MiamiHerald / In the midst of the recent resignations of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and Reps. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, and John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan, Post Opinions writer James Downie suggested that Democrats should use this moment to “ditch” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, because of accusations of bribery and corruption against the senator.

The argument is appalling.

Due process is the cornerstone of our justice system. Anyone who would call for Menendez to resign following the outcome of his case — which ended in a mistrial in court last month and is now under review by the Senate Ethics Committee — doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. I have been a longtime supporter of Menendez, who has maintained his innocence from the start, weathering for five years the cloud of an investigation, riddled with leaks and impropriety, and a corruption trial, all while insisting that once he had his day in court, he would be vindicated. Although Menendez was not acquitted, he certainly came close.

In today’s political climate, any public official accused of corruption faces a daunting task — yet at least 10 of 12 jurors wanted to acquit the senator. Why? Because the government’s case against him was paper-thin. This is not a guess or a hypothetical; it is what jurors have said since the trial concluded.


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