Kellyanne: Menendez's Absence Could Be Costly for Dems

Posted: Aug 31, 2017 1:00 PM

White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway is talking about a scandal Democrats don’t want to address. In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Thursday, Conway noted that there is an absence in Congress – one that could prove costly for Democrats on a number of bills.

There’s something else going on with the math, the calculation that nobody talks about, which is, New Jersey's Senator Bob Menendez is a little busy these days. He's not expected to be back here voting. He’s in a federal, he's in a federal courthouse because he's a criminal defendant in a federal trial, and people should really go and look at the prosecutor’s case laid out this week. It is just stunning, and it went on allegedly for many years. Look at it. We don't have any Democrats talking about this. It's important for a lot of reasons. It’s important because he represents the Democratic Party. It’s important because if you have a 49/49 vote, you got the Vice President as a tiebreaker. So he actually affects the calculation on a number of these important votes as well.

Sen. Menendez, who is charged with fraud and bribery for allegedly accepting campaign donations from his eye doctor in exchange for business aid, is set to report to his corruption trial next week. A federal judge ordered him to be in the courtroom throughout the process, meaning he can’t escape to Capitol Hill to vote on legislation dealing with the federal debt limit, spending deals, etc. Menendez asked for an exception, but federal prosecutors kindly informed him that he’s not above the law.

As Conway noted on Twitter, the Menendez trials are not the only story Dems are running away from. One of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s former IT aides was arrested last month after reports he had violated the House IT network. For some reason, Schultz had kept him on her payroll for months after the fact.