On Monday, a district court judge confirmed what many of us already know: Super PAC contributions can be considered bribes. Four corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and his donor, Salomon Melgen, were dismissed but the judge denied motions to throw out other charges, including the senator’s solicitation of contributions from a Super PAC in exchange for official acts.
Senator Menendez’s lawyers requested that the court dismiss the charges based on the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United and 2013 McCutcheon decisions. Both cases “redefined corruption as only explicit bribery, excluding influence and access”, which under such definition would provide protections to all efforts used to influence officials, including campaign contributions.
The case takes on important significance as it may lead to a reexamination of the Citizens United ruling, and may influence future corruption cases involving Super PAC contributions.
Paul Blumenthal, Money in Politics Reporter for The Huffington Post, reports more on the court ruling here.