(Washington Times) – As Sen. Robert Menendez prepares to face corruption charges, Republicans are confident and Democrats fearful that the taint of a weekslong trial will snare other prominent Democrats in New Jersey and Washington.

The trial kicks off Wednesday in New Jersey, where the 11-year incumbent senator is accused of using his office to try to assist and protect a longtime friend, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in disputes with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

One high-profile Democrat already has been caught in the backwash. Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who retired last year, was fingered as trying to help Mr. Menendez in his efforts to derail a federal probe of Melgen.

“Who knows who else will be implicated, but it’s clear now that the corruption extended beyond Menendez’s office,” said Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “It’s just as stunning that no Senate Democrat has said Menendez should resign immediately if convicted.”

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