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Currently, the US Senate is divided with 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats and 2 Independents that usually vote with the Democrats. One of the top Democrats in the Senate is New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. He was indicted in 2015 on a charge of federal bribery. His trial begins this fall. If forced to step down, New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie could appoint a Republican to fill the remainder of Menendez’s term, which expires with the 2018 election.

Lost amid the headlines on the Trump-Russia drama — but just a few-hour drive from Washington up I-95 — is another story of political intrigue that could have national implications. 

The trial of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is set for this fall, after the senator’s numerous appeals stemming from his April 2015 indictment pushed off the start date.

The Garden State senior senator maintains his innocence in the federal bribery case. The delays in the case, however, have complicated matters politically, observers note — creating a scenario where the state’s Republican governor could appoint a successor if the incumbent is forced to step down…

Picking up another seat in the Senate puts them only 7 seats away from having a 60% majority which is enough to override everything Democrats could try, including filibusters. It would truly be a huge victory if Republicans picked up Menendez’s seat and then gained 7 more in 2018. With holding a majority in the House, Republicans would be virtually unstoppable.

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