Bob Menendez corruption allegations a warning to get our House in order

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For too long, Americans have woken up to headlines about another elected official under investigation for corruption – homes and offices raided, indictments announced, and more. 

The most recent headline-grabber? Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, for almost cartoonish corruption allegations involving gold bars and the government of Egypt. While people shake their heads at another politician doing another crime, it is clear to me that we can’t just rely on prosecutors and current laws to hold elected officials accountable – it’s time to rewrite corruption laws entirely. That’s why I wrote the bipartisan GOLD Standard Act.

Our country’s anti-corruption laws go back decades, but a 2016 Supreme Court decision (McDonnell v. United States) made it harder to go after politicians when they commit bribery. The case laid out by prosecutors involving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell seemed open and shut: a tobacco company gave gifts to the governor, and in exchange, the governor held events promoting the company. But the Court inexplicably narrowed the definition of an “official act” when they overturned McDonnell’s multiple convictions that were handed down and affirmed by the lower courts. As a result, a number of former elected

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