash, fancy cars, or gold bars.

Certainly, unlike President Joe, there’s no record of Trump receiving payments from foreign governments or influential business tycoons. 

Supposedly, Trump did move classified documents to his home in Florida.

So did doddering Uncle Joe.  He kept the records in his Delaware’s home garage, next to his prized ’67 Corvette.  Also, at his University of Pennsylvania office, and a couple of other places.

During this time, he wasn’t president and had no lawful authority to carry away the papers.

Apparently, when Joe takes things it’s no big deal.  Probably, he didn’t realize what he was doing.  A little different situation, and DOJ reaction, when Trump did it.

Squads of armed FBI agents stormed Trump’s Florida home, looking for purloined documents and records.  They found them, exactly where Trump previously said they were — in a locked room.

Also, in addition to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club security, his Secret Service detail is also present.  I would guess the much sought-after documents were safe.

With the attention on Sen. Menendez’s bribery allegations, it’ll be interesting to see if his case will be handled differently by Biden’s Department of Justice.

Joe’s son Hunter, has been accused of firearms violations.  Old charges that my eventually be dismissed due to a lack of interest. Plus, the fact Daddy Joe is President, and head executive over the Department of Justice. 

Hunter falsified a firearms background application; bought a pistol under the pretense he was legally able to do so — in spite of having a known drug addiction — and eventually tossed the gun into a trash dumpster, close to a public school.

Not exactly the behavior of a rational individual.

The gun was recovered and traced to Hunter.  No doubt about this.  Prosecutors and defense attorneys don’t dispute the facts.  A prior plea deal fell apart when the judge discovered there were unusual requests included within the plea that were not relevant to the case.

Basically, Hunter’s defense team was caught by the judge trying to “pull a fast one.” 

According to Newsmax, Sept. 22, 2023, Menendez and his wife are charged with, “Conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.” 

Sounds serious, if you can figure what all that really means.

Federal prosecutors are also seeking to obtain assets from Menendez, “including his New Jersey home, a 2019 Mercedes-Benz, and about $566,000 in cash, gold bars, and funds from a bank account.”  All, “gifts” from various contributors.

Suppose, “Bidenomics” was eating into Bob’s cash bribes, so he decided to switch to gold as a hedge against inflation.

In total, maybe close to a million dollars.  Interestingly, the three gold bars are one kilo each.  A kilo — kilogram — is 2.2 pounds.  Three kilo gold bars equal 6.6 pounds of gold.  One kilo gold bar cost $62,289.62 (spot gold price of a kilo of gold on Sept. 22).  The cost of three kilo gold bars would be $186,868.86. 

Not too shabby for something weighing about the same as a gallon of milk.

Of course, we all know every Democrat is “presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

So is Trump, but you wouldn’t know it by the media coverage.  The constant 24-hour haranguing — for nearly seven years — has to be some kind of record in the convoluted world of U.S. politics.

I’m uncertain if there’s a Guiness Book of Records category for such an endeavor, but there should be.

This isn’t the first time Menendez has tangled with the DOJ.

About six years ago — 2017 — he went through a 10-week trial on similar bribery allegations.

In spite of evidence and witness testimony, the jury couldn’t reach a decision and deadlocked.  Menendez walked.

Now, he and his wife are about to go through the whole rigmarole again.  However, busting a suspect is one thing — getting a guilty verdict is another.

Hoping to avoid conviction, Menendez rehired attorney Abbe Lowell, his counsel in the 2017 trial.  
Attorney Lowell is a busy guy.  He also represents Hunter Biden in his firearms predicament.  

The Trump, Menendez, Biden cases will be a good test to see if our justice system still has some integrity.  Can an ex-president, with an unheard of four indictments and 91 separate charges — and the leading Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election — receive the same due process as a Democrat U.S. senator with only three bribery counts, and the current president’s son on a gun charge? 

Guess we’ll see if unexplained piles of cash, cars and gold bars lying around the house are as incriminating as shouts of “insurrection” and allegedly trying to change election results.  Or, if Hunter’s messed-up gun antics can be properly prosecuted by his dad’s Department of Justice.

Remember, everyone’s entitled to a fair trial.

Sounds high minded, but will the definition of “fair” be actually applied in all three situations?

Or, does a two-tier/double standard system of justice now prevail in our national government — one for the D’s, and one for the R’s and I’s? 

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.